Job Skills At Work (Plus How To Improve Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Successful professionals with a growth mindset may constantly search for ways to improve their skills. While many individuals take up certification classes and courses, there are many skills that you can learn while on the job. Understanding what these skills are can help you set better learning goals and advance in your career. In this article, we discuss what job skills at work mean, list some common examples, explore steps to improve these skills and understand how to use them in the workplace.

What Does It Mean To Learn Job Skills At Work?

To learn job skills at work means to develop knowledge and skills while performing work-related tasks. While some people learn various skills during their onboarding process, others receive detailed training for various technical skills required for the job. You can learn job skills through various means, like shadowing experienced professionals, practicing tasks and participating in professional development courses at the workplace.

Examples Of Job Skills

Some of the key skills that you can learn in the workplace include:

Product or industry knowledge

When an employee earns product knowledge, they are able to completely understand different nuances and features of a particular product. Industry knowledge refers to the awareness of the industry's happenings and its intricacies. You can gain product and industry knowledge by reading product literature, engaging with the product and collaborating with subject experts.

Related: Difference Between Knowledge And Skills (With Tips And FAQs)

Professionalism

Professionalism refers to polite behaviour, attitude and industriousness that a person in a work setting displays. An employee learns and cultivates professionalism in the process of interacting with colleagues in a respectful manner and performing duties diligently. This skill helps you fulfil your role effectively and to the best of your abilities.

Related: Common Business Communication Skills And Their Importance

Leadership

Passionate employees have several opportunities to cultivate leadership skills in the workplace. Taking up more responsibility, delegating tasks and helping to make important decisions can help you learn to be a strong leader. You can also learn leadership skills through leadership training and mentorship programs in the workplace.

Related: How To Highlight Leadership Skills On A Resume (With Template)

Customer service

Interacting with customers and clients directly or indirectly may be a task for some professionals. Employees learn to understand the needs of the customer and ensure their consistent satisfaction while at work. Practising active listening, seeking feedback and improving your technical knowledge are great ways to improve customer service skills.

Related: Customer Service Soft Skills: Definition And Examples

Time management

An employee can learn to organise their time effectively in the workplace by following some key strategies. Planning and prioritising tasks based on your importance can help you manage your time and resources well. Good time management can lead to increased productivity, lower stress levels and improved workplace relationships.

Problem solving

Problems and challenges are an integral part of any workplace. To overcome them, it is important for employees to develop good problem-solving skills and an ability to think strategically. Understanding the problem, taking part in team brainstorming sessions and thinking creatively are effective ways to improve your problem-solving skills.

Related: How To Highlight Problem-Solving Skills On A Resume

How To Improve Job Skills At Work?

Below are some useful tips to improve job skills at your workplace:

1. Look for growth opportunities

One of the most important steps to gaining skills on the job is to seek opportunities for growth. When looking for a new job, consider selecting a workplace that puts an emphasis on training within the workplace. Many organisations offer professional development courses and other free training to professionals interested in growing their skills. You can find opportunities to learn skills on the job by asking your manager or connecting with your employer's human resources department.

2. Assess your existing skills

Before you can focus on learning a new skill, it is helpful to understand your experience level in skills that you already know. There are many online resources that may allow you to measure your knowledge and abilities in specific areas. Understanding your strengths and areas for improvement can help you better understand which skills to focus on in the workplace. It may also give you a better idea of the learning path ahead and help you establish clearer goals.

3. Practice

To learn new skills at work, it can be beneficial to practice these abilities to improve your talents and perform more effectively in your role. It is important to apply the skill consistently and ask for feedback regularly. Applying feedback, making adjustments and spending time to master difficult aspects of the skill is critical to a person's success.

4. Learn from others

While learning a skill on the job, one of the best ways to increase your competency is to learn from someone who is already highly skilled in that area. If you have a colleague who is good at one skill, you might ask to shadow them or have a meeting with them to discuss their strategy for success. You can also ask them to observe how you perform a task and ask for their advice on how to improve. As you develop your work skills, try to learn from several co-workers to find a technique that works best for you.

Related: How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills At Work: A Guide

5. Ask for honest feedback

Besides working with a colleague, you can learn on-the-job skills by asking for regular feedback from your manager and anyone you regularly collaborate with. Your teammates can provide valuable advice on how they learned skills at work and may be able to direct you to useful resources and training opportunities. When asking for feedback, be polite and receptive to what others are telling you to ensure continuous progress.

6. Monitor your progress

Besides putting in a consistent effort to master a particular skill, it is important to monitor your progress. Setting goals and milestones can be an effective way of tracking your progress towards learning a skill. Through continuous monitoring of goals, you can stay focussed on the end goal and ensure that your learning increases over time.

Related: How To Be Flexible At Work: A Complete Guide

Job Skills At The Workplace

You can improve your work skills in a number of ways:

  • Define specific goals. You can learn effectively by having a set of clear and logical goals. Setting measurable goals helps you focus better on the learning process and helps you understand where you are on your learning journey.

  • Find a suitable mentor. With a mentor at the workplace, you can stay on track and stay motivated to achieve your goals. A mentor can hold you accountable for accomplishing your goals and provide valuable guidance whenever necessary.

  • Develop a learning strategy. Many people develop different learning styles and following an effective learning strategy is integral to a learner's success. With a particular strategy, you can innovate, organise your skills and use them to the best of your abilities.

How To Highlight Job Skills While Applying For A Job?

While applying for a job, here are ways to highlight work skills during every stage of the interview process:

On a resume

Make a list of specific job skills you possess and review the job description carefully. Employers are often looking for a specific set of skills from potential candidates. If any of your job skills align with the role, include them as a part of the skills section. You may also mention them as a part of your work experience or your profile statement.

In a cover letter

Cover letters give you an opportunity to state why you qualify for a particular role. You can state some important job skills supported by selected accomplishments to show employers you are the right fit for the position. Avoid mentioning several skills in your cover letter. Emphasise on a few important job skills that the employer is looking for.

During your interview

Interviews can be great opportunities to showcase your job skills. Prepare for the job interview by researching commonly asked questions related to important skills and rehearse your responses. Use the practice questions to show your job skills and explain to the employer how you are a suitable candidate for the role.

Related: 13 Effective Communication Strategies To Implement At Work

Explore more articles