Career transitions are exciting. You have the opportunity to step into a new career, bringing along your valuable skills and knowledge. Many times, we think about transferable skills and knowledge when we plan a career transition. However, relevant skills trump transferable skills. Relevant skills are important at all stages of our career, especially in a transition. Your career aspiration may involve a sharp turn into a completely new field or your aspiration may be taking a step up to assume greater responsibility with your current employer. In any career situation, it is important to maintain, enhance, and promote your relevant skills.
Pay Attention to Your Strengths & Likes
What do you enjoy about your current job? What is drudgery? What common feedback to you receive from colleagues, managers, and clients? These questions can help you determine your most valuable skills and align your skills and likes so you can apply it to a meaningful and successful career.
Identify Skills That Travel Well
Explore the skills that are valued across multiple industries and settings. A few examples of transferable skills may include project management, communication, leadership, sales, and office administration. Those skills travel well as you move from a career in real estate to retail. Emphasizing those skills can ease your transition to a new career. However, also be sure to study the requirements of your target job so you prove your candidacy through relevant skills.
Maintain & Build Relevant Skills
Take care to maintain your skills and continuously build new skills. As the market changes, the requirements of workers change. Technologies that were in high demand ten years ago may be obsolete today. If you want to have an edge over the competition, continuously expand your skills through courses and certifications. How can you determine which courses and certifications are relevant? Review job postings, the profiles of professionals currently performing the job you wish to have, and learning more about your target job through industry blogs and events.
Showcase Your Skills on Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
When writing your resume and LinkedIn profile, share your top values relevant to your target job. On a resume, you will write with your target in mind, from top to bottom of your document. Consider an Areas of Strength or Core Competencies section for keywords and include many examples of accomplishments to prove your skills. If technology is important in your field, you may wish to add a technical skills inventory to your resume. On LinkedIn, carefully consider all the sections on LinkedIn. Fill all applicable categories of LinkedIn with experience that demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and experience that would be valuable in your target job.
Share Your Expertise
As a skilled professional you can bolster your personal brand by writing a blog, delivering training, hosting podcasts, speaking at industry events, or sharing on LinkedIn. These are excellent ways to promote your special skills.
The Quick Takeaway
On this year's Career Action Day (November 6th), reflect and determine your strengths and likes. Continuously build your relevant skills to keep up with industry changes and ensure that your skills are aligned with your current career goal. Prove your skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Position yourself as an expert through blogs, presentations, training, and publication opportunities.