Many times, when we’re applying for jobs, we think about how our skills relate specifically to the position we desire. There’s no doubt that it’s important to show that you already have experience and qualify for the position you want. However, if you’re trying to switch careers, you may not have this luxury.

How then do you still apply for a position that you have little or no prior experience doing? You can identify your transferable skills, or those skills that would be valuable to an employer even if those skills are not directly related to the job you’re seeking. Here are some ways to identify and make the most of them those skills.

Think of Your Favorite Accomplishments

Most likely, when you’re thinking of switching careers, you’re moving toward something you would love to do versus something you think you have to do. This is why it’s a good idea to think of your favorite accomplishments as you seek your transferable skills. What are you good at doing that simultaneously makes you happy?

Are you a master organizer whose organizational skills changed the face of a company? Did you give a speech at a non-profit in your spare time that touched the lives of numerous children? Whatever you’re really good at that makes you happy should be your centerpiece when identifying your transferable skills because you’ll be openly passionate about it as you approach employers in your new field or industry.

Pinpoint Skills for Each Position You Apply For

What you’ll probably notice as you identify transferable skills and try to apply them to different positions is that varying skills will deem themselves relevant. For instance, if you’re a former travel agent and you’ve decided that you want to become a writer, you might find that one of your transferable skills may be travel, especially if you apply for travel writing positions. In other words, while you may not have extensive writing experience, noting your knowledge of the world-at-large may work in your favor.

On the other hand, you might be able to apply for the same travel writing position, having been a waitress, if you highlight your extensive list of personal travels throughout your life along with your passion for keeping a vivid, well-written journal. While this transferable skill isn’t professional per se, it may be help you get the job. One of your duties when identifying your transferable skills is to determine exactly what the employer is looking for to help you determine just what you can offer them as an employee, so keep this in mind as you apply.

It may seem somewhat intimidating to try to apply for a job when it seems that you have no direct experience relevant to the position. However, many employers will take strides to train you when once you’re hired whether you have relevant experience or not. So don’t let a lack of experience deter you from pursuing your dream. If you can exhibit a basic understanding of the position by highlighting your transferable skills, you may just surprise yourself by being hired for the very position you desire.

Author's Bio: 

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Need resume writers? Compare the top ones in the industry at