Transferable Skills

A “transferable skill” is defined by the market, or buyer, and not by the candidate, or seller.

Transferable SkillsToday, whenever I hear a leader who states that they believe their skills can transport across industries, I gently ask him/her, “How do you know they are transferable? Who told you that they are?”

As an executive, you know the first rule of marketing — design your marketing strategies to meet your target market’s wants and needs (i.e. hit the bulls-eye). You must do the research, just like you would in rolling out a new product to a new market. Find out what they want, and why, and then align the product, or your candidacy, to their desires.  Nothing falls flat more than a presentation/pitch that is feature-rich, or about your skills, and product-centric, or about your background. What sells is aligning to the markets hidden desires and building a case for benefits that they really want.

After you know what you target market wants, then you can back-map it to your skill sets, or your feature, to results , or the benefits that you offer, that aligns with today’s market challenges. You must look to today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

To get noticed, start at the beginning by answering these questions, and more:

  • What industry are you targeting?
  • What size is the industry?
  • What are the tangible demographics? Intangible? Is it growing or shrinking?
  •  What do they want, as an industry, in an executive?
  • Do they need leaders to rescue or turn a company around, do they need leaders who knows how to grow a company, or do they need professional leaders who can leverage the company? Why or why not?
  • What can you provide for them that will be different than your competitors? Why should they care?

Only then can you claim that you skills are “transferrable.”

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