How to Add Transferable Skills to Your Resume

Businessman reading resume of woman on his digital tablet during an interview

If you’re changing careers, featuring transferable skills on your resume is essential. That way, you can show a hiring manager the value you bring to the table, increasing the odds that they’ll take a chance on you.

Usually, adding transferable skills to your resume isn’t unlike featuring your other industry-specific capabilities. However, there can be a few nuances to consider. If you need to add transferable skills to your resume, here’s how to go about it.

Start with Your Professional Summary

During a career change, updating your professional summary to showcase yourself as a match for your new field is essential. Otherwise, if it aligns with the field you’re leaving, the hiring manager may assume that either you applied by mistake or that you don’t have what it takes to thrive in the role.

Make sure you review the job description of the role you’d like to land, identifying skills you possess that are on the must-have list. Then, adjust your professional summary to fit a few of those in, referencing achievements that align with the job as well.

In many cases, an accomplishment from a past career can work well if you remove any field-specific details. Often, you simply need to substitute job-specific terminology for generic equivalents. For instance, if an accountant is changing careers, they may refer to “tax filers” as “customers” or “clients” instead when discussing their customer service skills.

Move on to the Skills Section

After updating your professional summary, you’ll move on to the skills section. First, remove any capabilities that don’t provide value in your new career. That way, they don’t distract the hiring manager from all of the ways you’re a strong match.

Then, add in transferable skills that the hiring manager wants to find. In many cases, you can use the must-have capabilities list in the job ad as a guide. However, any capability listed in the job description could also be worth including, particularly if it’s repeated throughout the announcement.

Update Your Work History

When you update your work history, you’ll mainly focus on the achievements you choose to showcase. You want to stick with accomplishments that highlight your transferable skills, favoring those that are as relevant to the target role as possible.

Essentially, you want to ensure that you clearly demonstrate your value. Even if the achievements you highlight aren’t your greatest ones, if they’re a better match to the job, that’s the way you should go.

Include a Cover Letter

Since your experience is non-traditional, including a cover letter is a smart move unless you’re explicitly told not to provide one. That way, you have a place to openly discuss that you’re pursuing a career change. Plus, it gives you more room to show how your unconventional experience can provide an employer with unique value, making it easier to position yourself as a stronger candidate.

Ultimately, adding transferable skills to your resume is straightforward. Just make sure you focus on what the hiring manager is after, increasing the odds that they’ll view you as a match.

If you’d like assistance with your career change, the team at GSG Talent Solutions wants to hear from you. Contact us today.


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