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Examples of Transferable Skills to Change Careers to Teaching

Examples of Transferable Skills to Change Careers to Teaching

Transferable skills are critical to a career change to teaching or any other education job. Are you looking for examples of transferable skills to become a teacher? Maybe you are entering teaching as a second career?

These skills are the ones you can take with you from one career and move to another. The best process is to make a list or checklist of the ones you have and refer to them during the various stages of your job search to land a teaching position.

You aren’t alone if you are making this type of employment change.

Over the last 16 years, I have witnessed various business professionals transition to teaching and find it was their best decision.

Making a successful career change to education will require you to uncover and communicate your transferable skills. These attributes and core competencies must be relevant to teaching to convince the hiring authority that you will value the school and its students.

When applying for a job in a completely different field than what you are trained in, it is of the utmost importance that you analyze your transferable skills and detect the ones that would make you a good teacher or instructor.

It is highly recommended that you act safely when testing a second career option by researching your thoughts and ideas. Don’t get me wrong; making a career transformation is often the best decision people make.

How to Identify Transferable Teaching Skills

Desired teaching skills include communication, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, confidence, conflict resolution, adaptability, and collaboration.

Look at your current business job’s day-to-day responsibilities and determine how many of the above skills you utilize. Ensure you convey these transferable skills in your career transition resume and cover letter.

To be an incredible teacher, you must possess other non-tangible traits: creativity, enthusiasm, motivation, cooperation, compassion, patience, and a goal-driven nature.

Additional Key Skills Relevant to Teaching to Include in a Resume

Meet Deadlines

Project Management

Procedure Documentation

Course Development



Data Analysis

Research and Reporting

Assess how many of these attributes you have and determine which should be strengthened. Highlight some of these qualities in your resume and cover letter as well. Be prepared to back them up with examples from past work experience. Or volunteer and community work involvement.

In addition to the soft skills and personal traits mentioned above, teachers must hold a particular hard skill set (tangible transferable skills).

This tangible teaching skill set includes lesson plan development, student needs assessment, student motivation, performance evaluation, parent-teacher communication, learning style accommodation, individualized tutoring, hands-on instruction, and many others.

If you have never been involved in education or instruction, you may find that these elements are outside your realm of expertise. However, you can find events and skills that are relatable.

Examples of Finding Relatable Previous Work Duties and Skills

For example, though you may not be experienced when motivating children, you have had the opportunity to motivate colleagues daily within your work environment. Think of examples of how you encourage co-workers and what the result is.

Furthermore, writing lesson plans may seem daunting, but do not worry since you are an expert at writing procedures for your office. You know how to lay out a plan step-by-step so anyone can follow along and understand. Employees who have questions know they can ask you for advice and help. Think of them as your students. You can guide and mentor them and ensure they perform at the top of their game.

Besides, if you are currently in a supervisory position of any kind, then chances are you have had to conduct performance reviews. You assess each employee individually, determine their strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and help them reach their full potential. The same goes for students. Ensure an optimal learning environment by treating students individually, conducting regular performance evaluations, analyzing their unique learning styles, and accommodating them to overcome obstacles and strengthen their talents.

Many other transferable skills can link your current career and your desired position as an educator. Ensure you demonstrate this solid correlation for prospective employers in your resume, cover letter, and interview. Though you may have to dig a bit to find specific examples, the talent for educating is in you!

I have written career resumes for clients with many occupations wishing to transition to teaching.

Examples of job titles include lawyers, non-profit directors or executives, nurses, sales managers, social workers, service workers, administrative assistants, event planners, and so on. Many corporate or business professionals used the alternate route program to leap education.

How to Add Transferable Skills to a Career Change Resume

Transferrable skills are skills that you can utilize in more than one career. You can “transfer” them across different fields, making you versatile and desirable to potential schools. Even though you may not think you have the hard skill sets required of a great teacher, if you look hard enough, you will find that you possess at least some of them. When writing a transferable skills resume, the following information will help.

Example Transferable Skills and Abilities Include:

• Communicating ideas to others via different mediums
• Working with individuals on a one-on-one basis, as well as in a large group
• Establishing a comfortable and inclusive environment where every person feels welcome
• Setting goals that you and others should aim to reach
• Evaluating others on their performance and behavior and offering constructive feedback promptly

These qualities are not exclusive to the classroom. They are also necessary for careers outside the field of education.

The key to making a career change to teaching is marketing your transferable skills in your resume, cover letter, and during interviews. When developing your career change resume, you will list past job responsibilities and relevant achievements.

Remember the above skills and others you think are needed as an educator when describing those two items.

For instance, if you led a seminar in your office, do not just state it. Explain it:

“Organized and led a seminar for 30 staff members detailing new sales goals and initiatives. Conducted a question and answer session, and encouraged open brainstorming amongst the employees.”

This accomplishment demonstrates that you can communicate with a large group, answer their questions, and promote open discussion – all critical components of leading a stimulating class. Highlight achievements like this in your career change resume and cover letter. Even if you think your day-to-day tasks are irrelevant, examine them closely and identify components that would transfer to the classroom environment.

Other qualities to showcase for your reader include communication, organization, time management, analytical, and problem-solving skills. If these traits apply to you – at all times, keep your resume and teaching interview responses honest! List these qualities in the introductory paragraph of your resume.

This top section is called the resume profile or summary of qualifications. Like the example above, you can also allude to these skills while detailing accomplishments.

Your cover letter to apply for a new teaching job is critical. It should also contain relevant information to show your passion, personality, the reason for the change, and how you qualify to become a teacher.

Grab the reader’s attention immediately and let your audience know you have what it takes to be a phenomenal educator, even though you are a career changer.

Bluntly stated, “I have developed skills A, B, C, and D, and am looking forward to putting them to good use in the classroom.” Highlight three to five related achievements and demonstrate that you are well-suited for the teaching position.

Keep all of these qualities and skills in mind regarding the interview. When the interviewer asks, “Why do you think you would make a good teacher?” you will be able to answer and list your multitude of related transferable skills readily.

Contact me (Candace) if you need help writing your transferable skills resume to successfully enter teaching or any other education career. Call toll-free at 1 877 738-8052, email candoco@telus.net, or review our resume assistance packages.