Starting a new career can be difficult. Whether you're switching from one career to another or are entering the workforce for the first time, it can often feel like the odds are stacked against you. You might be asking yourself, "How am I supposed to get my foot in the door when I don't have the skills they're looking for?" Well, you might be surprised to find out you have more of these skills than you think.
Transferable skills are talents and abilities gained from previous experience that can be used across a variety of careers. Some basic examples include active listening, time management, and resolving conflicts. These skills can be acquired from any number of sources, ranging from previous jobs to volunteering and even your hobbies or education.
In this lesson, we'll go over how to identify your transferable skills and the best ways to represent them on your resume.
If you've held a job, internship, or volunteer position in the past, a good first step is to list the duties you regularly performed and distill them to transferable skills. For example, let's say you held a job as a cashier where you assisted customers and handled a cash register. These duties could be distilled to transferable skills like building customer relationships, managing money, and listening.
If you're having trouble using the above method to identify your skills, you can also read through a list of transferable skills like the one in this article from The Balance. Browsing through it, you can pick out any skills you feel you've previously developed.
Regardless of how you go about identifying your transferable skills, it's important that you're able to back them up with past experience. If an employer asks you about them in an interview, it's important that you're able to justify them with concrete examples. You don't want to misrepresent yourself.
Once you've identified some of your transferable skills, you'll need to add them to your resume. This may seem like a difficult or awkward task, but there are a number of ways you can go about it.
If you don't have much professional work experience, one method is to include a key skills section on your resume. This allows you to format your transferable skills in an organized and easy-to-read manner, without having to spread them out across your limited experience. If you decide to do this, it's important to include examples of how you've demonstrated these specific skills in the past.
Another thing to consider is which of your transferable skills to include on your resume. You'll want to be selective and choose only a few skills that seem like they're more relevant or impressive to employers. Everyone has transferable skills, but what's going to set you apart from the rest?
Transferable skills are often just as valued and important as direct job experience. They're highly sought after by employers and can greatly contribute to one's ability to be a successful employee. If you frame your skills in a confident and persuasive manner, employers will recognize your talent in no time. Best of luck!