Using Transferable Skills To Land A Tech Job

If you want to break into tech, transferable skills can help you land a new job, no matter how “unmatched” your skill set might appear to be. A deep dive into your experiences may reveal that you have far sought-after transferable skills than you thought.

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This transferable skills article is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.

If you’re on the hunt for a new position because you must or because you’ve decided it’s time for a career change, transferable skills can help you land a new job, no matter how “unmatched” your skill set might appear to be. A deep dive into your experiences may reveal that you have far more of the sought-after transferable skills than you thought.

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills, also known as “portable skills,” are qualities that can be transferred from one job to another. Highlighting your transferable skills is especially important when changing jobs or industries. You likely already possess many transferable skills employers value, like organization, communication, relationship building, or attention to detail.

Don’t underestimate the power of transferable skills. If you don’t have the “direct” experience as stated in the position description, supplement your resume with transferable experience. Transferable skills are skills learned through part-time jobs, class projects, or student organizations that can be transferred to the internship or job for which you’re applying. Things such as teamwork, leadership, communication skills, etc. Everyone possesses these types of skills.

These abilities can be used in a wide range of vocations and sectors. When applying for a new job, they might be utilized to position your previous experience, especially if it’s in a different industry. Employers, for example, frequently want people with excellent communication abilities. You can use your ability to easily communicate knowledge with and from coworkers in any workplace if you’ve honed it.

Identifying Your Transferable Skills

Some of these talents are job-specific or technical, such as knowing how to utilize specific platforms or tools. Still, others, such as strong leadership or critical thinking skills, are transferrable. Consider your past experiences and settings when determining your transferable skills. Employers also look for people with transferable talents since they have the tools they need to succeed.

Look for examples of times you demonstrated a skill (or skills) and can prove that you did. Another way is to look at some transferable skills like those listed below.

Dependability Adaptability Leadership
Punctuality Self-motivation Delegation
Work Ethic Process Improvement Conflict Resolution
Deadline Driven Eagerness Interpersonal Skills
Honesty Goal Setting Project Management
Teamwork Communication Time Management
Relationship Building Active Listening Organization
Active Listening Giving and Receiving Feedback Prioritization
Collaboration Responsiveness Goal Setting
Conflict Resolution Public Speaking Delegation

How To Highlight Skills In Your Application

On a cover letter, include transferable talents. Focus on one or two of the transferable skills that the company has listed in the job description while composing your cover letter. Write about how you’ve applied these talents in previous work situations in the body paragraphs of your letter. A paragraph in a cover letter for an Accounts Receivable Representative, for example, might say:

“I was an Accounts Receivable Representative  at Wills & Co. for nearly five years and was responsible for overseeing all financial records.” Wills & Co saw a 15 percent rise in income over five years during my time there. I also collaborated extensively with other administrators and thrived in a collaborative setting.”

When determining where to place important transferable abilities on your resume, you have several possibilities. The following parts of your resume are where you can list your transferable skills:

  • Resume objective/summary/profile
  • Descriptions of employment history
  • List of skills

Consider mentioning your most valuable, applicable transferable ability in the summary or objective of your resume.

In your resume indicate the abilities you utilized to succeed in past work in the area of your employment history. Choose two to three of your most pertinent achievements rather than just stating your job responsibilities. You probably employed a variety of abilities to accomplish those objectives, so you don’t need to name the transferable skill specifically. For instance, one of your accomplishments in a prior position might read,

For the sales department, “Established competitive quotas and bonus program, increasing year over year revenue by 10%”

If appropriate, give examples of times you’ve used pertinent transferable talents to respond to the interviewer’s queries during your interview. When you can, remember to “show” rather than “tell” by giving concrete examples of times you successfully applied your abilities.

You will discover that many of your present skills, such as interpersonal skills, are transferable to other employers when you look for new career prospects.

Don’t forget to list all of the software and various platforms that you have used at your various places of employment. You may not feel that it is important, but an employer will see someone who is well versed in various systems as well as showcase your adaptability skill set. All of your experience is relevant experience.

About Tjwana Dixon

Tjwana Dixon is a career coach with Flatiron School. Dixon has worked in the higher education and not-for-profit education sector for over 14 years. The majority of her roles were in the Career Development Department. She enjoys assisting people transitioning into new careers.

Posted by Tjwana Dixon  /  July 5, 2022