Some highly specialized skills are useful in only one type of job; they’re important, but they are not transferable to another career. Transferable skills are ones that can be used across different roles or industries. For example, skills like content creation, public speaking, leadership, time management, and problem-solving are useful in almost any job. Employers value employees who have these kinds of skills.
The Importance of Transferable Skills
Transferable skills are important for recent graduates who are entering the workforce for the first time. Through their life experience and their education, these people have gained skills that will help them in an entry-level job. For example, someone who led a student organization in college can say they have leadership and organizational skills that will help them in their first job.
Identifying Transferable Skills You Already Have
Depending on the industry you want to move into, you should focus on different transferable skills. To determine which skills are most important to your new industry, you should look up job descriptions for open positions in your new industry. You could also ask people who already work there what kind of skills they find themselves using the most for their job. Doing these things will give you a better idea of what skills you already have that will be useful in this new industry, and also what skills you need to develop.
Additionally, you can take some time to really think about your life experience and education. What skills have you learned in internships, student organizations, volunteer experiences, and in your classes? As you consider this, think specifically about any hard skills or soft skills you might have gained through all these experiences. Hard skills (technical skills), like programs or software, can be transferable skills, just as soft skills, like communication and people skills.
Thinking about transferable skills you already have is a great place to start moving into a new industry.
Advertising Your Transferable Skills During Your Job Search
As you apply for jobs, your transferable skills will need to come through in your application process. Having a strong set of transferable skills will make you a better candidate for the job. One way to demonstrate your transferable skills in your application process is to give examples. You can give examples of instances in which you used your transferable skills. For instance, tell about a time when you successfully led a team on a project. An interview is the best place to tell these kinds of stories. Another way to showcase your transferable skills is to list them on your resume. You can have a “skills” section on your resume in which you list transferable skills and any specific skills you have that would be useful for the job you are applying for. These transferable skills are especially important if you don’t have much experience in the industry. When you let potential employers know about the skills you have, you show them you will be a good candidate for the job.
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