Being able to stand back and assess the skills you have can be one of the hardest things about writing a CV and interviewing.
To you, it’s just the job you did. It can be difficult to break it down into a set of skills that employers in a different industry could be interested in. You can easily be left feeling that your old career has nothing to offer you as you try to move forward in your new career.
That simply isn’t true.
But it isn’t until you can take a step back from the routine descriptions people often give about their jobs, that you can begin to identify your transferable skills. THAT’s why it’s an important exercise.
The ultimate aim of this exercise is to uncover the transferable skills you have. Once you’ve identified them, try to frame all of your communication in this way – whether it’s informal conversations, your CV or a formal job interview.
When this is done well, instead of talking to employers about the tasks you carried out in a previous job, you are talking to them about the skill set you have as a result.
While an employer might struggle to see how a role working as a cashier at a supermarket translates to their role if you talk about…
- communication skills (dealing with the public)
- how you had to learn a new IT system (the till) and did so will ease and confidence
- following health and safety protocols and team working (helping out colleagues in difficult situations)
…suddenly the role starts to seem more applicable.
It’s not about overstating your previous employment, it’s about framing it in a way that is relevant to the employer you are trying to attract.
To get started in assessing your own skills, get yourself a copy of our Skills Assessment template (you’ll find the link at the bottom of the page).
Now, here’s how you use that to assess the skills you already have…