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Career Changer Must-Haves

October 6, 2009

transferable skillsWhen you sit down to start creating a new resume, one of the first things you need to do is create a list of your transferable job skills. What exactly are transferable job skills? It is a term you probably hear over and over again (especially from us here in Career Services) but what does that phrase really mean? They are the skills and abilities that transfer from job to job no matter what kind of position you have held in the past. One of the things that make these skills so valuable is that they can be used in such a wide array of work settings.

Take the field of Healthcare for example. Let’s say for example that you have worked for five years as a salesperson in a department store. What kind of transferable skills would you have? Depending on the time of year, department stores can be insanely busy. One of your transferable skills would be that you are “Able to work in a fast-paced, high energy environment”, which could also be similar to working in a doctor’s office. If you were the manager of the department, you could add “Experience in managing and training other employees.” Anyone in a retail environment can also describe their experience dealing with clients by stating “Developed rapport with guests by providing outstanding customer service.”

If you are looking to make a transition into a business or office environment, consider the transferable skills that will be useful. If for example you worked in a restaurant previously, you can state “Developed an effective organizational system to maximize efficiency and forecast future supply needs.” Additionally as a restaurant employee you would also work frequently with customers so you could add “Provided top-notch guest services by making recommendations and ensuring customer satisfaction.”

As a final example, let’s say you are interested in making a transition from a customer service job to an information technology position. In this example it is important to focus specifically on the technology skills you were able to utilize. For example you could add, “Leveraged technology to provide efficient and effective service to clients.” Additionally mentioning your ability to “Utilize problem solving skills to trouble shoot technology challenges” will illustrate your confidence. You can also mention any projects or efforts in which you participated to encourage the use of technology. You could say, “Developed and presented technology training for coworkers to assist with office workflow.”

No matter what job you have held in the past, consider the experiences and skills developed making you a top candidate for a position in a different field. Career transitions are challenging but not impossible. Assist a potential employer by considering and thoroughly illustrating the transferable skills you have obtained that will make you a great addition to the team.

Feel free to email us at careerservices@onl.herzing.edu and check out Herzing University Online at http://www.herzingonline.edu/. Interested in hiring a Herzing graduate? Check out our list of job seekers by clicking here.

Happy Searching!
Ann and Kay

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