Before you can market your amazing skills to employers, you have to be able to articulate them clearly and weave them into a persuasive and memorable narrative. Use the tips below to consider how you will share your marketable skills in your cover letter, on your LinkedIn profile, during an interview, or while networking. 

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Identify Your Skills/Interest

Use the self-assessment tools below to identify your natural strengths and capacities. Once identified, you can start building your professional brand.

  • FOCUS2 online- identify your natural strengths by taking a personality preference self-assessment.
  • PathwayU- take assessments to gain insights on your interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences. It aims to help you find a career with purpose and meaning and offers resources like detailed career matches, occupational exploration, a job and internship board, and work preparation tools.

Career Values

  • Career Values Self-Inventory, examine your career values, and then add meaning to your responses.
  • Culture 500- search for and compare companies using these nine markers to determine if they would be a good match with your values. 
  • Attributes new graduates seek in an employing organization/job, NACE 2024



Use these tools to craft a compelling story to support your internship/job search or application to graduate school. 


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Professional Competencies for a Career-Ready Workforce, NACE

skills employers look for

According to the NACE Job Outlook Survey 2023, employers shared:

When considering the eight career readiness competencies, employers rate communication (4.49) and critical thinking (4.46) most important. In addition, only two competencies—career and self-development (3.81) and leadership (3.65)—fall below 4 (very important) on a 1-to-5 importance scale.

Unfortunately, all employers’ proficiency ratings of recent graduates fall below 4 (very proficient) on a 1-to-5 point proficiency scale. However, graduates’ ratings in technology (3.98), equity and inclusion (3.97), and teamwork (3.84) are closest, receiving the highest proficiency ratings from employers. 

When comparing importance to proficiency ratings of recent college graduates, large gaps are evident in the top two competencies that employers rate most important (communication and critical thinking). Additionally, another large gap appears in the professionalism competency, with 91.2% of employers rating it very or extremely important and just 48.6% rating graduates as very or extremely proficient in it. Technology is the only competency for which employers rated recent college graduates higher in proficiency (76.8% of respondents) than they rated the importance of the competency (74% of respondents). 

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Market Your Professional Brand

Use this tracking sheet to organize your accomplishments. This information will be helpful for crafting your resume and speaking about the experience in job interviews later on. 

EPortfolio: Offers UMD students the opportunity to highlight skills, experiences, and learning through a set of curated works in an online platform, Portfolium

Creating a LinkedIn profile resources

Building a strong professional presence online

One Button Studio: Students may use the One Button Studio, located in Tydings 0103, to record video resumes, class presentation videos, etc. A One Button Studio (OBS) is a simplified recording studio that gives users the ability to create a high-quality video recording without any previous video production experience. UMD’s One Button Studios provide everything needed to create a polished video project.

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Protect Your Image

According to a recent survey, 92 percent of employers conduct background screening on applicants. 

BSOS Career Exploration Toolkit

A guide to reflect on your own career values, exploring career interests, and develop a plan to gain experience.