Looking for work with a cancer diagnosis feels like a job in itself. There are many factors to consider, and very often survivors report wanting to head in a new direction with their career after a cancer experience. This leads to questions about how to land a different kind of position if you don't technically have the specific skills and requirements listed on the job description. Self-doubt and fear can lead many job-seekers to avoid applying for positions they deem to be outside their realm of experience or abilities. However, it’s important to remember that transferable skills can be a game-changer when looking for a new job.
Transferable skills are those that you have developed in previous positions that can aid your ability to meet the demands of another, potentially unrelated position. Such skills can be useful when you are looking for a new career, feeling under-qualified for a desired position, or perhaps have not been on as clear of a career trajectory as others in that field.
As The Muse points out, it’s important to remember that just because you have a lot of great skills, this does not necessarily mean you will be qualified for a certain position. They suggest using the following formula to figure out whether you have a transferable skill that is worth mentioning:
“As a [prior role], I [explain a responsibility], which taught me [transferable skills]. That’s a skill I would draw on from day one as a [new role].”
This formula allows for you to take a deeper dive into thinking about how you can put a positive spin on your skill set, even if it doesn’t precisely line up with the requested capabilities.
If you think your resume could use some work so that it better promotes your transferable skills, check out our Resume Review Service and have a professional career coach help you adapt your resume for the job you want. Once your resume gets you an interview, perhaps the use of our verbal technique, “The Swivel” can help you redirect the focus of the conversation from the requested skills to how your specific, unique experience would be a great fit for the role.
Perhaps you’re still struggling with how to show a potential employer that you’re the right person for the job, despite not having all of the experience they're seeking? Express your concerns via our Ask a Career Coach Program, and get the answers you are seeking!