Competences and strenghts

Working with your competences and strengths is a good first step towards getting in contact with the labour market in a professional and appropriate manner. Being aware of your qualifications will make you more confident when contacting the company, and you will find it easier to explain what you can offer.

 

WHAT ARE COMPETENCES?

In everyday speech, competences can be described as being able to handle situations within a particular area in an appropriate and satisfactory manner. It’s not just about knowing what to do, but also about actually being able to do it. Therefore, competences are often linked with experience, as you learn through experience that you’re able to take action.

ACADEMIC AND PERSONAL COMPETENCES 

When describing competences, you need to distinguish between professional and personal competences. Your personal competences are about how you carry out your work, as well as your ability to collaborate and communicate. For example, whether you’re creative, flexible, reflective or structured in the way you perform your tasks, collaborate and engage in a dialogue with others. Your professional competences describe the way you use the knowledge and skills you have acquired through your degree programme, jobs, voluntary work, projects, etc. Professional competences can be related to project management, negotiation, source criticism, written communication or teaching.

Many people find it difficult to make a distinction between professional and personal competences, and this also depends on the particular job. If you try, however, this will allow you to develop and clarify your competences in a more nuanced way.

FOCUS ON YOUR COMPETENCES

You develop competences throughout your entire life, and you can therefore continuously work on identifying the competences you have acquired. We recommend that you in the course of your studies reflect on and write down the knowledge and competences you have acquired in the past semester. This way, at the end of your degree programme, you will have a catalogue to remind you of everything you have learned during your studies.

Furthermore, it may be a good idea discuss your competences with others. You may not be aware of the competences you already have as they are a natural part of you. Spend some time with your study group or people you know who are doing something completely different from you and ask them to describe your competences.