Career Planning

Career Planning

Know Your Skills and Career Values

by Joey Kang

Young students and recent graduates, like you, often find yourselves unsure of where and how to start searching for a job as you come to the life phase of transitioning into the workforce.

Before you start preparing your resume and way ahead of your job search, it is especially crucial that you, students and recent graduates, are aware of your core transferable skills and career values.

What are core transferable skills? These are the skills which you have a high level of proficiency and you are highly motivated to use these skills. These skill sets are transferable regardless of the types and nature of jobs you take up.

By being aware of your own core transferable skills, you can highlight them in your resume. This helps build the contents for your resume and, more importantly, guides you to pursue a career that utilizes your core transferable skills rather than your “burnt-out” skills.

Next, are the career values. These are the qualities that help define your own work satisfaction. They are personal to you only and may change with time, at different stages of life. If a job fits your career values, you will find your job to be meaningful and fulfilling.

Knowing and understanding your career values helps you to look for a job that suits you and, most importantly, a career that is sustainable because it is aligned to your values. In this way, you can grow professionally and achieve greater success. It has been said that if a job does not match your values and skills, you will most likely to change job within a year of taking up the offer.

Hence, the first step towards a sustainable, fulfilling career is to know your own core transferrable skills and career values. Having them written down in your resume is a crucial step in your job searching process.

Email us at to find out more about your core skills and career values. This is where your career begins.

About the author

Ms Joey Kang has more than 16 years of experience in the Education industry. She began her career from the ground up and progressively advanced into middle management over the years. Her portfolio includes business development activities in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Currently, she holds the position of Manager, Student Careers and is a Certified Career Coach in the Career Advisory Centre supporting the Associate Director of Students Services, James Cook University Singapore.

4 Stage Career Management Cycle

The model below depicts the four stages that make up the career development cycle. By thoughtfully progressing through the stages of this process, you are able to develop goals and strategies for pursuing a satisfying career.

Over time, you will recycle through this process as you, and the employment market, inevitably change. This implies that career decisions and strategies are not one-time events but are steps in an ongoing and life-long career development process.

Career Plan

Self Awareness

Understanding yourself, and knowing what you want to become and by when are the most important pillars in your personal career development plan. This is the fundamental starting point to determine what kind of job suits you best. You need to identify what you enjoy doing most and skills that you have mastered. You will also need to discover the kind of people you enjoy working with and your preferred working environment and conditions. Eg If you are an active on the go person, a desk bound job will not be suitable for you.


Do research for a good understand on the existing employment market and its trend particularly for the industries that are of interest to you. With market intelligence on hand, it becomes easy to identify companies / organizations to approach. The research information you have onhand will also come in handy during the interview process when facts are required to convince prospective employers that you are the right person for the job.


Resumes & Cover Letters

Resumes and Cover Letters are the most common and universally accepted packaging tools used in the job hunting process. Not surprisingly therefore, job hunters devote a significant amount of their time and energy on these 2 items.

Knowing that resumes are used mostly to screen candidates out, you can increase your chances for success by tailoring your resume to the individual job you seek. Your resume must be the result of the work you have done in the self assessment and job targeting. Without this preparation, your resume will not be effective.

Writing a competency-based resume, also referred to as a functional resume, may be a strategic choice in a competitive job market. Unlike chronological (time-based) resumes, competency-based resumes focus on your core skill groups and qualifications. During the job interview, competency-based resumes also allow you to confidently respond to the interviewer's questions about why you are the best fit for their job opening.

Personal Branding

The way we manage our careers is changing due to the rise in competition. In order to extend our reach, visibility and networking capabilities, we must turn to personal branding as our marketing strategy. The concept of personal branding has become increasingly popular over the past decade. More and more professionals across industries and functional areas are discovering the value of creating, communicating and maintaining personal brands, both in their career search and in their continuous professional development.

Networking and Relationship Building

Networking can help you keep up with changes in your industry and develop new relationships or clients. It can also help you find hot job leads and explore new career options. Building a network is simply a responsible thing to do. So start today.

Interviewing Skills

Interviewing is the probably the most important job-seeking skill and the one barrier that every job seeker must face before getting hired. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. At it’s core, a job interview is really just a specific type of conversation.

Ensure that you prepare yourself adequately before each interview as to keep the conversation focused, productive and pleasant,.

Job Search

From a career management perspective, implementation is all about marketing and sales. Remember that even the best plans are worthless unless they are well implemented. There is no better indicator of your professional attitude and behavior than how you manage your job search. The assumption from a prospective employer is that everything about your search, from your resume to your shoes, is a reflection of your best efforts. If any element of your presentation, behavior, or performance falls short of their expectations, their consideration of you as a viable candidate is compromised. This can be avoided by proper planning.