Professional Skills

Each position you apply for is going to have a list of ‘required’ or ‘preferred’ qualifications. This tells you what skills you need to fill the job. You’ll find a lot of positions that you can fill. So, where’s the disconnect between checking off each of the qualifications and getting hired? The key may be transferable skills.

These skills can’t be learned in a big lecture hall. Effective communication, problem solving and time management all fall into this category of transferable skills. Here we’ll break down the top 6 skills, ranked by employers.

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Where can you get these skills? Acquiring transferable skills, like the ones above, require tacit learning. This means that you learn them through doing. You know all of those group projects that you hate?

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They are actually helping you establish the most sought after skill, as rated by real employers.

And giving speeches in COMS 130?


That is helping you be a better communicator… Thanks KU Core.

Most of these skills are based in human interaction. If you’re the type to resist human contact at all costs — including going to Walmart at 1:00 am and only using the self-checkout before you avoid making eye contact with anyone and shuffling back to your car  — stay tuned for the next addition to this series, Meaningful Connections.

In the meantime, you might be asking yourself how you can express these skills to employers. While including words on your resume like collaborate and analyze is important, being able to talk about your experiences as a means of showcasing skills is the best way to spell it out for an employer. This is where CAP comes in. We’ll help you identify your skills and talk about them – just like you would to an employer.


KU Career Advancement Program

How are you preparing for your future? Does your career path match your interests? After graduation, most people work at least 40 years in their chosen career. That’s a long time – likely double the life you’ve already lived. Starting out with the right career for you, and on the right foot, will lead to a much more fulfilling life. The University Career Center is here to help you explore your interests and feel more prepared to enter the workforce.

The Career Advancement Program, CAP for short, has recently been developed, based on the seven dimensions of the employability curriculum. We all want to be employable, right? CAP was designed to help KU students better market and prepare themselves for a career, while they are still in school.

Studies show that employers believe that college is no longer fully preparing students for the workforce in terms of people skills, emotional intelligence and other soft skills.  Reportedly, gaps exist in multiple areas of business, the largest of which is prioritizing work. Career services and development should be embedded “into the fabric of undergraduate education” (Inside Higher Ed). CAP is a solution to this dilemma, exclusively for Jayhawks.

As the workplace evolves, it is important for students to adapt. It is becoming increasingly important to possess inherently human skills, as technology is quickly making some jobs obsolete. The employability curriculum and CAP work to develop and perfect these uniquely human skills.


CAP is KU’s initiative to bring career development to the forefront and provide a more convenient route for students who are seeking guidance. Follow on the blog to learn more about each of the seven pillars of the program and tweet @kucareer with #CareerAdvancementKU to learn more.