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Job Searching During Covid-19

Use your transferable skills to land that job!

March 30, 2020 12:58 PM

Graduation for many students is just around the corner. We’re in the second half of the semester and it’s the home stretch. For many of you, the job search has begun. So now, it’s time to polish up that resume and start applying to jobs. But what if you don’t have a whole lot of experience in your field of interest? That’s not uncommon for an undergraduate student looking for their first job out of college. So how do you pitch yourself as the ideal candidate for a job without the relevant experience? You focus on your Transferable Skills.

Transferable Skills are the skills you’ve learned throughout your life in different areas that apply to any job you’re applying for. Skills like adaptability, communication, and teamwork are all great to have not only on your resume, but to emphasize in a cover letter or interview. As long as you can back up your claim with a story or instance where you used that skill, you can 

use it. While the semester and your schoolwork have gotten more complicated thanks to Covid-19, you’re also learning critical skills in digital technology, communication, and adaptability. Learning to articulate your transferable skills will give you a leg up in the job search.

The top Transferable Skills employers look for according to NACE are:

  1. Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving

Think about a time where you were faced with a problem that needed to be solved. How did you go about it? For example, did you have to change your spring break plans at the last minute because of Covid-19? How did you solve that problem?

  1. Oral/Written Communication Skills

Your resume and cover letters are an example of your written communication skills, and your interview is a good representation of your oral communication skills. Another question employers might ask would include public speaking. Have you ever done a presentation in front of a class or for your work?

  1. Teamwork/Collaboration

Think about a time you had to work on a team. How did you handle the situation? Were there conflicts you needed to solve?

  1. Digital Technology

Think about what computer skills you have, are they what the employers are looking for? Can you think of a time where you had to learn a new software or application on the job or for a class? For example, did you have to quickly learn how to use Webex for a class because of the pandemic?

  1. Leadership

Think about a time you expressed leadership qualities, what did you do and how?

  1. Professionalism/Work Ethic

Has there ever been a time where you needed to work with an angry customer or solve a workplace dispute? Or did you need to switch quickly from in-person work to remote work for your job? How did you hold yourself accountable at home?

  1. Career Management

Do you have the skills necessary to build and manage your career on your own? Do you have goals and a strategy to achieve those goals?

  1. Global/Intercultural Fluency

Talk about a time you worked with someone from a different culture or background as you. Was there a conflict to resolve professionally?

These are skills that you can learn through your classes, at an internship, or through any job you may have held, and many of these skills will come in handy for your classes and jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic. You don’t have to have learned or used these skills in a completely relevant job or internship to your field of interest, these skills are life skills. Of course, if you need any help articulating these skills, the Career Center is here to help!

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