Transferable Skills and Where to Find Them

As a college student, you may find yourself prioritizing school, friends, or regular income over gaining experience in your field. That’s okay! Believe it or not, many employers don’t expect recent college graduates (or underclassmen) to have 10+ years of work experience under their belt. Your resume is bound to feel a barren, but you can actually bulk it up with regular experiences. Let us show you the way: 

What Experiences Count? 

All of them! Recruiters love to hire people who are more than their GPA. They love hearing about your volunteer work, your extracurricular clubs, and your leadership experiences because it humanizes you. Listing these adds a layer of personality to your resume and acts as a list of talking points when it comes to the interview. 

Transferable Skills 

The first step to bulking up your resume is evaluating the skills you gained and how they may be transferred to future employment. A few common examples include communication, teamwork, and time management. Sit down with your list experiences and create a list of tasks you had to complete. Then, figure out what skills it took to complete them. Page three of this Guide to Transferable Skills will help you. 

Proper Expression 

Your resume should be one page, so you must figure how to properly communicate all your relevant experiences using short phrases that employers are actively looking for. Let’s say you want to include your Greek Life experiences. If you listed that on your resume, it might look like this: 

Alpha Delta Sigma Group Lead    August 2021 – Current 

  • Talked to a group of 34 womxn and made sure to keep them informed on group events. 
  • Talked to my Little a lot.  
  • I put together a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. 

This might seem okay, at first, but it doesn’t tell the recruiter anything about the skills you may have gained during your time with the group. If you try to explain any more on the page, you’ll end up writing too much. Instead, try finding words that quickly sum up the skill and express it as a verb. Like this: 

Alpha Delta Sigma Group Lead    August 2021 – Current 

  • Effectively publicized various events to entire ADS community. 
  • Mentored and maintained close relationship with underclassman advisee
  • Successfully coordinated and publicized a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity that raised $2,500. 

While it might not seem much shorter than before, it tells a lot more about what you learned. In the second example, you can tell that you learn how to communicate, that you’re good at multi-tasking and management, and that you’ve even developed yourself as a good mentor. This is what get recruiters curious, and its what gets you the job. Look to page four of that guide for more helpful phrases.  

If you’re having any trouble following the guide, then feel free to visit the MU Career Center. We’re happy to help! If you are a freshman, or would like to learn more about campus involvement, set up a meeting with an Involvement Ambassador. They’ll be able to walk you through all the incredible involvement opportunities at Mizzou.