Focus on Transferable Skills & Land the Interview | Progressive

Land that interview by highlighting your transferable skills

Show how your unqiue skills will bring value to the role

3 min read

May 2021

Smiling woman in white button-down shirt pointing to papers strewn on table

During a routine scan of LinkedIn’s "Top job picks for you" email, you find that the job you’ve been dreaming about just opened up at your dream company. As you read through the posting, your excitement builds—you’re a perfect match for this job! Well, except for a few qualifications near the end of the requirements listing.

What do you do? Letting this opportunity pass you by isn’t an option. No way! Show that you’re a top candidate by highlighting your transferable skills!

Impress your recruiter

As a recruiter, I see transferable skills as an opportunity to show me you’ve taken the time to not only read the job description but fill in any skill gaps with what you DO know. Many day-to-day tasks you take for granted can be highlighted as transferable skills. You may not realize it, but the emails you draft and phone calls you make every day can be used to highlight your communication skills. Or, the time you went above and beyond to research and answer a question from an internal partner highlights your awesome customer service skills.

I often hear from managers their most desired skills are those that can't be taught on-the-job, or are a necessity starting on day one. These will be the skills you can—and should—highlight in your resume. These skills, often referred to as soft skills, can include communication skills, the ability to influence without having direct authority, negotiating skills, strong organizational skills, project management, and problem-solving skills, just to name a few.

Land the interview

By capitalizing on your transferable skills and what you have to offer, you’ll have a better chance of landing an interview. Then, you’ll be able to expand on those skills face to face with the hiring team. A candidate once reached out to me to discuss career pathing. At the time, she was in an administrative position and ready to take on a more challenging role where she could do more in-depth analysis work. Together, we reviewed the job openings and identified an entry-level analyst position that would be a great match for advancement in her career. After reviewing the skills listed in the job description, we emphasized her strong organizational skills, ability to work in a team-oriented environment, ability to adapt to new situations, and her demonstrated Excel skills in her resume. By highlighting those skills, she impressed the hiring team, and landed the interview.

Transferable skills are a way for you to show the recruiter and the hiring team what you can bring to the role. Next time you find yourself agonizing over a few unchecked skill boxes on a job posting, start thinking outside that box about the skills that make you an invaluable candidate.

Jodi Januszewski is a Senior Talent Advisor at Progressive Insurance. With over a decade of recruiting and talent matchmaking experience, she is passionate about connecting the right people to the right jobs.

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