Ask A Coach: What's the big deal about transferable skills?

Sharon Keane '84

Meet Sharon on IrishCompass.

"Honestly, transferable skills are undervalued by most of us, but we'd be better served if we understood them as the marketplace does. It's widely reported (and practiced) that an average working person in the United States changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime. That's a lot of opportunities to navigate successfully. A key to your success is in developing your full skill set and being able to articulate them.

Good news! We have all developed skills that we can "transfer" or utilize in another position, job, or industry. This professional skill set includes "hard skills" like data analysis and coding and "soft skills" such as communication, creativity, and teamwork. 

Quick tips to differentiate yourself in the marketplace through your transferable skills:

1. Understand your own transferable skill set - thoroughly. Use this checklist.   
2. Master communicating these skills to match what the marketplace seeks (e.g., managers, employers, recruiters. etc..). In other words, help them connect the dots between your skills and their needs
3. Incorporate into your networking conversations, elevator pitch, resume, cover letter, and interviews. This holds whether you are in an active job search or not.
Your transferable skills may be the ticket to your next career opportunity. Make the most of it!

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