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June 27, 2014

Top 10 Transferable Skills: How Do You Measure Up?

Is skill development a priority in your career?

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search

Often, in order to project confidence in the job search process, people believe (and write on their resume) that they are more skillful than they really are. 

This can lead to disappointment when after what you feel is a great interview doesn't result in a job offer.  You were not the best qualified. 

Know your Strengths and develop your weaknesses! 

Whether you are applying for a job or vying for a promotion at work, refinement of these Top 10 Transferable Skills will back up your claims and help the employer see your value in almost any industry. 

1.      Communication.
Why you need it… The importance of communication skills increases as your career progresses. The ability to speak, listen, question and write with clarity and conciseness are essential for your managerial positions.

You know you need to work on it if… people are likely to either argue with you; avoid conversation with you; or seem emotionally closed off/shut down when you speak to them.

2.      Team Work.
Why you need it… Business success relies on the effective teamwork in for profit and not for profit alike. When employees work together as a team, business initiatives and goals can be met or exceeded.

You know you need to work on it if… you tend to monopolize activities and discussions; consistently avoid contributing to team efforts; don’t place priority on sharing appropriate information in a timely manner; and possess the inability to coordinate with the needs and visions of others.

3.      Time Management.
Why you need it… Time management is an essential skill that helps you keep your work under control, at the same time that it helps you keep stress to a minimum.

You know if you need to work on it if… you have issues with any of these things: Managing Interruptions, Procrastination, Poor punctuality, Perfectionism, Saying ‘Yes’ to everything, Doing everything yourself.

4.      Problem Solving.
Why you need it… Problem-solving skills allows you to overcome obstacles and achieve your goal. You will find that not only is this skill essential for daily work but is highly used in behavioral interviews.

You know you need to work on it if…You tend to have trouble viewing problems objectively, are not open minded to multiple possible solutions, not able to get past the problem or symptoms of the problem, or do not place priority on gathering the facts.

5.      Organization.
Why you need it… There is more to it than keeping your workplace workspace clean and in order. Supervisory and managerial roles organize the work of their employees to strategically align with the company's goals.

You know if you need to work on it if… you have trouble with making plans that are efficient, returning voice-mail messages in a timely manner,  answering and clearing your hundreds of emails, or meeting project deadlines.

6.      Negotiation.
Why you need it...Negotiation is the method you used to settle differences. In order to settle conflicts and disagreements you need to be able to think strategically and be a good communicator.

 You know you need to work on it if… you find that you are the company yes-man or woman, you have low intuition for predicting the behavior of your opponents, and you are not very good at influencing others.

7.      Working Under Pressure.
Why you need it...We all work under everyday pressures; but in the employment world employers are looking for work specific ability to handle pressure. Can you manage the demands of your regular duties and the most stressful of problems while improving or meeting company expectations?

You know you need to work on it if…you find that you have trouble managing stress and functioning during times of high workplace demands.

8.       Knowledge Management
Why you need it...When you first read the term knowledge management, the first image that may have come to mind is someone behind the computer desk typing away. Knowledge management skill incorporates a lot more than that. People that have this skill are able to collect data and analyze it in order to create plans, policies, procedures, and creating workflow processes.

You know you need to work on it if… researching and analyze data into strategic plans is not your thing but you want a job that requires it.

9.       Leadership
Why you need it...Leadership is probably one of the first skills you thought of when you saw Top 10 Transferable Skills. It is something that employers want, most people have some form of, but not everyone is good at.

 The Good News Is That Like Most Of Our Top Transferable Skills You Can Aspire To Be A Great Leader And Work Towards Increasing Your Mastery Of The Skill.

You know you need to work on it if… you have some of the telltale signs listed in Forbes 15 Ways To Identify A Bad Leader.  Here are just a few: lacking integrity, lacking vision, a know it all, failure to communicate.

Why you need it…Projects come in all shapes and sizes, and in the world of work increase in size and scope as you move up the leadership changed.

