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Published by on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 5:06:00 PM

Transferable Skills - Taking your Skills to a New Career

Are you looking forward for a new job? Is your present job limiting you it’s time for a change? But what about all that valuable experience you’ve been gathering while toiling away at your job and the jobs that came before it? Do you really have to throw it all away and start from scratch? No you don’t. That’s where transferable skills come in.

What are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are the skills you’ve gathered through various jobs, volunteer work, hobbies, sports, or other life experiences that can be used in your next job or new career. In addition to being useful to career changers, transferable skills are also important to those who are facing a layoff, new graduates who are looking for their first jobs, and to those reentering the workforce after an extended absence.

How to identify your transferable skills

The job titles you’ve held may tell little about what your actual jobs done. In other words, formal job descriptions are often very different from reality. This is why it’s important to dissect each job you’ve held in order to discover what skills you actually used to do that job. If you are re-entering the workforce or entering it for the first time you’ll have to look at your life experiences to get this information.

How can you use your transferable skills?

When making a career change you should do a thorough self-assessment to determine what career is most suitable for you. Part of this self-assessment involves finding out what careers best utilize your skills.

Selling your transferable skills to prospective Employer

You have identified your transferable skills. You know where you can use them. Now you have to convince potential employers. Simply presenting your job titles on your resume won’t do the trick since those titles track your old career path. One way to do this is to write an objective that tells which skills are applicable to the position you are seeking. The other way is to write a skills-based resume either a functional or combination resume. A functional resume descries each of your skills. A combination resume combines a functional resume with a chronological resume, listing your work experience in addition to your sills.

Seven Rules for writing and Effective Resume:

Resumes are a necessity for almost every career/Job on this earth. Whether you are looking for job as a software programmer, finance expert, managing director or Government employee you have to at some time make your resume. Hence it is important that you critically examine your resume before sending it to prospective employers.

Here are seven rules to make a great resume.

RULE 1 : Customize your resume to the target audience

This will increase the chances of your resume being short-listed. Do not shoot same resume to all jobs – customization is the key.

RULE 2 : Highlight your strengths:

In any job interview situation if you focus and highlight on your strengths – your chances of getting in the fast lane of job are better. You have to highlight your strengths and link it to company requirement. To prove that you are a much better choice than competition for the positions you are applying, you have to write more than just listing company profile, job responsibilities. Instead describe specific achievements; targets achieved, new accounts added, rewards etc. Do not waste much space in writing about company, project – instead focus on what you have done for them. If writing a skill based resume – mention the technology / skill used for each project.

RULE 3 : Keep it short and simple

While writing resumes make sure that it is not very short or very long – ideal size is either 1 full page or 2 pages. If your profiles does not fits in 1 page then add another page. Make sure that you use the right font size (do not make it short to fit more text). Try to add full range of your experience. Although it is fine to have a 2-page resume, try not to list every job you’ve done. Hiring persons are interested in you latest experience, so highlight on your most recent/ relevant experiences.

RULE 4 : Give correct information

Make sure you have our resume with correct dates, designations, which can be validated with some documentary proof. Do not misrepresent employment dates, designations in your resume for any reason. If employer conducts a background check and finds you lied, your chances are zero. No employer will be willing to take a dishonest employee – so be careful.

RULE 5 : Use proper resume format

The common resume formats are (a) Skill based (b) chronological. Use functional format when you want to highlight key skills for job in the very first view. Skill based formats are very common in software, consulting and related jobs. While chronological format is popular in traditional jobs like in accounts, secretarial, administration and are suitable for jobs, which give more importance to experience.

RULE 6 : Check for Grammar, Typing Mistakes

Check for typing mistakes, grammatical errors, and spellings before sending the resume. No excuses for these as most of the word processors have features to check this.

RULE 7 : Create the best impression

Use best quality paper and good quality printer if you are sending the resume in printed format. Good formatting will definitely reduce your chances. If you are sending resume by email (soft copy) try sending in a PDF Format if possible – looks good. Save your photograph for a later stage if it is not very attractive. Do not include your mark sheets (transcripts), appreciation letters unless asked for.
Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, a Computer Professional and a Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune., formerly known as, Poona University,. I like to write articles based on my personal experiences.