Boost your Career and Personal Development with a Skills Matrix

Boost your Career and Personal Development with a Skills Matrix

By Tamara M. Williams

Developing your Career and Personal life is a lifelong process. This process requires the use of various guides and templates. The Skills Matrix template is used to identify your current skills and those that you need for the future. It is usually done as a part of a Personal Development Plan but can be completed separately. You should use a spreadsheet or create a table in a word document for this Skills Matrix exercise.

Build a Skills List

Skills are what you can do. Write a list of skills that you know you have or search online for the top 10 skills in demand. These could include Teamwork, Leadership, Time Management, Communication, Critical Thinking, Organisation, Decision Making, Creativity, Customer Oriented and Adapting to Change. Working with 10 skills narrows your focus so you can complete the task in a shorter period of time.

First, write down skills that you know you already have so that you can build your confidence. Then add skills that are highly recommended. Open a new spreadsheet or create a new table in a word document. Write the list of 10 skills in the leftmost column in the spreadsheet or table in the word document.

Identify various Experiences

Experiences are where you obtained your skills. You would also use them to obtain more skills in the future. For the experiences, you can choose ‘Work Experience’, ‘Academics’ and ‘Volunteer/Community Work’. Feel free to use the examples provided or add your own. Write those areas in the topmost row for the spreadsheet or table.

Add Examples to your Skills Matrix

The cells that intersect your Skills List and Experience will be your actual Skills Matrix. Fill these cells in the spreadsheet or table with examples of how you achieved the particular skill from each experience. For e.g. you learn Teamwork from an academic course or learn Time Management from a part-time job. As a bonus you can use these examples in interviews or on your CV.

You might notice some gaps in your Skills Matrix. These are skills that you do not have examples for in a particular experience. These can be filled by seeking to gain experience in that area in the future. This means that you could take a course in Leadership. You could ask to volunteer at your community center or local shops.

Challenge Yourself

Congrats, you have now completed your Skills Matrix. Challenge yourself and make a new list of skills that you want to develop in the future for your own personal development or your career. Then follow my advice to fill the gaps in your spreadsheet or table. Good luck.

About the Author

Tamara M. Williams reads guides and books related to personal and career development. She encourages you to do the same. Contact your college or university career center or a Life & Career Coach for more assistance on using a Skills Matrix. Tamara also publishes IT articles, read more at

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