The Importance of Transferable Skills When Looking for a Job

Are you looking at your resume right now in dismay? Perhaps you have some jobs on there, but none of them seem to be the right ones to highlight in order to land your next job. Maybe they are embarrassing or seemed useless at the time or you did things you aren’t exactly proud of. While it may seem like a no-brainer to take them off your resume and go with experiences that are more relevant, the reality is far deeper than that and boils down to one phrase: transferable skills.

Transferable skills are skills taken from all aspects of you life-not just your job-that can be applied to a career or job. They can be taken from sports, volunteer experience, hobbies, your lifestyle and yes, jobs that seemed crappy at the time. Employers look for transferable skills because they are useful in all manner of situations, they show you are well rounded, and they give insight into who you really are and how well you’d fit in a company environment.

Gain a Competitive Advantage with a Professional Resume

Transferable Skills to Add to Your Resume

Here is a list of the top transferable skills to include on your resume:

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Time management
  • Learning skills
  • Computer skills
  • Listening skills
  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Problem Solving

These are all skills that can be found in any work environment and pretty well any other environment as well.

So, for example, let’s say that for a year you worked fast food. This is a pretty common place for anyone to end up and it’s also one that many an aspiring lawyer, doctor or teacher would prefer to erase. But don’t wipe it off your resume. Working fast food gives you many of these transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, time management and organization which are easily shifted to working in an office.

Did you work in a clothing store? Then you probably did some creative work, teamwork and communication skills. Did you help seniors learn computer skills? Then you have computer, listening, organization, creativity and problem solving (among others!).

The point is, don’t discount anything you’ve done in your life, even if you have things you’d rather not think about because they all gave you the ability to grab up some skills that are useful in jobs you’d prefer to have. Be creative and actually think about what you learned from the jobs you hated; you might be surprised to discover that they gave you some gems of skills that another employer would be happy to have on the team.

Good luck and never put yourself down for the work you do!