Careers For Dummies
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Leveraging crossover skills when changing careers or jobs is your most important persuasion tool to gain acceptance in job interviews. Crossover skills are those you’ve gathered through jobs, classes, volunteer work, hobbies, sports, projects, parenting, or any other life experience that can be valuable in your new career.

Blogging, for example, is a crossover skill. Surprised? Don’t be. Blogging is more than going online and telling the world about your day or what you think. For starters, blogging requires more than writing skills. As a blogger, you build a loyal readership and study visitor statistics to see what works and what doesn’t. You meet self-announced deadlines for new material. You make intelligent responses to comments including those that insult your own intelligence.

As an extension of social networking, blogging can benefit many businesses (such as financial services) or causes (such as politics) that depend on large numbers of customers and supporters. Any entity seeking to establish or maintain a blog needs people who can make it work correctly.

A few better known examples of crossover skills include the following:

  • Decision-making

  • Oral and written communication

  • Organization

  • Problem-solving

  • Technology

Crossovers skills go straight to the heart of an employer’s question of “Can you do the job?” Be ready to identify your crossover skills to an interviewer, and to translate how they make you immediately productive.

Even brilliant people have trouble correctly and comprehensively identifying their portable skills. Searching online for “crossover skills” or “transferable skills” is the cheapest and quickest way to get started on identifying yours. Additionally, look for books that contain multipage listings of portable skills.

When big fat holes remain in your inventory of crossover skills, it’s time to return to your college’s career center for help or engage a career coach well versed in identifying skills and competencies.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Marty Nemko, PhD, has been career coach to 5,400 clients, enjoys a 96 percent client-satisfaction rate, and was named "The Bay Area's Best Career Coach" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has been interviewed in hundreds of major publications, from The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on the Today show and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His first job? Piano player in a Bronx bar at age 13. His second? Taxi driver.

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