How Can A Career Changer Best Present His Or Her Skills?

Create a resume that focuses on transferable skills related to current career objectives.

Typically a candidate changing careers does not have the apparent experience needed to make a strong first impression. Transferable skills that are relevant to your current career objectives need to be presented in your resume to show an employer what skills you are able to contribute to the organization.

Transferable skills are the ones you have acquired from past experiences that are transferable to a different type of job, industry, or environment. These skills may have been developed in many different areas — from past work experience, academic endeavors, volunteer activities, or in various vocational settings which may include hobbies, clubs, community organizations, associations, etc.

In order to better understand transferable skills, let’s look at skills in general. Skills are the building blocks of a job and can be divided into the following three areas:

Skills with Things: Examples of skills with things include using or working with office equipment, computers, software, tools, instruments, machinery, vehicles, heavy equipment, materials, supplies, buildings, furniture, jewelry, clothing, food, animals, and plants.

Skills with Information or Data: Examples of skills with information or data include planning, researching, developing policies or procedures, keeping records, organizing information, creating, designing, programming, compiling data, calculating, editing, filing, copying, prioritizing, and classifying types of information or data.

Skills with People: Examples of skills with people include the types of people with whom you interacted, such as customers, vendors, patients, students, faculty, coworkers, colleagues, (and whether as individuals, groups, or teams); and the nature of your interaction with people, such as consulting, negotiating, selling, serving, informing, entertaining, counseling, interviewing, coordinating, motivating, or training.

When using a transferable skill in a career transition, the degree of specificity used to describe the skill should normally be in proportion to how close the new environment matches the past environment.

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