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Write your resume like a pro.

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Transferable Skills are the Key to Changing Careers

If you’re considering changing careers, the most important things to identify are your transferable skills.

Transferable skills, also known as core competencies, are skills you already have in your arsenal – those you’ve acquired from past positions that are transferable to a different type of career, industry or work environment.

Transferable skills aren’t just limited to abilities you’ve gained in past work experiences, either. They are skills that have been developed in a variety of way, such as academic experience, volunteer work or even in hobbies, clubs, community organizations and much more. Identifying and recognizing transferable skills on a resume is a key component to any job-search strategy.

In general, skills, which are the building blocks of any position and career, can be divided into three different areas:

Skills Dealing with Things

Just as it sounds, these are the types of skills you’ve developed when working with a variety of items. Examples include following instructions, driving or operating vehicles, and constructing, repairing, using or working with items such as office equipment, computers, software, tools, instruments, machinery, vehicles, heavy equipment, materials, supplies, buildings, furniture, jewelry, clothing, food, animals and plants.

Skills Dealing with Data or Information

Do you have great attention to detail or are you skilled at working with numbers? If so, then you likely have transferable skills with information and/or data. Examples of these skills include analyzing data or facts, investigating, planning, researching, developing policies or procedures, keeping records, organizing information, creating, designing, programming, compiling data, calculating, computing, editing, filing, copying, prioritizing and classifying types of information or data.

Skills Working with People

Examples of these soft skills include interacting with types of people such as customers, vendors, patients, students, faculty, coworkers and colleagues. Examples of these interactions include consulting, negotiating, selling, serving, informing, entertaining, counseling, interviewing, coordinating, motivating or training.

If you’re unsure which of your skills are considered transferrable skills, there are a few things you can do. First, look at job descriptions for the careers you’re interested in to see what skills are considered desirable by employers in your target field. In addition, conduct informational interviews with people who work in industries that interest you. Once they have a good understanding of your work experience and job skills, they’ll be able to provide insight into which roles in their field may be relevant to you, and which of your skills are transferrable and valued by a prospective employer in their field.

Transferable skills are the most important skills to think about when you’re applying for a new position or embarking on a journey to change careers. Once you’ve determined what transferable skills you have and which you’d like to utilize in a new position, you’re one step closer to writing the perfect resume.

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Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!