The world of work is returning to a ‘new normal’ as the COVID pandemic becomes less of a factor for most job seekers. If you haven’t done it already, now is the time to update your resume, add any details such as courses you’ve taken, make sure your last role is at the top of the list, and renew your job search. Some people have gone back to their original pre-pandemic roles but are now thinking of changing jobs/careers. Others are looking to now advance in their position as employers ramp up their businesses. Remember not to focus on your previous tasks and accountabilities and instead let your transferable skills take centre stage. These skills transcend a specific role or industry and are the combination to move into your next job opportunity or contribute to moving up with your current employer or within your current role.
Your technical skills, degrees, certifications, key job responsibilities and accountabilities are the bricks and mortar of your resume and demonstrate to prospective employers what you have accomplished throughout your career.
Employers also will be looking for evidence of ‘how’ you have done. For example, change management, critical thinking and communication skills that will benefit their organization. Transferable skills are ‘portable’ and add to your success no matter the role you are in.
Four tips to showcase your transferable skills:
- Think about all the feedback and inputs you have received over the years, including information from previous performance reviews, conversations with peers and leaders, or from networking you’ve done. What common feedback have you received over the years?
- Make a list of all of your past jobs, volunteer positions, new skills training you’ve done, important projects in school and any other role you’ve played over the years. Document and highlight each of your key accomplishments in those positions. Consider the actions you took that enabled you to achieve your goals. What were you doing differently or more effectively than those around you?
- Solicit feedback from people in your network – even networking you’ve done while unemployed. Ask them to think about when they see you operating at your very best. What kind of work are you doing, and how are you contributing? By doing this activity, you will notice a few essential skills that rise to the top as having contributed to your success over time. Those are the transferable skills that should be front and centre on your resume.
- Once you’ve identified your transferable skills, plan for how you effectively showcase them on your resume. Determine your skills down to the most fundamental level and use a common language to make your resume easy to read by any prospective employer and avoid the mistake of using organizational-specific terms. Use well-understood transferable skills, including communication skills, critical thinking and organization. A quick google search will yield many other examples, including communication skills (including listening, verbal, written), critical thinking (problem-solving, analytical thinking), organization, relationship management, project management, creativity, leadership, adaptability, and growth mindset and teamwork.
As a candidate in today’s broad market of opportunities, differentiate yourself by showcasing more than a laundry list of roles and accountabilities. Focus on what you can achieve for your current employer or next employer by promoting your transferrable skills!
Job Skills has more than 40 online workshops to assist you in your career exploration and job search situation. Watch for the dates and times to register for any of our online workshops, as well as lots of great links and resources to assist you!