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Building Professional Skills to Achieve Success

Building a successful business or career is not easy, especially in the prolonged poor economy and cutthroat job market. So it is important, not only for personal satisfaction but career and business success, to develop a well-rounded, excellent skill set.

What are professionals skills?

Professional skills include technical (hard) and transferable (soft) skills.

Hard (technical) skills1 are the specific knowledge and competencies – acquired through education, job training, and work experience – required to succeed in an occupation. They include the following:

Soft (transferable) skills are the personal qualities – such as work ethic, interpersonal skills, and creativity – needed to excel in a job.2 They include natural abilities and skills learned through work, social and civic activities, school, hobbies and other life experiences.3 Examples of soft skills include the following:

Learn more about professional skills.

Professional Skills Building contains information and suggestions for strengthening soft (transferable) skills like negotiation, leadership, and interpersonal skills. When you place your mouse over this page’s tab, you will see information for building professional skills.


1 Alison, D., (2014). Hard Skills, About.com, http://jobsearch.about.com/od/glossary-h/g/hard-skills.htm

2 Alison, D., (2014). Soft Skills, About.com, http://jobsearch.about.com/od/glossary-s/g/soft-skills.htm

3 Dawn Rosenberg McKay. (2014) Transferable Skills: Bringing Your Skills to a New Career. http://careerplanning.about.com/od/careerchoicechan/a/transferable.htm

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