Selling Your Skills
Identify the skills in your desired career
You probably already know that there is plenty of homework involved in getting a job or advancing in your career. One of the keys to unlocking those doors between you and your next career move is knowing what skills employers may be looking for. Fortunately, finding out what these skills are isn’t too difficult as most employers list what those skills are for anyone to see.
Finding out what skills employers want starts with knowing where to look. One challenge facing someone wanting to change careers is that they may not know all the right questions to ask about a certain field. To overcome that challenge, begin with what’s known as career clusters, groupings of related careers that share common skills. One of the best sources for identifying these clusters as well as individual occupations is the career site, O*Net OnLine. Spend some time on this site and take good notes. Once you’ve identified your cluster and researched some specific occupations, you’re ready to filter down your information to isolate specific skills.
Monster.com. CareerBuilder.com. You’ve heard the names of these two major job boards and they make up just a couple of the many online boards with similar job search services. Start big by searching for openings in the career you’re interested in and pull up several job descriptions in that field. The most important skills needed for that position are listed under Skills or Requirements. Create a list of the skills for each posting, and then organize those skills in some logical manner.
Let’s be clear about what transferable skills are and what they are not. Transferable skills are skills that you actually have, and are ALWAYS tied to measurable results. Transferable skills are NOT vague claims without evidence. Strong communication skills are meaningless words if not directly tied to measureable results or outcomes. Great organizational skills, another common listing, are the equivalent of a blind date being describes as having a great personality. For every positive connotation about your skill, there’s a deadly negative waiting to be spotted in the HR department.
Here are some examples of how to convey to an employer why your skill is transferable:
Pull it through
You’re not alone in your desire to further your career. With the changes in a global economy, standing out to employers and hiring managers is beyond important—it’s necessary. Knowing how to sell your skills can give you that advantage over others competing for the same work.
CTU Career Services
Career Services could help CTU students and alumni prepare and support them CTU in planning and managing their career search. We believe it is essential that our students learn to develop career management skills that could serve them throughout their career lifespan. As a department, we like to think down the road with our students, anticipating future transitions, advancements and degree acquisitions. CTU alums can participate in virtual career events such as our Steps to Success Webinar Series, Career Snapshots and Employer Profiles, and can enjoy full use of Optimal Resume where they can have their resume critiqued by a CTU Career Consultant or view thousands of job postings through the SimplyHired network.