Changing jobs is not easy, especially if you’re trying to switch sectors or switch fields. While it’s definitely important to ensure your experience and the needs of the organization are a match, don’t forget to include and emphasize transferrable skills: skills you have developed that can be beneficial at any organization or job.
Over on Brazen Life, Elli Bishop outlines six transferable skills hiring managers value. Two stood out to us as particularly helpful for people new to the nonprofit sector or looking to break into a field:
Your passion drives your performance
Chances are there’s something about the job you’re leaving that you feel passionately about — there’s a reason you chose it in the first place. Identify those core elements that drove you into this field and isolate their value to your new field.
If you chose journalism because you love telling stories, but you’re burned out on chasing ambulances and legislative upsets, maybe you can parlay that love into working at your local library, social media management or Web marketing. Find a company, hobby or interest you enjoy and translate your storytelling skills into telling that story instead of dissecting the traumas and tribulations of the world.
You’re a pro at wearing many hats
All the clichés about juggling and hats come into play when you’re switching fields. If your job gave you the chance to fulfill more than one role at your company — such as managing both the marketing and the HR departments — highlight that experience when applying for jobs.
These skills are crucial, especially if you’re drawn to working for a non-profit or becoming a teacher, two of the hottest fields for career jumpers. In smaller companies and classrooms, you need to be able to manage more than one task at a time without losing sight of your ultimate goal — or losing control of your charges.
While the article emphasizes what to include in your resume, much of these skills can also be shared in your cover letter as well.
Not sure how to include these skills in your resume or cover letter? Check out our resume and cover letter resources.
- Presenting yourself on paper: resumes and cover letters
- 6 resources to help you overhaul your cover letter
- 8 resources to help you craft the perfect resume
- Supercharge your resume by turning duties into accomplishments
- Harvard University on writing cover letters and resumes that stand out
- 6 common resume problems and how to fix them