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Student COIL Libguide

Do you know how to best articulate those skills in the labour market?


It is important to understand skills and competencies as knowing the difference between the two will help you identify what skills and competencies employers are looking for when you are reviewing the job descriptions.




  • Teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify.
  • Job Specific skills needed to perform your job duties.
  • Typically learned on the job, in the classroom, through books or other training materials

Some examples of Hard Skills can include:

  • Use accounting and financial principles to support the operations of an organization.
  • Describe and apply marketing and sales concepts used to support the operations of an organization.
  • Evaluate and update job postings, guaranteeing a detailed representation of role responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications.


  • Subjective skills that are much harder to quantify – parts of your personality that can make you a valuable employee.
  • Usually self-taught and self-developed.
  • Developed through different experiences and helps deliver quality work, problem solve and work well in a team.

Some examples of Soft Skills can include:

  • Dedicated team player with initiative to work independently to achieve results.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills; prioritize tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Apply problem-solving skills to evaluate and resolve issues quickly to increase productivity.


  • Transferable skills are any skills or qualities you possess that can be transferred from one area to another.
  • Developed in a variety of setting both on and off campus.
  • Transferable skills are useful to employers across various jobs and industries.
  • Developed through different experiences including employment, school, volunteer experience and COIL.

Some examples of Transferable Skills gained through COIL experience can include:

Connect the skills and competencies gained from COIL experience while marketing yourself to potential employers.

More examples of Transferable Skills gained through COIL experience:

  • Cross-cultural communication: Communicate effectively with students from different cultural backgrounds using online tools.
  • Teamwork/CollaborationCollaborate with international students to successfully complete projects under tight deadlines.
  • Intercultural CompetenceWork with students from diverse backgrounds and adapted working styles during the online training.
  • Digital Proficiency: Utilize various digital tools and software to communicate with teammates including Zoom, Google Drive, and WebEx.