New to the Life Sciences? Here’s How to Highlight Your Transferable Skills on Your Resume
Are you interested in pursuing a career in the life sciences field? Whether you’re a recent graduate, or a mid to late-career professional, entering a new industry can seem very intimidating. Where do you start? How do you compete with others who have more relevant experience? What will make you stand out amongst all of the other candidates? It’s common to feel overwhelmed or stressed about a major career change. There are a few things you can do to position yourself as the right person for the job.
In order to even get in the door of a company for an interview, you must have a compelling resume. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, your resume must have the right keywords to get past technology screening software known as Applicant Tracking Systems. Once you’ve got that covered, you can address your previous work history. One of the main challenges of people who are new to life sciences industries involves presenting their professional experience in a way that showcases their transferable skills to the position they are applying for. Here are some tips on how to highlight your transferable skills in your resume!
Get clear on what your transferable skills are
Transferable skills are your talents and abilities that can be applied to a new position. These are more general skills that are necessary in a variety of jobs. Take some time to list your most desirable transferable skills that are important in the life sciences industry. Some suggestions to consider are research, analysis, data analysis, problem solving, communication, time management, communication (written and verbal), planning, strategizing, team management, project management, presenting, conflict resolution, collaboration and training. What can you think of that wasn’t listed here?
Come up with examples from your past job roles and duties
Now that you know which transferable skills you possess, think about specific examples from your past when you utilized them. Were they a significant part of your roles and responsibilities in a previous position? Were they included as part of your core job duties? List out these examples and look for places to insert them into your resume. An obvious place would be in the job description section that pertains to the relevant position. Focus the majority of previous job descriptions on the transferable skills that you determined correspond with the life sciences position.
Include accomplishments that emphasize the transferable skills
At this point, think about which transferable skills you’d consider yourself extremely proficient in. Make a list of your past accomplishments that showcase your knowledge, mastery, and/or success with a skill. You can also include instances where you were part of a team that was responsible for a desired result. Your contribution to a group project can be just as meaningful as a solo accomplishment in many instances. Find creative ways to incorporate these accomplishments into your resume.
If you’re trying to break into life sciences fields, the highly technical nature of jobs can cause you to feel intimidated or uncertain about your odds of landing a position. Working on your resume by adding transferable skills is the first step towards securing an interview. First, get clear on which transferable skills you have that are relevant to your job targets. Then, list out examples of duties you had within your previous roles where you utilized the skills. Finally, incorporating accomplishments and achievements associated with the transferable skills, within your resume can help you set yourself apart. We’ve also provided additional suggestions on how to effectively tweak your resume for a job in the past. What are your top five transferable skills?
Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.