Job Quest Underway? Discover Your Buried Treasure | Transferable Skills As Career Doubloons

It’s unnerving to be out of work. Starting the job hunt can be gut-wrenching. We can even get confused about how to answer these simple questions:

  • What do know how to do?
  • What jobs should I apply for?
  • How do I get started? 

The temptation is to slap together a resume with a chronology of past jobs, titles, and duties. Then, with guns blazing, fire them out to every job board, classified ad, or on-line posting. Ugh!

And the hunt goes on!  

Interesting, isn’t it? Companies are hunting for a great candidate while you’re hunting for a job. So you’re both in the same boat, looking for treasure.

Here’s the problem: You’re focused on all the tasks you did in the past and the company is looking for skilled candidates for the future. Their quest is for the skills you can transport to their open job.

The solution is to figure out and give names to the skills you have in your wheelhouse. Although it’s not that difficult, why don’t most job seekers do this? It’s because:

  • They don’t have the insight.
  • They don’t know the terms.
  • They resist acknowledging their own value. 

Amazing, isn’t it? We have skills that we’ve been successful using. But when we have to assign “important sounding” words to describe them, we start to feel like an imposter.

My advice: “Get over it!” We need to prepare and accept a solid inventory of our transferable skills to get the best job. Those skills are the treasure we own and the treasure a company wants. So don’t keep it buried!

Make your resume your treasure chest. 

If you don’t market your transferable skills, it’s as though they don’t exist. Your resume is where all your skill doubloons are stored. 

Start by answering this question: What do you know how to do and how have you put your skills to work to make an impact? Your past behavior predicts your future behavior.

You can find out which transferable skills companies are looking by reading job postings and job descriptions closely. Go on-line and find out what different types of jobs require.

Look within yourself and inventory your transferable skills. Write them down and then highlight the ones that are your strongest suit.  Those are the ones you want to showcase in your resume.

Here’s a categorized starter list of transferable skills that should help:

Communication: persuasiveness, negotiating, speaking, writing, training, influencing

Interpersonal: teamwork, coaching, customer service, conflict management, employee development/engagement

Leadership: managing, supervising, motivating, decisiveness, problem-solving, delegating, integrity, innovation

Technical: analysis, data management, accounting, planning and organizing

Professional: ethics, integrity, adaptability, tolerance for stress, ability to learn, dependability, attention to detail, initiative

The transferable skills in your resume show the recruiter where the treasure is—in you! When you define yourself and your work using these words, you will see yourself in a brighter light. That’s how a hiring manager will see you too!

Keep digging.

Our transferable skills keep growing. So we need to keep our skills inventory updated. Each new job enriches our skills stash, making us more enticing candidates for bigger and better opportunities.

Acknowledging our transferable skills is immensely liberating and confidence building. Our business fitness is measured by how prepared and ready we are to make our next move.  When it comes to our transferable skills, we don’t have to be the best ever with any of them. We just need to be the best a company can find for what they are willing to pay. After all, treasure chests come in all sizes!

What transferable skills have been your greatest asset? Where did they get you? Thanks for sharing!

4 thoughts on “Job Quest Underway? Discover Your Buried Treasure | Transferable Skills As Career Doubloons

  1. I’ve not been good about keeping a log of accomplishments and transferable skills. What would happen is then I’d need a resume for a job and miss some of the newer things that I learned.

    You’ve talked about this in previous posts but it’s also very important to translate the skills I had to the needs of the company I was applying to. As you know, they had to see my value to them, not just what I knew.

    Cherry

    • So true, Cherry. I think we all tend to table our skills list. Since I’ve been in business for myself, I’ve noticed that skills that served me in a corporate setting have taken on a different slant, shape, and application. I believe that over time we refine what our skills to meet the changing situations in which we work. Whether we are writing resumes, a speaker’s bio, or a marketing brochure, those transferable skills are the currency of our work. Thanks for your faithful commenting! ~Dawn

  2. this is an absolutely great article. After graduating from college, I applied for jobs for four straight months (sending my resumes everywhere) and even calling, but as you said they dont care what you did in the past. They wanted to hire someone who can fit into the job right away and right now. Very good article you have here.

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