There is definitely something to be said for having experience within a specific industry, but many times a company is looking for fresh talent with the right mix of job skills and outside experience. Being able to sell yourself to an experienced recruiting staff or employer is very important if you are trying to break into a new industry. Regardless of the specific reasons why you are looking at positions that are outside of your current industry, here is how you can pinpoint your top transferable job skills to focus on during interviews:
Even though this may sound obvious, far too many job seekers simply gloss over taking the time to really inventory their skillset. By taking the time to get all of your skills down on paper, you will put yourself in the best position to accurately analyze exactly what you bring to the table for a potential employer. To get started, think of your strengths within the six broad types of transferable job skills - basic, people, clerical, research, technical, and management.
Staying within the same industry doesn't mean you have had the exact same position for your entire career. Chances are that your roles have changed throughout the years, take time to evaluate at each of those roles and determine which skills you have brought along with you.
No one is the best at everything. While the stress of looking for a new job can cause someone to feel like they have to be amazing at anything a recruiter asks about, the reality is you are going to be much more appealing as a candidate if you have a handful of specific skills you can focus on. Be prepared to validate these skills by sharing examples of how you acquired them or how they have been useful in previous situations.
Steps one and two will likely result in a long set of skills. And even with the editing down you do in step three, you will probably still have a lot of potential skills that you could focus on. That is why it is important to continue this process by matching the skills on your list to what is in demand for the type of position that you want to secure.
Finding alignment between your skillset and what employers want for a specific position will allow you to make a very compelling pitch for yourself. All that is left is to find a way to communicate those skills on your resume and in interviews. By creating a compelling story about yourself that includes concrete examples of your top transferable skills, you will immediately set yourself apart from other candidates who are less detailed and more generic.
If you're planning to make a career change, using these five steps to pinpoint your top transferable job skills will help put you in position to secure a great new job in the near future.
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