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Help and FAQs - Skills Profiler


  1. What is the Skills Profiler and how do I use it?
  2. Who will find the Skills Profiler useful?
  3. What is the difference between beginning the Skills Profiler by selecting an occupation or starting it without an occupation?
  4. What does it mean for a skill to be "important" for an occupation (i.e. marked with an asterisk in Step 2)?
  5. The skills I selected in Step 2 are gone. Why did this happen?
  6. On the "Customize your Skills Level" option, what do the proficiency level statements mean?
  7. Why are these work activities (in Step 4) helpful to me? Why do I have to specify an occupation to access this step of the Skills Profiler?
  8. Why can't I rate my desktop computer skills?
  9. What are job families?
  10. What should I do if I can't find the job family for the occupation I am looking for?


  1. What is the Skills Profiler and how do I use it?
    The Skills Profiler steps you through a series of forms that allow you to identify skills and activities you have used on the job or elsewhere. This leads to a customized Skills Profile that includes:
    • A summary of identified skills and work activities.
    • A list of occupations matched either to skills or work activities.
    • A link to Occupation Profiles for more detailed occupation information, as well as links from there to the Employer Locator for names of employers in their area.
    • A "Compare to Another Occupation" feature that identifies similarities and differences between the selected occupation and another occupation of interest.

    You can use your Skills Profile to:
    • prepare for interviews;
    • write resumes and cover letters; and
    • explore further career paths and training options.


  2. Who will find the Skills Profiler useful?
    Students and jobseekers will find the Skills Profiler useful to begin thinking about skills and identifying the skills they have. Their skills profile will be useful for developing resumes and cover letters, and preparing for interviews. The Skills Profiler also lists occupations matching their skill set, which can be used for career exploration. Dislocated workers can use the Skills Profiler for the same purposes as job seekers to identify career options. They can also also assess their skill gaps by comparing a past occupation with one of interest. Workforce professionals will find the Skills Profiler useful when working as intermediaries with these audiences.

  3. What is the difference between beginning the Skills Profiler by selecting an occupation or starting it without an occupation?
    If you begin without an occupation, you will get a shorter, more general skills assessment. This assessment is good for beginning your exploration of careers, training options or job search activities, especially if you do not have work experience. By using this option, you will be able to produce a list of your skills faster than if you select an occupation, but you will also miss the opportunity to select work activities. Selecting work activities allows you both to produce a list of these common work tasks as well as to match yourself to other occupations via those activities (that is, to identify alternate occupations for which you have applicable experience). In order to use feature, you should choose to select an occupation at the beginning of the tool. Even if your work experience is quite varied and you have trouble selecting just one occupation, it is recommended that you select any one occupation in which you have experience. The Skills Profiler will allow you to add skills and work activities from multiple occupations into your final profile, and you will not miss any features of the tool.

  4. What does it mean for a skill to be "important" for an occupation (i.e. marked with an asterisk in Step 2)?
    The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) matches skills with occupations and ranks these matches with a numeric value. Though all skills will appear in the list for every occupation, skills with a match value of 2.5 or higher are marked with an asterisk signifying the importance of that skill to the occupation.

  5. The skills I selected in Step 2 are gone. Why did this happen?
    The Skills Profiler saves the information you enter in Step 2 (Select Skills) for sixty minutes. If you are working in the tool for more than sixty minutes, you will need to go back to Step 2 and re-select your skills to continue. CareerOneStop cannot store data on our servers due to confidentiality issues. If you think it will take longer than sixty minutes to select your skills, jump ahead to Step 5 (Your Skills Profile) at any time during the sixty minutes to save your information in Microsoft Word, HTML, XML, or as a bookmark on your computer.

  6. On the "Customize your Skills Level" option, what do the proficiency level statements mean?
    The proficiency level statements are examples of job-related activities at different levels. The levels range from one to seven with one representing the lowest level and seven the highest level. O*NET has determined the proficiency level of skills for occupations. The proficiency levels will be used to determine your possible skill gaps.

  7. Why are these work activities (in Step 4) helpful to me? Why do I have to specify an occupation to access this step of the Skills Profiler?
    Detailed work activities are associated with occupations as part of the O*NET database. These work activities can give you valuable information about specific activities and skills that are usually important for an occupation. They are useful in creating resumes and preparing for interviews. Since the full list of work activities is quite long, the Skills Profiler shows only those activities associated with an occupation that you selected. If you have begun the Skills Profiler without selecting an occupation but later realize that you want to access work activities, you may go back and select an occupation. From "Step 5: Your Skills Profile," click on "Modify Skills Profile," and then click on the "Edit" link next to "Occupations (None Selected)."

  8. Why can't I rate my desktop computer skills?
    Desktop computer skills are not a part of the O*NET database, thus there is no importance or level attached to the statements. They are provided so you may include them in your final Skills Profile and use them in your career planning and in the development of your resume and cover letters.

  9. What are job families?
    Job families are the way CareerOneStop groups occupations. CareerOneStop's job families are the same as the 23 major occupation groups of the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC). CareerOneStop excludes the military job family, because there are no available wage and occupation trend data for the occupation in this group. For more information about job families, refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics SOC webpage.

  10. What should I do if I can't find the job family for the occupation I am looking for?
    Use the Keyword Search box to quickly find the occupation you are looking for. Type a keyword or keywords and select Search. Pick from the list of relevant occupation results.


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