How to Highlight Transferable Skills on your Resume

How to Highlight Transferable Skills on your Resume

We all have a variety of desirable skills to bring to the table. Discovering a job description that aligns perfectly with your current skills may seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This can be especially true if you are switching careers, diversifying your career path, or changing job titles in a brand-new industry.

How many times have you read the qualifications for a job and thought to yourself, "I could do this!" Even when the professional background requirements don't exactly match your history. 

There are many ways to showcase your past experiences that are relevant to this role and the job could still be attainable. Transferable skills are the name of the game. Keep reading to find out how to utilize your current skills. 

Defining Transferable Skills

The abilities and talents you can apply to various industries and jobs are described as transferable skills. If you worked in a customer service role within a consumer-facing business and wanted to take a position at an information technology start-up, there would be many skills you could rely on. 

Even if you are not totally familiar with the IT field and the technologies involved, you are capable of effectively communicating, actively listening to customer concerns, empathizing with clients and solving issues on the spot. 

Anyone who has worked in customer service potentially has excellent negotiation skills to share. All of these are transferable skills that would make you an asset to the team. If you have any type of customer service background including cashier, retail, food services, etc. you have a host of skills that can be utilized in many employment atmospheres. 

Some Transferable Skills Examples

Common transferable skills learned in customer service include problem-solving, conflict resolution, communication, active listening, teamwork and money handling experience. 

Additional Transferable Skills:

Time Management: Being able to open and close a store on time, getting to work on time, meeting deadlines, prioritizing tasks and minimizing distractions are essential to daily life and any job. You can improve your time management capabilities by improving your productivity in the workplace. 

Note where you are wasting time. Are you zoning out on the computer? Set a timer when you sit down to respond to emails or write that content. Are you spending too much time away from your direct job? Delegate tasks and get your team members involved more. Once you identify the issues in your daily tasks, it is much easier to brainstorm and find solutions. 

Analytical: Did you know that there are over 2.5 quintillion data bytes generated daily? Companies are seeking data analyst professionals who understand how to utilize this information. 

Many industries are relying on data analysts including education, the government, retail and healthcare. If you understand how to visualize, parse and collect data, you will be considered a huge asset to many people. 

Leadership: Excellent leaders understand how to delegate responsibilities, set SMART goals and motivate their staff. They are capable of taking the initiative and making strategic decisions quickly. Confident leaders are secure in the choices they make and regularly achieve the results they set out for. 

Budgeting: Regardless of the company, there are many expenses and costs associated. Showing that you can keep tabs on budgets and maintain a financial mindset can help you stand out above the crowd. 

Creativity: Having a unique way to brainstorm and solve issues is a big bonus for any company. If you love thinking of new ideas, slogans, products, or logos, be sure to share your thoughts enthusiastically. Creativity may just be what the company is looking for.

Teamwork: This skill is vital for any operation. Being able to collaborate with others and work toward common goals while respecting different opinions in the workplace is essential. 

Understand which role you often play on a team before you sit down for a job interview. This is a popular question, so ask yourself if you prefer to delegate tasks or if you like taking the responsibility of solving the problem?

What Is the Best Way To Highlight My Transferrable Skills On My Resume?

When you are updating your resume, start by listing your previous skills with the transferrable skills listed above. Figure out how you can quantify the options that translate.

You will want to prove each skill you list on your resume. Using generalized statements such as "I am a leader," are not very impactful if you are unable to back them up. Be more specific when describing your claims. Saying that you "led a team of six employees who collectively generated $750,000 in company sales," is much more telling. 

Being able to show your work with the articles you have written, the money you have raised, or how many deals you have closed is ideal for your employers to understand from a number’s perspective. 

Consider making a "Related Skills" section on your Resume

When you take the time to break down your transferrable skills and your past experience, it will be easier to consider future options and see all the ways you might fit into various roles. 

Looking at how your current skills can be utilized in this new role will help you identify why you are an asset to the team. Being capable of communicating your skills and highlighting that you are eager to learn new ones can make you stand out above the crowd. 

You don’t need to embellish anything. Simply be honest and look at the challenges that come with this role and the life experience you bring to the table that will help you succeed.