Highlight Transferrable Skills to Switch Careers

John Krautzel
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When you decide to switch careers, you have a set of challenges to face when it comes to identifying what career you want, creating a set of goals and learning new skills. Luckily, transferable skills are something you can identify and highlight with employers as you jumpstart your new career, regardless of which industry you choose. Discover how to show an employer you have the right skills for the job.

Identify Your Top Transferable Skills

Transferable skills, such as communication, leadership, teamwork, collaboration and problem solving, are necessary for most jobs in virtually every industry. Identify the top transferable skills you possess by asking people who know really well for their input. These skills do not have to be related to your professional life. For example, if you set a monthly budget and yearly budget for your household and you stick to that budget, you have goal-setting, leadership and organizational skills that may work in any position.

After you talk to your friends and colleagues, write down your five most prominent transferable skills. These are the ones you should highlight to employers as you try to change careers.

How to Show an Employer You Have the Right Skills

Start by perusing the job description. You should see transferable skills somewhere in the qualifications section. Use these keywords precisely as presented in the job description to capture the attention of a recruiter or HR department.

Using keywords indicates you speak the same language as the employer. Change your headline and summary in LinkedIn to include some of the skills that employers seek. A cover letter that accompanies your resume should hone in on a specific talent you have that makes you a perfect fit for the position. For example, state how your collaborative skills as a project manager at an electrical engineering firm transfer to a marketing manager position because you know how to bring people together to achieve short- and long-term goals.

Your resume serves as a summary of your professional accomplishments. When you switch careers, consider creating a functional resume instead of a chronological one. A functional resume puts your most relevant skills first, regardless of when you had the job. For example, you might list a job you had five years ago at the top of your resume, rather than your most current one, if you learned how to solve unique problems at the position in a management role. Assess the skills needed by reviewing the qualifications in the job description, and then put those skills towards the top of your resume.

Transferable skills make the transition from one career to another easier. That's because many employers want candidates to have these abilities. Know how to showcase these skills to capture the attention of hiring managers and land more interviews.

Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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