You know you need to work on it if…To be able to be successful at project management one through nine of the previous transferable skills must be well-developed as well as the ability to assess can risk, manage change, and more.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search

Stay tuned as we explore tools tips and assessments to help you strengthen these Top 10 Transferable Skills.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search

Read more→

June 20, 2014

3 Transferable Skills Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know

Once you have your transferable skills list handy, what do you plan to do with it?

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

There is plenty of job search advice for discovering your transferable skills for your job search...sometimes  the hardest part is figuring out what the next step is.

Let’s take a look at how to use your transferable skills to help you network, focus your resumes, and prepare interview responses.

Making connections is your #1 priority in your job search and career management strategy.

It’s your source for:
  •          Professional Skills Development
  •          Marketing Your Personal Brand
  •          and Becoming a Direct Referral for a job
Without knowing what skills you possess that are desirable to your targeted employers....how do you know what relationships to focus on and what to talk about?

Transferable Skills For Networking

Tip #1
Use your transferable skills to provide direction and focus in your networking strategy.

Here is an example of using your Transferable Skills for Networking:

Melanie is interested in changing career fields from Office Management to HR.

One of her strongest transferable skills is Communication. She has a high level of Emotional Intelligence and is the go to person in her office for diffusing conflict and engaging employees for group causes.

She chooses to strengthen that skill by attending communication related workshops, seminars, and webinars that are targeted for HR professionals; such as ones offered by the ISEI (Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence ).

During the classes she works on skill development but also on making connections with other professionals she develops relationships with.
  •  She exchanges business cards
  •  Connects on LinkedIn
  • And honestly plans to attend other workshops she has learned about with some of her new connections. 
Melanie is genuinely interested in the workshops and is able to develop real relationships with the people she meets.

Transferable Skills For Focusing Your Resume

Tip #2
Use your transferable skills to craft your work history into a career story.

Do you have a career story?

A Career Story is basically the result of weaving together the pieces of different jobs or career moves you've had in the past. (The beginnings of your Personal Brand)

So that, rather than having a maze of random jobs, it looks like you either:
(a) Had a plan to begin with and took advantage of things to get to where you currently are; or
(b) Saw opportunities to move into other exciting and challenging industries but remained unified by some common goal.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice

Many people craft their resume with an objective statement followed by a reverse chronological work history.

This format does not allow you to paint a cohesive picture.

Instead create a Career Story by:
  •        Replacing your objective with a brief career summary that focuses on your strongest experiences and transferable skills. 
  •         Following that with a listing of your specialty skills related to the job and
  •     Organizing your work history to highlight the duties and accomplishments that complement the skills theme you created in the summary.

Transferable Skills For Preparing Interview Responses

Tip #3
Develop powerful examples from your top transferable skills

One of the best ways to be confident in an interview with out faking it, is to be as prepared as possible.

Have you ever wondered what to say when they ask, “So tell me about yourself?”

You can use your strongest transferable skills to prepare a brief 30 second commercial of who you are and what you bring to the table as your reply.

Compare your transferable skills list to the job announcement.

By knowing what skills the company is looking for and what you have to offer, you can rehearse what answers you will give for general questions and prepare to give example situations that you know would fit with what they are looking for.

Plan to succeed and you will succeed in your plan!

Share and be Inspired!

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice
Read more→

June 13, 2014

5 Steps To Identifying Your Transferable Skills

In an economy where finding a new job every 3-5 years has become the norm; knowing your transferable job skills is a necessity.

Transferable Skills, Marketable Skills

What Do Transferable Skills Look Like?
Everyone has Transferable Skills; the trick is identifying the most marketable skills for your desired career field.

Here is an easy example, let’s say you work in Customer Service Management but want a job as an Office Manager.

Depending on where you work these two can be very different in regards to duty requirements. But they both require several of the same professional skills such as:  Computer Skills, Customer and Employee Communication Skills, Personnel Management, and Problem Solving Skills.

Hard Or Soft Skills?

In general, I like to categorize Transferable Skills into 4 areas: Soft Skills, Analytical Skills, Technical (Hard) Skills, and Organizational Skills.

