Successfully Change Careers

5 Ways to show prospective employers your transferable skills

Recently I’ve spoken to several alums who would like to make a move to a new job or to a career in a new field. They are curious how to convince a prospective employer they are qualified to make the switch. Commit to taking the time to demonstrate you have skills that can transfer to a new position or industry.

Often, job seekers send out generic resumes through an online system hoping that hiring managers can see how their skills will translate. Hiring managers are going through resumes quickly. They are likely to hire someone who has experience doing the same or similar job. You need to spell out specifically how your skills and experience are a great fit. Convince a potential employer of the value of your transferable skills using these five strategies.


Get a positive referral from someone the employer knows and trusts. Employers are trying to decrease risk when they hire new employees. Have a solid referral who can speak to your ability to take on the job responsibilities.


Research the skills needed. Show how your skills can bring success to the new position. Offer examples of how the skills you already have transfer seamlessly into the new role.

Review LinkedIn

Review the profiles of people who are successful in the role you are interested in. One easy place to do this is LinkedIn. Look at the types of skills and training that people have in these roles. If you notice gaps in your skills or training, get to work gaining those skills. There are numerous low to no-cost options to obtain additional job skills.


Find volunteer work to learn skills you can apply to a new job or industry. Gain solid work examples through volunteering that you can share with prospective employers. Utilize your networks from volunteering to open doors.

Informational Interviews

Spend your job search talking with people directly. Request informational interviews with people who are doing the work you’d like to do. Not only will you get valuable information and advice, but you will network in a powerful way. In an informational interview, you ask the questions while the interviewee does most of the talking. People love to talk about themselves. Leave them with a positive view of your interest in new opportunities and their position.

For help with career changes, salary negotiations, interviewing, and more visit the CSU Career Center.

Questions? Need some help? 

Email me at for more information about available resources.

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