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Transferable Skills: What to Highlight

10 Feb, 2012

Transferable Skills: What to Highlight

We all know how important it is to highlight relevant skills and accomplishments on your resume as a means to generating interviews. Sometimes though, you might see or hear of an opportunity that you would like to apply for but you are unsure how to convey your experiences in a way that makes sense for the role. In some instances, you might have the skills but they are not as apparent. That is when it is important to demonstrate your transferable skills to a new role. There are many competencies that can be applied to almost every position and every industry. Consider the following when applying:

Organizational Skills: It might seem obvious – what employer isn’t looking for someone who is organized? Well, saying you are organized and actually demonstrating that you have the skill is two different things. The best way to highlight your organizational acumen on a resume is to provide an example of something you did that streamlined a process or improved the way business was conducted. Think about your contributions in your positions. You might be able to come up with some metrics that resulted from your organizational abilities.

Problem Solving: Can you identify and develop a process to solve business problems? If so, this highly desirable skill is transferable to just about any position. Approaching a problem requires analytical skills and logic. If you can understand and analyze and issue, and subsequently identify and implement an alternative process for resolution, your competency in this area will enable you to establish a plan to achieve future success. Such skills are highly desirable and closely related to decision-making – another important component in business. An example of how you successfully resolved an issue will set you apart from others who get stuck on problems without the ability to plan and architect solutions for resolution.

Technical Acumen: Can you troubleshoot technical matters? This important skill will allow you to add value in a dynamic environment. Given the role that technology plays in our lives – particularly our professional lives, someone who can diagnose an issue and quickly make sure systems are running effectively is a valued and welcome resource. Just because your role might not be technical, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reference your ability in this area. A well-rounded professional who can help out beyond the scope of his own role is definitely an added benefit in virtually any environment.

Foreign Language Skills: Make no mistake we live and work in a global environment. More and more companies have operations in other countries. Speaking one or more foreign languages will quickly set you apart. The ability to communicate with people as part of conducting business abroad will continue to grow in importance in the coming years. If this is a skill you have, make sure to highlight it early on in your resume and in your cover letter.

Interpersonal Communication: The value of communicating both verbally and in writing should never be dismissed! How you communicate information to others can serve as a critical component to your success within an organization. If you are able to write effectively and work well as part of a team, you will be highly effective and an instrumental part of getting things done. A good way to highlight interpersonal communication is by revealing how you worked as part of a team to share ideas and information as part of working toward a common goal.

Remember, no matter what your experience, there is always things that you can share with a potential hiring manager to demonstrate your value. The amalgamation of your hard and soft skills should be referenced to provide a complete picture of the value you can add. Keeping notes about your positive attributes and skills will enable you to review opportunities and structure your documents with relevant details to support your job search efforts.

Debra Wheatman

Want to learn more about this career professional? Check out a full list of career articles, contact information, and biographical info by visiting her Career Experts member profile. LEARN MORE

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