What Are Examples Of Professionalism Skills?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 13 December 2022

Published 27 September 2021

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.

Throughout your career, it is important to develop behaviours and traits that add value to your level of professionalism. There are several skills that contribute to professionalism, including communication, time management and conflict resolution. Understanding the skills necessary to maintain professionalism in the workplace is an important part of contributing valuably as an employee and accessing career opportunities. In this article, we share a list of top professionalism skills, explain how to improve your professionalism in the workplace and provide tips for featuring these skills when applying for jobs.

What Are Examples Of Professionalism Skills?

There are several abilities that contribute to your professional success. Here are some of the top examples of professional skills to practise throughout your career:

Communication

Throughout your career, you are required to communicate with a wide range of individuals with varying personalities and backgrounds. Thoughtful, concise communication with the appropriate tone is an important aspect of professionalism to develop. Individuals with strong professional communication skills can often eloquently convey their thoughts through both written and verbal channels and can adjust their language and content to align with a variety of circumstances.

Being as professional as possible also involves refining your presentation skills, such as public speaking and taking notes. Expressing yourself confidently and learning how to listen to others helps you thrive in a professional environment.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Dependability

Part of being professional is fulfilling your commitments and being reliable for both clients and colleagues. Dependability includes managing your schedule, turning assignments in according to deadlines, responding to messages consistently, upholding agreements and providing a consistent quality of service. Understanding your own limits and what you can commit to in the workplace can help you develop your ability to be dependable at work. As you become more dependable in the workplace, you can develop a positive professional reputation among your peers and build trust to gain more responsibility.

Situational awareness

Situational awareness includes the ability to determine what kinds of behaviours and conversations are appropriate for the workplace. Understanding social boundaries and monitoring your actions while at work is an important part of developing your professionalism so you can help everyone feel comfortable during business interactions. This includes reviewing body language during meetings and paying attention to conversations to determine appropriate topics to discuss. Having good situational awareness involves showing empathy for others, using tact when sharing your opinion and considering the context of a situation and all possible outcomes before making a decision.

Initiative

Being able to work independently and complete your tasks with little or no supervision is an important part of demonstrating your competence as a professional. Initiative and self-motivation are important professionalism skills to develop and may help show your coworkers, managers and employers your dedication to your duties. Showing extra effort to seek out additional responsibilities and look for ways to improve your work processes or assist your clients also shows excellent initiative and professional commitment. Having initiative expresses that you care about providing a high standard of service in your career, which is key to professional success.

Time-management

Managing your schedule to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to each of your responsibilities can help you maintain your professionalism at work. It is important that you develop methods of managing your time effectively to produce high-quality work and meet important deadlines. Knowing how to manage your time throughout the day optimises your productivity and leaves a good impression on others. Time management skills also allow you to balance your responsibilities and avoid last-minute stress on your team, which helps you maintain a professional relationship with employers and clients.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition and Examples

Leadership

Even if you are not in a managerial position, developing leadership abilities can help you advance your professionalism. Leadership skills such as decision-making, goal setting and remaining calm under pressure can enhance your professional development and qualify you for advanced career opportunities. Being able to show leadership within a group shows that you have a professional mindset and are willing to be flexible and assume additional responsibilities to meet your goals. Thriving in a professional environment involves learning how to mentor and lead others in a tactful, team-oriented way.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Accountability

Being responsible for your actions and showing accountability signals to others that you can participate in a professional environment. When you accept ownership for how your actions influence others and are accountable for the outcome of your behaviour, you can earn respect from your peers in the workplace. To show accountability skills, it is important to both accept credit for your successes and correct your mistakes when they occur. Planning ahead to be accountable for your own projects and striving to show independence can impress others and indicate that you are capable in your role.

Politeness

One essential skill for professionalism is politeness and manners. Politeness and the way you present yourself to others is important because your first impression allows you to gain opportunities to prove your professional expertise and other qualifications. Introducing yourself respectfully and engaging people in friendly conversation is part of networking with colleagues and clients in your industry. Your interpersonal skills and ability to be polite can determine how much people want to work with you in the future.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself Professionally

Conflict resolution

Avoiding workplace conflict is optimal for retaining your professionalism. If tensions do arise, try your best to remain calm and respectful. This skill is equally important for interacting with customers and fellow staff members and can help you more effectively de-escalate conflict. Your customers, coworkers or supervisors are likely to appreciate your ability to successfully handle challenging situations.

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? Using This Practice at Work

How To Improve Professionalism Skills

Here are several tips you can use to improve your professionalism at work:

1. Observe your environment

Whenever you are in a professional environment, pay attention to how the people around you act. Adopting similar behaviours to the people around you can help you adapt to a professional environment and improve your professionalism skills. Consider which of your colleagues are most successful or identify people whose professional skills you admire and try to identify what skills and characteristics help them succeed.

2. Seek networking opportunities

Many professional skills are habits you can grow through practise. Search for networking opportunities where you can apply your professional skills and learn by using them in different scenarios. This can range from participating in meetings to asking questions at industry conferences. By pursuing networking opportunities, you can learn which professionalism strategies work for you.

3. Find a mentor

Look for an experienced mentor who can provide you with feedback about your professional strengths and weaknesses. A good mentor can share customised advice about how to improve your interpersonal skills in professional settings and enhance your overall professionalism. Having a mentor also provides you with someone who consistently models excellent professionalism and how to apply professional skills in your career trajectory.

Highlighting Professionalism Skills

Understanding how to convey your professionalism skills while seeking employment can help you impress hiring managers. Consider using these tips to highlight your professionalism skills:

Professional skills in a cover letter and resume

When writing about your professionalism skills in a cover letter or resume, try to include the most relevant competencies to the position for which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for a management position, you may discuss your leadership capabilities. This may help hiring managers visualise how your professionalism skills could contribute to your success in the position. Consider listing your professionalism competencies in a few bullet points within a skills section of your resume or including them in a brief description of your accomplishments in a cover letter.

Professional skills in an interview

An interview is an excellent opportunity to display your professional skills because you have the opportunity to interact with a potential employer in a professional environment. The way you behave throughout the interview process by communicating consistently, expressing yourself eloquently and being polite can show the interviewer how they can expect you to act in the workplace. Try practising in a mock interview to prepare and be mindful of your actions during the official meeting.

When discussing your professionalism skills in an interview, do your best to be specific when describing how your relevant skills helped you excel in a position or scenario. For example, if asked about a time you needed to lead a team on a project, discuss professionalism skills that helped you accomplish the task. These may include decision making, goal setting or public speaking and could help hiring managers understand your ability to apply professionalism goals to your processes in order to meet objectives.

Related:

  • An In-Depth Guide to Professionalism

  • Vital Skills And Traits For Professional Growth (With Types)

  • Professional Skills (With Examples And Tips To Improve)

  • 17 Communication Techniques For Professional Success

  • How To Be Professional At Work: A Complete Guide

  • 12 Communication Benefits For The Workplace (Plus Tips)

  • Social Skills: Definition, Examples and Why They are Important


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