Saturday, December 18, 2010

Identifying Career Changing Skills by Barbara LaBier


By Barbara LaBier

Identifying transferable skills is necessary when changing careers.

These skills can be used to market yourself to employers during interviews as well as writing cover letters and resumes. Transferable skills are universal and are used to describe experience in every occupation regardless of the type of work. They are more important than job-related skills which are used to describe one type of work since transferable skills are unrelated to past employment or educational experience.

You can use transferable skills to create a self-inventory that can be adapted to evaluate and describe any working situation. Put a check mark next to each of 10 skills that match your background and review in your mind the tasks you’ve associated with this skill.
Study a job description and the key words to determine the type of career that you want to apply for. Do a search on or other job search engines to review job titles and match them against your background. Highlight keywords that you can use in a new context to describe your experience.

Learn the jargon or buzz words of your potential career. When you review the Transferable Skills Sheet located in a the same article located at, notice that each list of skills has a heading. In the first column you’ll see Analytical and underneath the title are descriptive key words you can use to describe your tasks in your resume. The table and columns contain transferable skills as well as specific examples of how the skills have been used. Putting each keyword in the context where you have previously used it on the job or to highlight activities such as part-time work, internships, special projects, volunteer work, and education is a great help when it comes to writing your resume and cover letter. Transferable skills are also used in statements to answers competency based questions for knowledge, skills and ability questions (KSA’a) that are part of a Federal resume or other questionnaires that may be part of other applications.( Unfortunately the Transferable Skill Sheet is a table  that is not transfered properly inside this blog.

You can find the article and table at

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