Transfer your Marketable Job Skills to a New Career

How applicable would your job skills be if they were used outside of your current profession? This was not a question I gave too much thought until I read a job loss article about how a 200,000 Wall Street crude oil trader lost his job and is now working for 25,000 a year in a restaurant.

Mr. 200,000 might be finding it hard to translate his previous job skills into something usable. He should be thinking about how he can show marketable job skills on his resume. What does an crude oil trader do anyway, besides the obvious, trading crude oil. It’s hard not to belittle his previous occupational skills. Did he yell all day and wrestle through crowds of people to fulfill trade orders? There might be some communication skills there. You do not simply lose all your job transferable skills. A lot of finance jobs were unstable anyhow. The jobs were created out of a false money bubble built on bad loans and inflated housing prices.

I do not feel any sympathy for him, considering he never tried to walk in other people’s shoes.

It was a hard reality at first… I used to see unemployed people and think they were lazy, that it was all on them. Now it’s happened to me.

He worked hard from runner to trader but forgot what got him there. Maybe if Mr. 200k worked on transferable job skills, he wouldn’t be in such a predicament.

Transferable Job Skills List

Here is a list of skills that should be on displayed on everyone’s resume.

  • Writing skills – Don’t write that you can write. That would be too obvious and redundant. Rather put on your resume, some projects that involved writing such as business plans, contracts or articles you wrote for your company.
  • Sales – If you had a record year selling a particular product, put that on your resume. If your company or store saw record profits, put that amount onto your resume.
  • Customer service – Discuss how you interacted with your clients. Was there a particular request that went above and beyond normal customer service? The more obscure the request, the better story you tell to your future employer.
  • Technical skills – Transferring technical skills is probably the easiest things to do. Often times, you can put down the number of programming languages on your resume and that is it. However, the list is growing for outsourced workers with the same technical skills if not better. How can you compete with them? The answer and difference is in how you were able to translate these technical skills to others on the same project and to your superiors and clients. Someone who is able to communicate the complex and complicated technical aspect of a project will often be the one who is leading the task. Separate yourself from just the technical skills and mix in a bit of the other marketable and transferable job skills.
  • Interpersonal skills – Did you work in a group and had to organize and assign roles? If you are not respected within the group, you usually won’t get the same commitment and dedication to a specific task. How did you overcome those challenges and what interpersonal skills did you use?
  • Communications skills – Have you ever had to explain a highly technical project to someone outside of the team? Being able to express yourself in a clear and basic manner to someone new to the project is very marketable. I cannot express the countless times, I heard a presentation where people left more confused than informed.

If you are lacking marketable job skills to put on your resume, go and start your own project or volunteer in a field of your interest. Just follow the list of skills and make sure they are in your arsenal when you are job searching.

Tags: Develop Transferable Job Skills

  1. June 25th, 2009 at 09:32 | #1

    A very well written article with a very good point. Job skills are much different today than they were ten years ago. Blue collar jobs are giving way to white collar jobs, and all specialized white collar jobs seem to suffer in a recession. If you’re not fluent with today’s technologies and software, your options are severely limited.

    I work for a company that represents Certiport. They offer some of the best computer training and certifications available, and work with many who are trying to modernize their job skills. If you find yourself in this situation (or want to avoid this situation), check out the Certiport blog (or “Certiblog”). I recommend it for anyone, whether you have a job or not: http://certiport.typepad.com/certiblog/

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