Career Development: Marketing Your Transferable Skills

November 29, 2011 Purnell Cropper

By Stephenie F. Wilson, Assistant Director of Career Education

There is not always a linear path between a specific academic major and a career. So, what happens when your plans change and you find yourself considering work that does not seem to directly relate to your major? It is a combination of the experiences that individuals have both inside and outside of the class, in conjunction with interests and talents, that often lead to decisions about careers. More than likely, you have developed transferable skills that you can market to internship supervisors or potential employers as you shift gears and prepare for a different career path.

Transferable skills are competencies that are valued across a multitude of industries and work settings, such as strong oral and written communication skills, problem solving, time management, research, foreign language skills, and the ability to effectively work as part of a team, just to name a few. These are talents that you possibly acquired through a range of experiences throughout your lifetime. In order to market these skills, you must first reflect on the experiences you have had and the things you do well. Then, understand the field in which you wish to enter by doing research on what types of skills and knowledge are required in order to determine how the competencies you already have translate into what the employer is looking for.

Effectively marketing your transferable skills means demonstrating to employers how your skill sets are applicable and how your knowledge can prove useful in their line of work. Solidify your resume through the use of accomplishment statements that speak to your talents, not just a listing of duties you have carried out in the past. Hone in on your interviewing skills by giving examples that demonstrate your skill sets. For more information about marketing your transferable skills in your internship or job search, e-mail careerhelp@arcadia.edu or call 215-572-2939 to schedule an appointment.

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