When moving into a new industry, many workers are worried about how they are going to make it. After all, a new industry may not be related to what you have experienced for years. The skills and experience that you have may feel as though you are not a strong candidate. However, thinking like this is going to hurt your chances of landing the job that you are interested in having. The good news is that there are several skills and experience that can be transferred to other industries, even if they are not related in any way. The key is how you present this to those potential employers that you are interviewing with or contacting in some way.
What are Transferable Skills?
In essence, these are skills that are going to transfer to any type of work that you are doing. And remember, that these skills don’t always have to come from paid positions. You can get skills from volunteering and other types of jobs as well. There are several types of skills that you can bring to the table that are going to go across several industries. These skills include:
- Communication skills: Almost any type of job that you have is going to involve talking with someone. Whether this is talking with other colleagues, customers, kids or whatnot. You are going to find that the communication skills that you possess are always going to transfer over to any type of job that you have.
- Problem solving skills: You have solved problems throughout your life, not just at the job that you previously had. If you have yet to solve a problem, then you are like a unicorn in the business world! You have problem solving skills even if you did nothing more than work at a childcare center dealing with kids who may have problems or issues with others.
- Planning skills: Planning skills are always going to be present in any type of job that you are doing. Chances are you have planned what to do during your day to get the aspects of the job done.
- Overcoming challenges: You have come across many challenges and risen above then with your communication skills and problem solving skills. This is a skill that you can easily present and showcase as one of the reasons that you should be hired.
- Teamwork: This is a skill that may not apply to everyone, but in most cases it does. You have worked with colleagues, and for those who may be coming straight out of school have worked with groups for a project. Many employers are interested in those who can prove that they work well with others as it shows they would be a good hire!
How to Make Experience Transferable and Relevant
What have you been doing in the past few years? Sit down and write down the jobs that you have held. Then take a look at these. Chances are, you are going to find that several of the skills that are mentioned beforehand are going to be seen in these positions. Consider this:
- What skills did this job experience required?
- Did you learn a new skill by any of the job experiences that you have?
- Showcase how you succeeded with your experiences.
The key with your experiences is to relate this to the job that you are wanting. If you dealt with customers in retail and are trying to get a job in the medical field, you can showcase your experience in dealing with angry customers as a way for how well you will deal with patients.
Tips for Showcasing these Skills and Experience
With your resume, you are going to want to include a list of skills that you bring to the table. Most resumes include at least 4 or more of the skills that they have. And remember, you only want to list those skills that you know that you have. During an interview, you may be asked specifically about a skill that you listed to ensure that you are true to your word.
When it comes to your experiences, you are going to want to write down your job experience with a line or two that details what you did. Remember, to use words that are going to attract attention. For example, if you were a human resource person you may include that you managed the employee engagement app as a way to show you definitely have people skills and experience. Or if you are on the tech side of things you may express how you’ve contributed to digital transformation at your last company.
When talking about these experiences and/or skills, be honest and go in-depth with your interviewer. You want to show that you would be the best option for the job, even if it is a new industry that you have never worked in before. In fact, the more professional you showcase yourself, you may make an impression that shows you are better than other applicants.