Career Competencies

Employers value your college education, but they also want to hear how you can help them solve problems and reach their goals. Career Readiness Competencies (identified by employers from all industries and defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers) are your career currency. Show evidence and articulate your skills in career & self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity & inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork, and technology.

Building career readiness competencies and identifying career opportunities is a lifelong process. Use the Career Exploration Roadmap to guide you along the process.

Learn how you can develop and demonstrate your career readiness by clicking the buttons below and watching our video.

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Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization.

Sample Behaviors

  • Show an awareness of own strengths and areas for development.
  • Identify areas for continual growth while pursuing and applying feedback.
  • Develop plans and goals for one’s future career.
  • Professionally advocate for oneself and others.
  • Display curiosity; seek out opportunities to learn.
  • Assume duties or positions that will help one progress professionally.
  • Establish, maintain, and/or leverage relationships with people who can help one professionally.
  • Seek and embrace development opportunities.
  • Voluntarily participate in further education, training, or other events to support one’s career.

Ways to Develop Career & Self Development Skills

  1. Complete career assessments to identify strengths and areas for development
  2. Seek out opportunities to learn: Conduct career conversations or informational interviews, request feedback from supervisors and peers
  3. Network with alumni and friends of the university using RazorLink and LinkedIn
  4. Further knowledge of professional skills and knowledge areas important in your field using LinkedIn Learning

Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization.

Sample Behaviors

  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written, and non-verbal/body language, abilities.
  • Employ active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills.
  • Communicate in a clear and organized manner so that others can effectively understand.
  • Frame communication with respect to diversity of learning styles, varied individual communication abilities, and cultural differences.
  • Ask appropriate questions for specific information from supervisors, specialists, and others.
  • Promptly inform relevant others when needing guidance with assigned tasks.

Ways to Develop Communication Skills

  1. Create and deliver a presentation for a class, organization, or group.
  2. Take a Public Speaking class.
  3. Watch LinkedIn Learning communication tutorials.
  4. Write stories, blogs, papers, advertisements, or press releases.
  5. Proofread all online and written communication to avoid errors.
  6. Listen, listen, listen. Put away your cell phone and give full attention to who is talking.

Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.

Want More? Watch a short video about problem solving.

Sample Behaviors

  • Make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgment.
  • Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources and individuals to fully understand a problem.
  • Proactively anticipate needs and prioritize action steps.
  • Accurately summarize and interpret data with an awareness of personal biases that may impact outcomes.
  • Effectively communicate actions and rationale, recognizing the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of stakeholders.
  • Multi-task well in a fast-paced environment.

Ways to Develop Critical Thinking or Problem-Solving Skills

  1. Activate your mind - read, play mind games or puzzles, journal, etc.
  2. Become a self-critic. Evaluate what you hear, what you read, and the decisions you make.
  3. Watch LinkedIn Learning critical thinking tutorials.
  4. Watch LinkedIn Learning problem solving tutorials.
  5. Join a debate team.
  6. Get involved in undergraduate or graduate research or complete a project in class that requires you to solve a problem or analyze options.

Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.

Sample Behaviors

  • Solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions.
  • Actively contribute to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change.
  • Advocate for inclusion, equitable practices, justice, and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
  • Seek global cross-cultural interactions and experiences that enhance one’s understanding of people from different demographic groups and that leads to personal growth.
  • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking.
  • Identify resources and eliminate barriers resulting from individual and systemic racism, inequities, and biases.
  • Demonstrate flexibility by adapting to diverse environments.
  • Address systems of privilege that limit opportunities for members of historically marginalized communities.

Ways to Develop Equity & Inclusion Skills.

  1. Join a multicultural student organization
  2. Minor in cultural studies or a foreign language
  3. Study Abroad.
  4. Use GoinGlobal to find job or internship opportunities in another country.
  5. Become a Cross-Cultural Mentor
  6. Attend a cultural event or workshop that's outside of your own culture

Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.

Sample Behaviors

  • Inspire, persuade, and motivate self and others under a shared vision.
  • Seek out and leverage diverse resources and feedback from others to inform direction.
  • Use innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods.
  • Serve as a role model to others by approaching tasks with confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Motivate and inspire others by encouraging them and by building mutual trust.
  • Plan, initiate, manage, complete and evaluate projects.

