We Are Career Ready

We Are Career Ready is the development of eight Career Readiness Competencies that you might also think of as skills or behaviors. The one commonality between the competencies is that they are important to employers. Your experiences at UWRF and beyond offer many opportunities to develop and enhance these competencies, including participation in classroom learning, internships, co-ops, research, on-campus involvement, work experience or other on- or off-campus endeavors.      

We Are Career Ready Image

Why is Career Readiness Important?

  • Career Readiness Competencies have been identified through extensive research and observations conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), with input from employers across all industries, as necessary skills for success in today’s workforce and other post-collegiate pursuits.
  • They have been adopted by UWRF Career Services and are referred to as Career Readiness Competencies, ‘NACE Competencies’ or ‘Career Competencies’.
  • Furthermore, the NACE Career Readiness Competencies aren't just important for your success post-graduation, they can also add to your accomplishments as a student, in courses, campus activities, internships, jobs and other opportunities.
  • If you want to prepare yourself for success and set yourself apart from your peers, it’s important to learn more about the NACE competencies and to take action and intentionally build on the competencies you already have and enhance those that need more development.

The Ready Report

The Ready Report is an exclusive tool designed for UWRF students, helping you log your meaningful experiences in and out of the classroom. By tracking your achievements, what you learned, how you felt about the experience and the career readiness competency you strengthened will enable you to tell your story more effectively when you are ready to look for an internship, or even that job after graduation! 

Career Ready Competencies

Explore below to learn about the eight competencies and sample behaviors associated with each.

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

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.
  • Multitask well in a fast-paced environment.

Communication: Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts and perspectives with people inside and outside an organization.

Sample Behaviors:

  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written and non-verbal/body language and 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 parties when needing guidance with assigned tasks.

Teamwork: 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 supervisors and team members/coworkers.

Technology: 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 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.

Leadership: 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.

Professionalism: 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.

Career and Self-Development: 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 inside and out of 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.

Equity and Inclusion: 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.

Selling You're Career Ready

Click the + sign below to access a career readiness interview activity.

Career Advising Fellows Program

Overview: Career Services selects up to ten faculty/instructional academic staff/academic staff members who serve as an academic adviser in some capacity within their role. The purpose of the position is to collaborate with Career Services and connect conversations and mentoring occurring during academic advising sessions to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Competencies.

Learn more and how to apply here.

Career Faculty Fellows Program

Overview: The Career Faculty Fellows Program was launched in 2022 to help scale career services and embed the career readiness competencies intentionally into the curriculum. The program helps Career Services extend its reach and allows students to see the intentional connection between course content and the world of work. The goal is to grant students the ability to provide evidence and articulate proficiency in the career readiness competencies to potential employers.   

Responsibilities: The responsibilities of the Faculty Fellows include:

  • Working to integrate the Career Readiness Competencies into each of the courses in which faculty are scheduled to teach. Ideally, two or more competencies would be integrated into each course.
  • Intentionally naming the Career Readiness Competencies within the course syllabi and connecting competencies to course content, learning outcomes and course assessment.
  • Incorporating a reflective assignment into each course, whether that is completing The Ready Report or other forms of reflection and assessment.
  • Making recommendations on how the career readiness competencies could be integrated into the broader departmental curriculum.
  • Helping showcase the integration of career readiness competencies into the curriculum on the department’s website.

This program helps remove boundaries between academics and career readiness. The goal is to create a career ecosystem where multiple faculty are joining the effort to help all students be prepared after graduation. We recruit for new fellows each spring. See the position description here.

Meet the 2023 Faculty Fellows


Portrait of Dave Bonko
Dave Bonko
Marketing Communications
Portrait of Molly Gerrish
Molly Gerrish
Teacher Education Faculty, URSCA Director
Portrait of Bob Zhiwei Zeng
Bob Zhiwei Zeng
Agricultural Engineering Technology

Career Services

187 Rodli Hall
River Falls, WI 54022