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Transferable Skills: Your Resume and Employer

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Are you willing to dump your skills gathered through prior work or everyday life experiences just for the sake of career change? Do you really want to put off the time, money, and efforts spent to acquire those skills? Obviously not! The skills and experience gained through previous work experiences can and should be utilized as transferable skills when applying for new employment opportunities, whether it is related to your field or not.

Suggested Reading: Developing Transferable Skills: Enhancing Your Research and Employment Potential

What is the basic idea of the transferable skills?

Transferable skills are considered to be the skills, talents, and special abilities of a candidate that are acquired through past employments, part-time work, education, freelancing projects, home businesses, hobbies, volunteer tasks, sports, and other life events.

The importance of transferable skills is not only limited to those who are looking for a career transformation, but also those who have been recently graduated from college. Transferable skills have proved their significance during difficult employment situations like job elimination, forced termination, long employment gaps or re-joining the industry after a prolonged time interval.

Many candidates have managed to leverage their skills and experience into a new role or interview process. Some of them have also managed to get settled in their newly acquired jobs.


Highlighting your transferable skills before the employer

The first step is to create a list of all of your skills and experience.  This should be done every six months whether or not you are looking for a job to ensure you don’t forget anything. After you have successfully created your transferable skills by going through your employment history and life experiences, you are now ready to highlight these skills on your resume and in interviews.

Hiring managers may not recognize or fully understand your skill set without specifically highlighting the skills on your resume. During an interview, you will want to highlight those skills and experience that most closely aligns with the job opportunity. You can also consider drafting a skills-based resume (or as a supporting document) which can highlight your transferable skills. Skills-based lists are expected to be used in combination and functional resumes in more technical jobs (such as technology, engineering and the sciences).

Examples of transferable skills:

      • Leadership – Managing individuals, especially project based work.
      • Time management – Roles which have deadlines (such as accounting or Project Management).
      • Prioritization – The ability prioritize tasks as necessary in daily work or project work.
      • Delegation – Knowing when (and how) to delegate tasks to coworkers.
      • Listening Skills
      • Communication – Having good written and oral communications skills (both to superiors and subordinates).
      • Good Analytical Skills
      • Team Work / Training – Training team members in order for them to gain knowledge about new or existing techniques.

career Tip of the Day: Resume Writing Tips for College Students

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Good luck in your search,


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