A transferable skill is an ability learned on one career path that can be applied to a different career path.
Leadership is a great example of a transferable skill because it is useful regardless of the industry in which it is applied. Someone who was an effective store manager for Old Navy should be able to apply the leadership skills they gained in that role to a leadership position in manufacturing or construction.
In contrast, a non-transferable skill is an ability that was learned in one job or industry that isn’t useful in another. For instance, the ability to write computer code in C++ isn’t useful for a program manager. Non-transferable skills tend to be specific technical abilities, while transferable skills tend to be soft skills gained through real-world experience.
If you are changing careers, it is essential to be able to showcase your transferable skills in a job interview.
Laying the Foundation
Prior to the job interview, you have to convey your transferable skills in your resume and cover letter. Both documents have to highlight the abilities and experience the company is trying to find in candidates for the position. This includes abilities and achievements that any company would want for the open position.
With regards to your resume and cover letter, don’t assume your reader knows anything. Connect the dots and make it simple for them to see your transferable abilities, as well as how they relate to the job. For instance, you can highlight leadership ability by mentioning a project you successfully took the lead on.
In the Interview
When responding to interview questions, you want to try to find areas where you can show your interviewer how past accomplishments indicate transferable abilities. For example, if you’re applying to a business analyst position, you should discuss times when you spotted issues and came up with effective process improvements.
If you’re able to connect the dots in an interview, a hiring manager will get to see the whole picture, and it will go a long way in the direction of helping them feel confident about wanting to hire you.
Let Superior Resource Group Help You Change Careers
At Superior Resource Group, we regularly help people change their career paths by showing them how to showcase their transferable skills. Please contact us today to get you started on a career change!