The World According to Dirk: “Transferable skills”

Dirk flies in the face of many things you will read about getting a job. It can be disconcerting to hear him tell you things which are the exact opposite of what you hear from virtually every other “expert.” The thing is, I am finding that these “experts” are giving  advice from “theory” or based on the job market of years gone by or from some parallel universe. I started paying more attention to what Dirk said when it became clear that certain things were just no longer true in the real world. Dirk lives with both feet in the real world.

Take the whole concept of “transferable skills.” Supposedly there are skills which may be obtained in one job (“stay at home moms” learn to multitask, organize, stay calm in chaos, etc.) which are useful in a variety of jobs. I find, however, in the current job market, if you lack experience marketing mixed signal semiconductors for cell phones, it matters little what other semiconductor marketing experience you have; they are going to find a candidate who has exactly the experience they are looking for.

Dirk scoffs at the concept of “transferable skills” (and the functional resume, for that matter). Sure, you may have done something similar to the job being advertised, but how long is it going to take for you to get fully up to speed? In the current job market, employees are being overwhelmed with heavy workloads. No hiring manager wants to wait a week or two for you to get up to speed on a new skill. S/he wants someone who is already proficient and can hit the ground running.

As a result, Dirk stresses the need to pack your resume with the most important skills for the job. If the job is all about strategy and analysis, then those words need to appear over and over in your resume.  If it is about social media, then you need to mention social media over and over. If the req says “digital media” then use the term “digital media.” Do NOT assume that the person or the software reviewing your resume is going to assume that you mean “digital media” when you say “social media” “Twitter” “Facebook” “YouTube” etc. Remember the LCD!

James Snider
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing
Anyone can give you social media.  I make sure it’s marketing.

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About jamessnider

James Snider is the Vice President of Business Development for Engstrom Trading, LLC. Engstrom imports products from Scandinavian countries and builds a market for them in the USA and Canada. View all posts by jamessnider

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