Transferable skills are the types of skills you can apply to any industry you work in. Regardless of the industry or job, these skills work for you on a resume. For example, if you worked in a company where you interacted with customers on a daily basis and you are trying to land a job in sales, there may be some transferable skills.
While you might not be familiar with work experience in sales, you do have the ability to talk to and empathize with customers. You have the ability to discuss products, talk about solutions, and genuinely make customers feel confident in the product you are going to sell.
Being able to communicate, listen, and make customers feel confident are transferable skills that can carry across many industries, especially in today’s customer-centric economy. So, what are some ways to properly highlight these skills?
1. Identify transferable skills
First, you must identify skills to see if they will be transferable at your new job. Here are some of the most common skills:
- Computers and devices (we all use them)
- Listening and learning
Do you see what applies to you from this list? Think about the previous jobs you had held and see what skills above helped you achieve results. Be honest with yourself and ask others what they think as well. Ask yourself how any of the above skills helped you in the past.
2. Create a summary section and skills section
On your resume, write a brief summary in which you highlight your transferable skills. Make it easy for hiring managers to find your transferable skills because they will not be looking at resumes for very long; on average about six seconds.
In your skills section, add your strongest transferable skills accompanied with a brief description of how these skills are applicable. Here is an example of a skills section with transferable skills:
- Communication: Spent the past few years working with global teams communicating with staff in Europe, North America, and Asia. Excellent writing skills for explaining concepts and tasks in a concise manner.
- Time management: Tasked with finding new technology for helping employees work smarter and increase productivity.
3. Combine your resumes
The combination resume layout helps list your previous positions. Employers will have the chance to identify previous roles that match the description of the position they are looking to fill.
4. End in Style
Finish off your resume with a list of hobbies or interests that reinforces the strength of your transferable skills. For copywriters and bloggers, you can explain how much you love reading the works of well-known authors or thought leaders.
Changing careers should not feel stressful. If you write a resume that promotes your transferable skills, you will soon find your dream job!