Ways to Develop Leadership Skills

  1. Join a UA leadership development program such as Leadership Academy, Diversity Leadership Institute, or Lead Hogs.
  2. Take on a leadership role in an on-campus organization such as ASG.
  3. Watch LinkedIn Learning leadership tutorials.
  4. Become an S.I. Leader, Conversation Club Leader, or Resident Assistant.
  5. Take the lead on a class project.
  6. Serve in leadership role in an internship, volunteer project, job, research project, or Greek Life committee.

Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

Sample Behaviors

  • Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization.
  • Maintain a positive personal brand in alignment with organization and personal career values.
  • Be present and prepared.
  • Demonstrate dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).
  • Prioritize and complete tasks to accomplish organizational goals.
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations.
  • Have an attention to detail, resulting in few if any errors in their work.
  • Show a high level of dedication toward doing a good job.

Ways to Develop Professionalism Skills

  1. Be on time to every class, meeting, job, and commitment. Punctuality is key.
  2. Invest in professional workplace attire. Rent professional attire for free from Boss Hog Outfitters.
  3. Watch LinkedIn Learning "Developing Your Professional Image" course.
  4. Complete an internship to learn workplace culture and ethics in your industry.
  5. Take a UA course on ethics or professionalism.
  6. Take initiative on projects or tasks without being told.

Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.

Sample Behaviors

  • Listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting.
  • Effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities, and meet ambiguity with resilience.
  • Be accountable for individual and team responsibilities and deliverables.
  • Employ personal strengths, knowledge, and talents to complement those of others.
  • Exercise the ability to compromise and be agile.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
  • Build strong, positive working relationships with supervisor and team members/coworkers.

Ways to Develop Teamwork Skills

  1. Work with others on a class project, while in an internship, or during a volunteer effort where responsibility is shared.
  2. Join a student organization or team on campus where you can help achieve a common goal.
  3. Watch LinkedIn Learning teamwork tutorials.
  4. Join a musical group or act in a play.
  5. Handle difficult conversations with respect.
  6. Ask offices on campus to collaborate with you to host an event.

Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

Sample Behaviors

  • Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies.
  • Use technology to improve efficiency and productivity of their work.
  • Identify appropriate technology for completing specific tasks.
  • Manage technology to integrate information to support relevant, effective, and timely decision-making.
  • Quickly adapt to new or unfamiliar technologies.
  • Manipulate information, construct ideas, and use technology to achieve strategic goals.

Ways to Develop Technology Skills

  1. Take a UA technology course through Global Campus.
  2. Train and earn technology certificates through LinkedIn Learning.
  3. Watch YouTube videos to learn industry programs and software.
  4. Learn technology or software through a class or research project.
  5. Complete training in industry programs or software through an internship or volunteer opportunity.

Get your career readiness score and suggestions for improving relationship building skills, professional communication, career planning & exploration, career & self-development, and internship/job search & interview preparedness by completing this career readiness assessment (~7-8 minutes to complete).

Learn how your resume or CV can reflect the competencies employers are seeking using this worksheet.

View example interview questions and how to incorporate the 8 career competencies into your answers using this worksheet.

View hundreds of short career readiness videos for tips and advice straight from professionals in the field.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers broadly defines Career Readiness to prepare students for a successful transition into life after graduation.

Classroom to Career UNIV 1401
This course will equip students with the tools to prepare for a career or graduate school upon college graduation. Instruction in this eight-week class will focus on the following topics: Self-Awareness, Career Exploration, Work and Leadership Experience, Job/Graduate Search Strategies, Resume/Cover Letter Writing, Interview Skills, and Professional Networking.

Career Connections (ARSC 3013)
This course teaches students how to capitalize on their strengths, skills, experience, professional connections, and academic discipline. Key components of this course are guest lectures from on-campus and off-campus professionals, interactive group activities to practice professional skills, and the creation of an online portfolio. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. (Typically offered: Fall and Spring)

Offices of Career Connections

Arkansas Union Nola Holt Royster Suite 607

CORD 1st and 3rd Floors

BELL 2258



Monday - Friday

8am - 5pm

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Thanks to Our Employer Partners!

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