Sell your skills: How transferable skills and soft skills can boost a career change

Sell your skills: How transferable skills and soft skills can boost a career change

by Justin Williams, on July 20, 2020
Are you thinking about changing up your job – or applying for jobs in a new field?

You’re not alone. COVID-19 has had a big impact on the way we look at our jobs.

Some people who have lost jobs are looking for a new career.

Other people see job openings that look interesting, but the position may not be a perfect match for their specific work history.

But your work history is more than a list of job titles and dates. Skills you learn in the workplace every day can often apply to a wide range of careers. These types of skills are called transferable skills and soft skills.

A positive attitude, flexibility, self-motivation, and reliability can go a long way toward getting the position you want. 

Your challenge is to show that value to a prospective employer or interviewer.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are skills that can carry over, or transfer, from one position or field to another.

Say you have been a restaurant manager, but you want to shift gears and work in retail. There are plenty of management skills learned at one job that would apply to another. In this case, transferable skills may include working with the demands of a diverse group of people, scheduling, critical thinking, managing a budget, and managing inventory.

Some other examples of transferable skills include:
  • Technical skills
  • Multitasking
  • Research
  • Leadership
  • Analytical Skills
  • Project management
Look at the job posting and see what types of skills are needed. In your cover letter, describe how you possess that skill, how you have used it in the past, and how you think it applies to the job you want.

Soft skills

While transferrable skills typically refer to more task-specific skills such as project management, soft skills generally refer to skills that are more about your attitude toward work and people.

A positive attitude, openness to change, enthusiasm, and the ability to get along with co-workers are all soft skills that are wanted for almost any job.

Other soft skills can include:
  • Communication skills
  • Ambition
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Self-motivation
  • Being reliable
  • Being punctual
  • Strong work ethic
Your cover latter and interview are the opportunities show express how you have used your soft skills to benefits your workplace and teams. Give examples of creative problem solving, being a self-starter and being willing to go the extra mile to reach your goals.

So, don't let your job history define your job future! This is a great time to look at your transferrable and soft skills and explore options that you may not have considered in the past.

If you're looking for a new opportunity that will fit your transferable skill set (and your great attitude), check out the LandrumHR Job Board. We have new job listings almost every day in a wide range of occupations.
Justin Williams

Justin Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Maine. He has over six years of Human Resources experience, two of which he spent with CVS Corporate as a Senior Coordinator helping to staff for over 400 locations. As an HR Specialist for LandrumHR, Justin assists talented applicants with finding great employment opportunities and is looking forward to helping you with your job search!

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