In 2020, many people saw their career paths shift.
They watched their industries collapse right before their eyes.
They were forced to face the reality that they needed a backup plan, and they needed it fast.
As the unemployment rate peaked at nearly 15%, those who lost their jobs needed to embrace the job market—whether they liked it or not.
Change Is Inevitable
Changing plans are a part of life. As humans we need to be adaptable and flexible to the fluctuating job market.
If you’ve only been in one industry or role your entire career, how can you articulate that you’re a fit for something else?
In any job, you develop skills that are specifically related to your position and your company. These include familiarity with proprietary software or how to sell a unique product.
But what about the more broad skills you’ve developed?
Those are your transferable skills.
What Is a Transferable Skill?
Transferable skills is a term used in recruiting and hiring to refer to relevant traits the candidate possesses to the position they’re applying for. And it doesn’t have to be an exact match.
Here are some examples of skills and how to put a transferable spin on it to ace the job interview:
Your past role included extensive work with a CRM called Salesforce, but the role you are applying for uses Sugar. When communicating this to a recruiter or hiring managers, you can say something like…
“While I haven’t worked with Sugar before, I have extensive experience with Salesforce and was part of the implementation at X Company. I am confident that I can quickly learn a new CRM and use it effectively.”
You worked in HR, but you are now looking for a role in sales. You can say something to the interviewer like…
"I worked in HR for a number of years and carried out policy implementation, so I’m used to a hard sell. I have strong people skills and a customer service mindset, which I can apply to the sales process.”
If you worked for a tech company for the past decade, but you’re looking to transition into a role in the healthcare industry, try saying something like…
“Although this would be a change in industry for me, I am confident that many of my skills can be applied to the healthcare industry. I am comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, and I exhibit strong attention to detail, which is necessary in this business.”
What’s the Next Step?
Start by listing your skills—all of them—then, circle the ones that are most applicable to your ideal role. Once you’ve gathered that information, go through your résumé and LinkedIn profile to ensure that those skills are visible and prominent.
In every interview you take, make sure to highlight how you see yourself successfully navigating this change and how you have the skills to fill the position in question.
Be confident in what you’ve developed already, and continue to work on improving and refining your skills to prepare for future bumps in the road.
At TransPerfect, we believe in helping people find careers, not jobs. We’d love to hear about your transferable skills! Visit our career page to see what positions we are currently hiring for.