You may have had the opportunity to develop leadership skills by engaging in on-campus activities, clubs, sports or professional associations. If so, you’ve likely also developed skills most employers look for—such as communication, programming, community development and human relations—that can be applied to any number of their job or internship opportunities.
Before you communicate your leadership experience to a prospective employer, it is vital for you to review your experiences, contemplate the competencies gained and strategize how to convey your transferable skills on your resume and in an interview.
Step 1: Brainstorm
Your official job description can provide a starting place by identifying your exact job duties, however, be wary of copying your job description onto your resume; readers can easily tell when someone has done this and it rarely highlights skills effectively or showcases accomplishments. Use the table below to help you begin thinking of your responsibilities while in your role.
Step 2: Describe What You Do
Using your entries from the exercise in Step 1, begin constructing descriptive statements about your position. Remember to begin each one with an action verb. Think about what makes you unique in your role. Did you receive any awards? Did you undertake new initiatives? If you find yourself struggling to write down your experiences, check out our online resource library at VikingResources.org or call Career Services at 216-687-2233 to make an appointment with a career specialist.
Transferable skills are skills you have acquired through any activity including your current position, college coursework, projects, community service, volunteerism and participation in organizations. These skills can be relevant to a future job or internship for which you are applying. Your experience encompasses many of the skills listed below, so be sure to recognize and acknowledge these through your resume, cover letter and interviews.
Working on a tea
Facilitating group discussion
Providing appropriate feedback
Perceiving nonverbal messages
Carrying out a plan
Providing support for others
Delegating with respect
Perceiving feelings, situations
Compare the transferable skills you wrote above to the requirements of the position you are applying for. These matches can help ensure you are including the responsibilities from your position that will be most relevant to the new position you are applying for.
Step 3: Leverage your transferable skills during an interview
Not only is it important to know your transferable skills, but it’s also critical to understand how to leverage them during an interview. Many employers will ask behavior-based questions to determine how a candidate may behave in a working environment. The following tool can help you prepare to answer these questions while considering and highlighting your transferable skills.
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