10 Easy Steps to Identify Your Transferable Skills


You might think that your summer job as a lifeguard will be of no use when applying to work for an IT firm, but it just might be exactly what the company is looking for. The point is, don’t rule out a certain skill just because you “think” it’s irrelevant for the job you’re applying. Many companies are looking for someone to give them a fresh take or provide a different outlook on a certain topic, procedure, etc.

Now, let’s help you figure out how to find your transferable skills.

Step 1: Specify your skills
List out every possible skill you have. Don’t worry about trying to decide if certain skills apply to the position you are applying. That step will come later. For now, just get down everything you can think of that you have in your skillset. With this step we also want to point out that skills are the expertises that you possess either from training or experience and should not be confused with knowledge and abilities. Knowledge being an understanding of a given subject and abilities being innate qualities of being able to do something.

Step 2: Take a look at your job experience
Highlight the skills that are the same across the board. This will be a great way to hone on some of your transferable skills.

Step 3: Performance History
Doing this helps you to see how you are perceived by others and what qualities have helped you in different roles and those that have not.

Step 4: Make Sure You are Making Yourself Happy
If you don’t like a certain skill you are capable of, then don’t list it. You want to have a list of skills that you enjoy doing. If you put a skill that you absolutely loath down as a transferable skill, you could be stuck doing it for forever, and that will not make you happy.

Step 5: Know your role and industry
You want to be sure to include skills relevant to the industry or position you are hoping to move into. For example, if you are coming into the HR field, you want to be sure communication, relationship management, or other key HR responsibilities are included on your list.

Step 6: Line up your skills with the skills required for the position
Finding common skills you have with the position you are hoping to soon acquire are definitely transferable ones. Be sure to complete this step before moving onto further steps.

Step 7: Group your skills so they’re easier to remember
Grouping things is a proven to help you have a better memory. Make sure you are grouping your skills appropriately. For example, you could have an organization grouping where you would include things such as time management and physical organization. This will help you be ready to combat interview questions when they are thrown at you quickly and effectively.

Step 8: Create a story for each group
Connect each grouping to an experience that you encountered where you used all of those skill sets. Being able to tell a story that displays your skill set will show your interviewer that you can go beyond just listing your skills.

Step 9: Rehearse your stories
This will help you get down your key points so you can effectively tell the story and get the point across in a few minutes rather than dragging it out and getting of track.

Step 10: Even if you aren’t asked, share your story
Say the interviewer doesn’t prompt you with a question that you feel can be answered with one of your stories. Not a problem, you can still show off the stories you have practiced at the end of the interview. Wait for your interviewer to ask the question “Would you like to share anything else?”

By being able to identify your transferable skills you are setting yourself up for success not only in future jobs, but in your current one as well. Identifying these skills could be beneficial to helping you land a promotion or transfer you’ve been waiting for.

Make sure you are constantly learning and educating yourself further so you can continue to add to your list!

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