by Katharine Hansen Ph.D.
Before checking out these sample transferable skills examples you should consider reading Emphasizing your Transferable and Marketable Skills in Your Cover Letter.
Let’s examine how — in a single paragraph — these students can describe these college jobs in their cover letters in terms of transferable and applicable skills that relate to post-college jobs they’re applying for:
- Server in restaurant seeking entry-level marketing position
- Retail associate seeking teaching position
- Office clerk seeking entry-level accounting position
- Babysitter/nanny seeking position as management trainee
- Bank teller seeking entry-level position in a stock brokerage
- Fitness instructor seeking entry-level position in health care
- Campus computer-lab assistant seeking position in consulting
- Resident advisor/Resident assistant seeking sales position
- Telemarketer/phone survey taker seeking position in hotel management
Transferable and Applicable College Job Skills
Server in restaurant seeking entry-level marketing position
In addition to my marketing coursework I have employed marketing and customer-service skills in the restaurant field. In my most recent position I marketed appetizers desserts and other add-ons to customers and added value to their dining experience. I would like to apply the same sales savvy and interpersonal skills in the marketing position you have open.
Retail associate seeking teaching position
As a sales associate in a retail store I successfully handled customers’ needs every day. To succeed I had to be a patient and diplomatic problem-solver. Because the same kinds of patience and creative problem-solving are required of teachers I am confident I will be an effective third-grade teacher at your school.
Office clerk seeking entry-level accounting position
The office clerk job I held every summer throughout college demanded a high degree or organization and detail-orientation. My former employer can affirm that I am fully capable of applying these important skills at your accounting firm. My experience also taught me the importance of fitting into the office culture and I stand ready to become a contributing member of your team.
Babysitter/nanny seeking position as management trainee
As a former caregiver to three active youngsters I certainly know the importance of good time management. I’ve gained that skill along with exemplary leadership organizational and communications talents that would contribute to our mutual success when I join your management trainee program.
Bank teller seeking entry-level position in a stock brokerage
I seized the opportunity in my bank teller position to learn as much as possible about personal finance and investments while simultaneously honing the “people skills” that are crucial to success as a stockbroker.
Fitness instructor seeking entry-level position in health care
Having worked my way through college as a fitness instructor I have already demonstrated my commitment to good health. Further I have developed the solid customer-service skills that would enable me to effectively interact with patients.
Campus computer-lab assistant seeking position in consulting
My work-study position as a computer-lab assistant involved solid knowledge of the technology within the labs the ability to teach that technology to fellow students and the skills to assist those who had problems with the software and hardware. To me that’s what consulting is all about — possessing the knowledge to teach and assist clients and the interpersonal skills to do so successfully.
Resident advisor/Resident assistant seeking sales position
I am very excited about contributing my talents in the field of professional selling. I have heard a number of times that sales skills are taught and there is no such thing as a natural-born salesperson. I couldn’t agree more! I have served as a resident advisor for two years and I was very surprised at how much selling goes on. I have learned quickly that the more you know about your customer your product and how to adapt to each situation the easier the sale becomes. My success in selling my ideas to residents and administrators makes me an ideal candidate for your training program.
Telemarketer/phone survey taker seeking position in hotel management
My work as a telemarketer required me to communicate with a diverse array of people some of whom represented difficult challenges. I refined my communication skills to the point where I was nearly always able to smooth ruffled feathers solve problems and provide satisfaction to customers. These are exactly the skills that are vital to effective hotel management and I am eager to apply my talents at your hotel.
Go back to Quintessential Careers: Transferable Skills.
Katharine Hansen Ph.D. creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers is an educator author and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers edits QuintZine an electronic newsletter for jobseekers and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University Cincinnati OH is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press) as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen Ph.D. Dynamic Cover Letters Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.