Resume-Building Skills

As summer approaches, you may want to update your resume in anticipation of a future job search. If you’re looking for a non-academic career, consider how to capitalize on the skills you’ve developed as a graduate student—studying and mastering course content, setting up laboratory experiments and conducting research, preparing lectures and teaching classes, or writing a dissertation, papers and articles.

Participants in a recent Graduate Studies workshop on Identifying Your Transferable Skills, conducted by Dr. Rebecca Bryant, Director of the Graduate College Career Services Office at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, came up with various ways of describing academic skills that appeal to non-academic employers. Many of these no doubt reflect your own abilities—consider how to use them to describe skills relevant to the types of jobs you’re seeking and use them inyour resume and job application letters. 

  • Fostering memory 
  • Building stamina, perseverance
  • Maintaining focus
  • Discerning degree of importance in a large body of information
  • Critically evaluating information
  • Analyzing information
  • Applying theoretical knowledge
  • Taking relevant notes
  • Developing concentration
  • Organizing large amounts of information logically
  • Working as a member of a team
  • Demonstrating patience
  • Building self-confidence
  • Being accountable for assigned responsiblities and work performed
  • Synthesizing information
  • Comparing and contrasting theories and ideas
  • Finding patterns
  • Working independently
  • Communicating in writing and speaking
  • Reasoning logically
  • Conceptualizing a research design
  • Finding and digesting relevant information
  • Modifying and adapting to accommodate changing circumstances
  • Multi-tasking
  • Taking and giving feedback
  • Sharing information
  • Achieving consistency
  • Documenting
  • Interviewing
  • Reporting
  • Acquiring technical laboratory skills
  • Researching and organizing information
  • Summarizing information, identifying key points
  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Adapting presentations to the needs of a listening audience
  • Anticipating questions
  • Using media in presentations
  • Exercising motivational and persuasive aptitude
  • Expanding creativity
  • Exercising patience and enthusiasm
  • Interpreting data
  • Developing objectivity
  • Managing the flow of ideas
  • Understanding and meeting the needs of a reading audience
  • Transferring knowledge
  • Managing time
  • Mastering computer programs
  • Designing documents