Yes, You DO Have Transferable Skills!

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I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people complain that they can't pursue job X because they lack experience, and they “don't have transferable skills. "

Poppycock. Everybody has transferable skills.

The reason people think they don't is because they're mixing up two very different things. They're mistaking transferable skills for transferable experience.

Transferable experience is usually direct. It allows you to say, “I've done this particular job (or part of this job) before. " If you haven't, then you really don't have directly applicable experience. That's where most people give up and stay stuck.

They forget that many skills aren't necessarily job specific. Sure, if you have experience with a particular software program, or piece of machinery, or work process, those are specific skills. Think more broadly, though.

Skills are skills are skills are skills.

If you've got management skills, you certainly exercised them in a particular setting (say, a retail store). But you probably had to deal with many of the same things other managers in other industries have to. You had to handle personnel issues, scheduling, maybe inventory management, etc. In a sense, all managers share certain tasks and roles. There are differences of context, but there are lots of commonalities too.

And therein lies the secret to making your skills transferable, or at least to making them sound that way on a resume. Just remember one rule of thumb: Focus on the commonalities.

All skills have at least some transferable component or flavor to them. I can't even name a skill that doesn't have at least some transferable component. Not one.

Copyright (c) by Roy Miller

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