Written by Susan Lamphiear
Have you ever seen a job description and said, “I can do that!”? We can only hope that only a few of you say that when you see a posting for brain surgeon, airline pilot or ballet dancer. Most of us who have experienced job loss or job transition have heard about transferable skills. But sometimes it’s just not that easy to explain or convince a potential employer what skills we have developed that can be used in another position. So it continues to be a challenging issue.
Selling Your Transferable Skills…Past Experience = Future Value
Cynthia “Cedar” Duerkop was just 20-something when she first began to experience job layoffs and reorganizations, but it gave her plenty of practice articulating her transferable skills. Starting her career in the military, and moving on up in the private sector, today Cynthia runs her own business where she conducts private coaching, helping people design a career that helps them earn a living doing what they love.
Cynthia’s story began when she was born the youngest of nine kids in a family where no college fund existed. Military service was expected, but when she joined the US Navy at an early age, she was told “no” to her first two choices—chaplain or fighter pilot. “Women can’t be fighter pilots!” they told her in 1986. Instead, they suggested she get trained to be an instructor. The good news is — she loved it! Over the years Cynthia has taken on numerous roles.
While the order of importance may change over time, Cynthia explained there are basically 10 top transferable skills which you should integrate into your resumes and interviews.
Top 10 Transferable Skills
- Time Management
- Problem-Solving and Analytical
Within each of these top ten skills, Cynthia discussed what employers look for and how you can put these skills on your resume and work them into interview conversations.
Tips from Cynthia’s Top Ten Discussion
- Remember your resume is a marketing tool. It should be clean and concise, including consistency in bullets.
- Customize each resume. Don’t use generic resumes. Use the phrases in your resume that appeared in the company’s job description.
- Speak to your skills in the interview, weaving them into the conversation. Don’t wait for the interviewer to ask you specific questions that show your skills and talents.
- Don’t forget to ask for the job. For example, “Is there anything to prevent you from offering me this job today?”
- Be prepared to answer the question, “What did you learn if you failed?” It will come up. The person who is interviewing you has failed before. So has the company.
- Data is great in a resume and the interview. If you know how to analyze DATA, what skills do you have, such as Excel? Weave this information into your resume and interviews.
- In problem solving, how do you find information?
- Speaking of problem solving, Cynthia recommends the resource of Maricopa County Libraries to job seekers where you’ll find online learning opportunities, free with your Maricopa County Library Card. You can earn certifications which can be impressive during your job search. Visit this website for more information.
- How do you think? You guessed it, “Mention these examples in your interview.”
During an interview it’s good to indicate what you accomplished in a team — whether you led it or belonged to it. Regardless of your title, what are your leadership skills? How do you lead? You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader. And how do you build rapport as a leader when you’re in a leadership role? Remember that VPs have employees working for them who help them by lending their own unique expertise and talents. Cynthia has told her employees numerous times, “If we think alike, one of us is redundant!”
Dan Nikolic, Field Marketing Recruiter and Ryan Sand, Sr Recruiter
Sunrun, headquartered in San Francisco, provides residential solar power in the United States. The company’s mission and vision seeks “to create a planet run by the sun”, especially in Arizona. With 17 years of industry experience, the company sells solar energy in 11 states and continues to grow. It’s now the number one residential installer in the nation and partners with Costco. Benefits to customers include locking in their electricity rates for the next 20 years. The company is currently hiring door-to-door field marketing canvassers, project planners and quality assurance specialists. Full training is provided. To learn more about the company and to apply, go to their website.
Maricopa Corporate College
Summer Houston, Outreach Specialist
Maricopa Corporate College, new in just the past year, delivers courses ranging from entry level to executive training, delivered in several venues including corporate offices, online, or other multiple locations. As one of the Maricopa Community Colleges, they forecast workforce needs. The College offers IT Boot Camp and its affiliates provide a variety of business-focused events each month, ranging from workshops to seminars to career exposes. Current openings include enrollment advisor, graphic designer II, operations specialist, web developer and many other positions. For more information, for a complete list of openings, or to apply, visit their website.
Octavio Duarte, Marketing Recruitment Specialist
Revana, a professional inside sales organization and recognized leader in outsource sales and marketing solutions for leading clients, operates at two locations in the Valley—I-17 and Bell in Phoenix and one location in Tempe. One of their newest clients is Angie’s List. Not a typical call center, employees do spend lots of time on the phone, but also send emails and follow up with clients. Employees are promoted from within and often the movement is fast, anywhere from six months to a year. Current opportunities exist in inbound and outbound sales and sales management. To apply or obtain more information, visit them on site from 9 to 3 Monday through Friday or online.
Darrin Ruof, HR Recruiter
Verizon Wireless, a recognized leader in customer service, was the first national wireless provider in the US to build and operate a large-scale 4G LTE network — the most advanced wireless network technology available. Benefits include, among others, 50% discounts on phones, 401K match, the opportunity to advance, industry leading training, and healthcare benefits from day one. The company currently is hiring Solutions Specialists for their retail stores and Customer Service Specialists for their call center in Chandler. To obtain more information, and to apply, visit their website.
TTY Career College
John Young, Director of Admissions
TTY Career College offers training, including Project Management (PMP), Certified Assistant Project Management (CAPM), Microsoft Excel Expert Business Analyst Program and more. The school also offers career advancement workshops, quality experienced instructors, and customized training plans to fit your schedule. Funding is available via several sources including WIA Grant provided by the Workforce Connection, VA, scholarships, loans and more. To obtain more information about course offerings or funding, visit their website.
Executive Director of Career Connectors Jessica Pierce closed the formal part of the meeting, reminding new attendees they are invited to take the DISC assessment free. She reminded everyone help is available during the networking portion of the meeting when everyone can talk to hiring managers, receive free head shots for their LinkedIn pages, and receive help with LinkedIn and resume preparation.
The next Career Connectors Event will take place Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at 9:00 AM in Gilbert, and features keynote Dave Sherman speaking on the topic Get the Job Fast — How to Find a Great New Job in Half the Time. The next Scottsdale event features keynote Kevin Dumcum, Activate Your Job Search, on May 14, 2015, 9:00 AM. For exact locations, directions and registration, click here.
Parting Thought–A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both. Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand