When you’re applying for your first full-time job or you are entering a new field, it’s easy to feel intimidated. Lack of work experience in your industry can feel like a huge obstacle to overcome. The good news? You’ve built a lot of transferable skills over the years – skills that employers are looking for in new hires. Here are five skills you might not have learned in a classroom, but will be invaluable in your job search.
1. Digital Skills
Most every job today requires you to have a working knowledge of computers and software. Even if you’ve never been formally trained, you use computer-based programs every day. You email, you use apps, you may use personal finance software, or you use technology in your part-time job, etc. Don’t be afraid to tout your ability to navigate computers, tech, and digital software effectively.
Today, few people work independently 100 percent of the time. Most jobs require you to be a functional member of a team, pulling your weight and working together with others to achieve team goals. Even if your work experience is limited, you’ve probably worked on group projects or presentations. You’ve had to navigate conflict, you’ve had to work harder when others slack, and you’ve made valuable contributions. These will all play out in your work environment, so showcase your teamwork skills on your resume and during interviews.
3. Accepting Feedback
You’ve received feedback your whole life. If you played sports, coaches gave you feedback. Teachers provided feedback on your schoolwork. Your bosses at your part-time job offered feedback. Successful people are able to accept feedback and act on it both to improve weaknesses and to continue to build on strengths.
Throughout your workday, you will encounter challenges and roadblocks that could derail your progress if you can’t adapt quickly. Think about times in your life when you’ve had to adapt. This could be related to schoolwork, your part-time jobs, and even in your personal life. During interviews, talk about times in which you had to react quickly to change, and show how your approach yielded positive results.
5. Hobby-Related Skills
Things like cooking, gardening, crafting, fitness, and outdoor activities all help you build transferable skills. Think about your hobbies for a moment. What skills have they taught you? Attention to detail? Time management? Self-discipline? It’s not just the work world that helps you build skills. In your everyday life, you are honing skills that you will use in your professional life. Tout the skills you use every day in your hobbies.