Here are examples of the type of marketable skills you would find in each category:

Soft Skills: Written and Verbal Communication, Team Work, Organizing People
Analytical Skills: Problem Solving, Investigating, Auditing Records
Technical Skills: Operate Office Machinery, Assemble Products, Purchase Products or Services
Organizational Skills: Time Management, Ability to Plan, Meeting Deadlines

There are MANY MANY different skills and combination of skills possible which can be overwhelming for beginners...But starting with these 5 steps will put you on the right track!

5 Steps To Identifying Your Transferable Skills

Step 1.
List your past and current jobs, volunteer work, and hobbies. Of course as the first step this is the most important. It doesn't have to be a fancy list or excel spreadsheet but make sure to leave enough space to do some work for the next 4 steps underneath each job.

Step 2.
Under each job, write down your main tasks, assignments, and projects you were most proud of....this does not have to be in long flowery sentences. Just the facts in short phrases or words.

Step 3.
Break your tasks and assignments up into the specific professional skills you needed to complete them....this takes a bit of room to brainstorm out the skills.

Step 4.
Create a master list of your most marketable skills. You can split them into categories if you would like or keep them in a long list for now.

Step 5.
Rate yourself on the professional skills you listed.
A) What are your strongest and your weakest
B) Make a plan to compare your strongest to job announcements in your desired field and positions.
C) Don't forget to also make a plan to also make a skill development plan to strengthen those areas that are less developed  if they are important to your field.

Transferable Skills, Marketable Skills

Job Search Advice To Help You Get Your Skills List Right
My All Time FAVORITE web site to use for occupational tools and research is O*NET Online. 

Have you used it yet? 

This site is FREE, is developed by the Department of Labor, and is connected to state job search databases.  It is a very comprehensive site but you may need a little navigation help if you are not familiar with it. 

Use the Skills Search
The Skills Search function is a quick resource designed to help you use your skill set to identify occupations for exploration. You can choose from their list of professional skills and it will compile job fields that use those skills….And Voila!  You have a brief list of your transferable skills AND suggested jobs that you could potentially transfer to. 

Here is the link http://www.onetonline.org/skills/  Check it out!

Have a Great Week!

Transferable Skills, Marketable Skills

Read more→

June 6, 2014

Success Begins With You: Know Your Strengths!

I believe we discover our talents just like every other part of our personality… But we learn in life to be persistent to achieve our goals.

Success Begins With You

Being “Smart” Doesn't Guarantee “Success”
Working closely with individuals in job-search and career management I get to help people uncover beliefs and skills they never put much value too. It's interesting to see how much potential and inherent talent someone has but does not recognize.  I have shared job search advice and  my personal story a few times with others to encourage them to face life's obstacles and push through to achieve their goals.

Strangely enough, on more than one occasion the response was something like "Well it's easy to be successful if you are smart".

...I don't believe being "Smart" is what enables success...

Determination, and self-understanding, now those two things make a WORLD of difference in whether you will or will not go after your dreams.

Know your strengths

Career Success Begins With You
Where many people have trouble is that they lack self-understanding and often go into a career because they need it financially or wanted to take it because it was a good opportunity.

There's nothing wrong with that.

 However, as you mature you learn to find your strengths, and find out where you would like to fit. This is where persistence and determination comes in again.

To be successful in finding a career you love, you have to be persistent at skill development and determined to achieve the right fit.

Are You Waiting For A Work Life Balance?
The average employed American spends 48 hours a week (including drive time) at work. That is more hours then you spend with your family during the workweek. Why would you settle for something that doesn't utilize the skills and talents that make you happy?

HR Wants YOU!
In the realm of HR and talent development a good employer with a well-established talent management program, focuses efforts on skill development for individuals with obvious talent that aligns with the business strategy and goals. No matter how you put it, being recognized for your value and talents, being offered development opportunities and opportunities to improve the organization where you work makes you feel good about yourself and your job (the place where you spend the most time in a week).

Find Employers That Need Your Talent And Marketable Skills
Take your time to Find Your Fit before you set out on your job search or career transitioning journey. Not only will this help you target jobs and employers where you will feel more fulfilled, but it helps you to really understand that you, no matter your station a life, have value.

Now that is a goal worth your persistence and determination!

Stay Positive!
Job Search Advice

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