“I need a new job, but my talents are very industry specific; no one will want my skills.”
We’ve all been there or we’ve known someone else who has/is in that situation. My gut reaction is to say, “Yes, Eeyore, you are correct – no one.” But the reality is that will not help the job seeker or the recruiter. So, what are we going to do?
Transferable skills are timeless
Businesses are changing. Jobs that may have required high levels of technical skill may be fading or requiring fewer people to do the job. Tell the recruiter about the transferable skill you possess – the skill that is valuable regardless of the industry. Here are some examples:
- A printing employee may be able to offer proofreading skills or an eye for details.
- A toll booth employee may be able to offer quick numerical computations.
- A seamstress employee may be able to offer creative design, quick numerical computations, and/or nimble hands for dealing with small machine parts.
Transferable skills are in high demand with employers because it allows the employer to get the new employee up to speed more quickly.
Focus on order
Tell the recruiter what skill it is that you do well and then how you know you do it well. Most people want to tell you how they do something well…followed by naming the skill, itself. Here are some examples:
A line worker at an automotive factory:
I understand rigorous quality control standards because the part I was responsible for creating was only allowed 1 in 400 errors.
A customer service worker at a fast-food chain:
I am skilled at keeping a calm and pleasing demeanor while ensuring speed and accuracy during high traffic times and this is why I was placed at the drive thru window.
A tattoo artist (or various designer positions):
I am attentive, handle active listening well, and have a high comprehension of what clients are trying to convey during the consultation and conception phase which allows the rendering phase to have fewer revisions.
By stating what your skill is first, I’m more likely to be intrigued as to how you developed this skill or how you can support this claim. And continuing the conversation will probably help you to progress in the recruiting process for a job.
The next time you find yourself spinning your wheels and thinking “no one will want my skills,” instead of saying “oh bother,” try to explain what you do/did to someone else using the suggestions outlined here. You and the listener should be able to identify at least five transferable skills and how you used them.