Transferable skills are critical to making 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 are able to 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 a variety of business professionals make a transition to teaching and find it was the best decision they made.
Making a successful career change to education will require you to uncover and communicate your transferable skills. These attributes and core competencies need to be relevant to teaching to convince the hiring authority you will be of value to 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 are able to analyze your transferable skills and detect the ones that would make you a good teacher or instructor.
It is highly recommended to 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
Some of the desired teaching skills include: communication, interpersonal, organizational, time management, critical thinking, and problem-solving, adaptable, supportive, collaborative.
Look at the day-to- day responsibilities of your current business job, and determine how many of the above skills you utilize. Make sure you convey these transferable skills in your career transition resume and cover letter.
Other non-tangible traits you must possess to be an incredible teacher, include: creativity, enthusiasm, motivation, cooperation, compassion, patience, and a goal-driven nature.
Additional Key Skills Relevant to Teaching to Include in a Resume
Research and Reporting
Assess how many of these attributes you have, and determine which should be strengthened. Highlight at least 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) as well.
Included within this tangible teaching skill set is 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 before, you may find that these elements are out of 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 it comes to 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 end result is.
Furthermore, writing lesson plans may seem daunting, but not to worry since you are an expert at writing procedures for your office. You know how to lay out a plan step-by-step so that anyone can follow along and understand. If employees have questions, they know that they can come to you for advice and help. Think of them as your students. You are able to guide and mentor them and ensure they perform at the top of their game.
In addition, 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 as an individual, determine their strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and help them reach their full potential. The same goes for children. By treating students as individuals, conducting regular performance evaluations, analyzing their unique learning styles, and accommodating them to overcome obstacles and strengthen their talents, you will be able to ensure an optimal learning environment for all.
There are many other transferable skills that can draw a link between your current career and your desired position as an educator. Make certain that you demonstrate this strong correlation to prospective employers in your resume and cover letter, and over the course of your 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 a vast array of occupations wishing to transition to teaching.
A few job title examples include: lawyers, non-profit directors or executives, nurses, sales managers, social workers, service workers, administrative assistants, event planners, and the list goes on. Many of these corporate or business professionals used the alternate route program to make the leap to education.
How to Add Transferable Skills to Career Change Resume
Transferrable skills are skills that you can utilize in more than one career. You are able to “transfer” them across different fields, thereby making you versatile and more desirable to potential schools. Even though you may not think that you have the hard skill sets that are required of a great teacher, if you look hard enough, you will find that you do in fact 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 each and 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 in a timely manner
These qualities are not exclusive to the classroom. They are necessary for careers outside the field of education as well.
The key to making a career change to teaching is marketing your transferable skills in your resume, cover letter, and during the interview. When developing your career change resume, you will list past job responsibilities and relevant achievements.
When describing those two items, keep in mind the above skills and others that you think are needed as an educator.
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 are able to communicate with a large group, answer their questions, and promote open discussion – all key components of leading a stimulating class. Really highlight achievements like this in your career change resume and cover letter. Even if you think your day-to-day tasks are not relevant, examine them closely, and identify components that would transfer to the classroom environment.
Other qualities to showcase for your reader include communication, organizational, time management, analytical, and problem-solving skills. If these traits do in fact 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. You can also allude to these skills while detailing accomplishments, like the example above.
Your cover letter to apply for a new teaching job is critical and 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 right away and let the reader know that even though you are a career changer, you do in fact have what it takes to be a phenomenal educator.
Bluntly state, “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 as well, demonstrating once again that you are well suited for the teaching position.
When it comes time for the interview keep all of these qualities and skills in mind. When the interviewer asks, “Why do you think you would make a good teacher?” you will be able to readily answer and list your multitude of related transferable skills.
Reach out to me (Candace), if you need help writing your transferable skills resume to successfully enter teaching as any other education career. Call toll-free 1 877 738-8052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or review our resume assistance packages.