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Five Skills to Learn if You're Looking for a Job

Public speaking: Consider polishing your presentation skills by joining your local chapter of Toastmasters International. The organization brings together groups of 20 people or fewer, who meet weekly to practice speeches and get feedback.

"It can help you in a future job but it will also improve your networking and help polish your pitch to prospective employers," says John McKee, founder of the Colorado-based consulting firm BusinessSuccessCoach.net.

LEED certification: Want to get ahead in real estate or construction? Consider seeking certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council. Applicants must learn about sustainable building and energy and water management to become certified, which costs $200.

Home sellers hire LEED-certified real estate agents to help them value eco-friendly improvements they've made. LEED-certified builders are tapping into demand for green development.

Peter McDougall is a freelance writer who lives in Freeport, Maine, with his wife and their dog.
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