My Personal Skills Tree

Not sure what skills you have? Even less confident about how they can be transferred from school or college to real life in a job? Need to write a summary of your skills for a personal statement and application but no idea where to start? Our Personal Skills Tree Activity can help you.

Your academic journey is more than just acquiring knowledge and passing exams. It’s a valuable resource for developing transferable skills that will help you in your future career. While you may not realise it, by attending classes, completing assignments, and engaging in extracurricular activities, you’re not only gaining subject-specific expertise but also honing a set of versatile skills that employers highly value.

Use our Worksheet to consider the skills you have currently and how you have developed them over the years. Assess your current competency level to identify any skills gaps, and think about the jobs or careers these skills could be transferred to.

How to use

Identify your Skills and Skills Gaps

Page one of your ‘Personal Skills Tree’ worksheet shows the 8 different core skills identified in the Universal Skills Builder Framework: Listening, Speaking, Problem Solving, Creativity, Staying Positive, Aiming High, Leadership and Teamwork.

To get started, give yourself a rating for each of these skills by writing the corresponding letter in the circle next to each skills icon: Beginner (B), Intermediate (I) or Advanced (A).

If you’re not sure how to rank your current skill level, you can log on to the Universal Skills Builder Website, which provides a list of questions to answer to assess your ability, examples of how you might build this skill and key training modules to complete.

Provide evidence of your Skills

Next, use each relating coloured box to write down an example of how you have gained this skills, evidence of how you have demonstrated this skill or what you might do to build this skill for the future. For example:

Teamwork – I work well in my football team, helping to contribute ideas, support other players and resolve conflicts. I help the coach to reflect on progress and suggest improvements.

Listening – I am able to listen critically to different speakers and understand their perspectives. I enjoying to listening to different podcasts or watching videos from experts talking about my future career path.

Creativity – I have learnt lots of tools during my Design Technology coursework to develop ideas and combine different concepts to improve my technique and challenge myself to try new things.

Think about where your transferable skills could take you

On page two, choose one of the skills where you rated yourself the highest and add this to the circle icon below (write the skills and/or draw a picture if you wish).

Research two related career sectors (such as hospitality and marketing, or pharmaceuticals and engineering) that would use this skill. Try to identify five possible jobs you could pursue in those sectors and what each would involve.

You could use websites like Prospects or National Careers Service, or view our Career Guides on Stockport Jobs Match.

Apply your skills to your chosen career

Choose one of the jobs you have identified that most appeals to you as a future career. On page three, enter this job title into the box ‘The career I am most interested in is…’

Research live job vacancies using job boards like Indeed, Total Jobs or CV Library. View the job advertisements, focusing on the ‘person specification’ which will list essential or desirable criteria that you need to apply for the job.

Make a note of which skills are important and enter the required skill level as Essential (E) or Desirable (D) in the skills checklist. Can you explain why this skill is important, what tasks/duties will require it or identify other careers/jobs that may also need this skill?

Use your identified skills to create a personal statement

Now that you have evaluated your own skill set, listed examples of where you have demonstrated these skills and identified jobs where this skill-set would be needed, why not have a go at writing a personal statement?

Personal statements are an introduction to your CV, cover letter or application form which summarises why you are a suitable applicant and what skills you have to offer. Take a few examples of your skills and explain how they would make you suitable for your chosen career.

Use our top tips for writing personal statements to help you.