Choosing Transferable Skills to Add to Your Resume

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When you?re in the midst of switching careers, you may feel a bit concerned about just how you can show that you are qualified for a new position with your old skills. Although it?s true that you may not have all of the qualifications a company is seeking, you probably have some great transferable skills.

What are transferable skills? These are skills that can be transferred from your old career to the new one. The key is in identifying these skills so that you can add them to your resume. Here are some tips for getting this done:

1. Read the Job Posting Carefully
First and foremost, it?s a good idea to sit down and really take a good look at the job posting to see what it is the employer is looking for in a candidate. Most job postings are fairly thorough, giving you a good idea of what you should bring to the table. Look at what they want from you, then think back through your job experiences to determine what aligns with their goals.

2. Make the Most of Close Matches
If you are trying to find ways to show that you?re qualified for a position although you have no background in the field, you could benefit greatly from close matches. For instance, if you?re a former travel agent and are now applying for an executive assistant position, make the most of your ability to understand booking flights since doing so for your new boss is one of the requirements of the job.

3. Try to Find Someone Who Works/Worked in the Position
In addition to looking at a job description, it?s good to check through resume sites or LinkedIn to see if you can pinpoint the person who worked in the position before you. If they?ve left their resume open to the public, you have a great opportunity to gain insight into what the position entails and how your current skills relate to what the company is looking for.

4. Ask People in the New Field for Help
Take advantage of your networking skills to connect with people in your new field via LinkedIn or other networks. Find out which skills they need for their jobs, and ask how your current skills could apply to a new position.

5. Look for Skills Outside of Work
Your volunteer efforts and personal hobbies could help you immensely as you look for skills that apply to a new position. For example, volunteering as a Girl Scouts troop leader could make you a great salesperson because you?re not only a leader but have the ability to sell some mean cookies!

Many people have switched fields over the course of their career?and you can too. By identifying the right skills to add to each resume you write, you can help place a greater focus on why you?re qualified for the job and less on the fact that you have little background in the field.


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  • Kingston Animashaun
    Kingston Animashaun
    All I can say is thank you!  You have shown me a lot.
    That's really helpful for jobseekers like me.  Thank you very much
  • Valentina Williams
    Valentina Williams
    This article was timely because I am currently trying to obtain a career in healthcare but most of my work background is warehousing. It's a little nerving. I know what to do now. Thanks for the article.  
  • Jannie DuPree
    Jannie DuPree
  • Naveen Kumar
    Naveen Kumar
    What would be the proper answer if interviewer asks: Why do want to leave this job?
  • Trevion
    Got it! Thanks for helping me out!
  • Reegan
    Got it! Thanks a lot for helping me out!
  • Wiseman
    Thanks for sharing. What a pleasure to read!
  • Johnette
    Kudos! What a neat way of thinking about it.
  • Kasara
    People like you get all the brains. I just get to say thanks for he answer.
  • Storm
    You are the one with the brains here. I’m waiting for your posts.
  • Honney
    That saved me. Thanks for being so sensible!
  • Honney
    That saves me. Thanks for being so sensible!
  • Roger K.
    Roger K.
    The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject!
  • Yvonne H.
    Yvonne H.
    Dear Jessica;You are absolutely right in all of the advice that you give.  I am unemployed at this time and have been trying to do exactly what you advice but unfortunately a lot of times people only help those that they know. I however, will not let that stop me, hinder my search or even get my down for that matter.  I am enrolled at GTCC for LCSW/PSY.I also do volunteer work at the Women's Resource Center as a Resource Counselor.  I have attended numerous workshops in relation to my career field, should I add these to my resume?.

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