What do you need to know and do in order to be career ready? The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) worked with a group of college career services and HR/staffing professionals to develop a definition for career readiness. They define it as, “Career readiness is the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.”

In order to be career ready, it’s important to know the competencies and skills employers are looking for. It’s also helpful to understand the importance of your personal brand and what you can do to develop it so employers will recognize you as a professional individual they are eager to hire. In addition, the UNT Career Success Program can help you become career ready through self-paced activities focused on all aspects of the career development process.


A great way to think about personal branding is to remember that it includes many facets. Your professional dress, communication style, competence level and even your online presence all go into the professional impression that you are making. Your professional brand can be synonymous with your reputation. It is important to remember that it is not what you say about yourself but what people say about you, when you are not in the room. Even as a student, you can start building your personal brand today.

Some tips on how to do this is to establish a reputation as a new professional who is willing to learn, engage, and grow. Seek out opportunities to learn about professional norms for your prospective field. Join the campus chapter of a professional association or the honor society for your major. Attend a lecture series from a seasoned professional and ask questions in a class that is hosting a visiting employer. Get certified in Office Excel or some other tool that is relevant to your field. Position yourself as someone who is genuinely interested in your field and has a desire to learn more.  

A Career Coach can help you fine tune your resume, identify target student organizations, develop an elevator speech, and optimize your LinkedIn profile.


The UNT Career Success Program will jump-start your career exploration and preparation so your career search will be more successful. The program is composed of several milestones that break down the career success process into logical, manageable steps you can take to reach your career goals. Depending on your situation, you might work through some of the milestones or all of them.

People who know the job they want and have an academic plan, start at a different place than those who are unsure about their future career or academic plans. The Career Success Program is set up as a free course in Canvas. Please enroll yourself in it in order to access the modules suggested by your Career Coach.


Employers are interested in hiring talented individuals who possess the skills and abilities that will bring value to their organization. Some of the skills employers seek are specific to an industry or type of company, but other skills are more general in nature and are valued by most employers.

NACE has identified eight competencies or skills associated with career readiness, which are listed below. You can learn more about these competencies and how they relate to career readiness by reading the NACE article: “Career Readiness Defined.”

Eight Competencies:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Career Management
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency

To gain additional insight into what employers are looking for, read this Forbes article: “10 Vital Skills Needed for the Future of Work.”