Many people change jobs throughout their careers. Before changing careers, it's important to understand how to best discuss your qualifications to demonstrate why you're a good candidate for the job. For example, it's essential for teachers to know how to relate their skill set and experience for careers outside of the classroom. In this article, we define what transferable skills for teachers are, list examples of which skills to put on a resume, outline how to improve your skills and discuss how to highlight them during the job-seeking process.
What are transferable skills for teachers?
Transferable skills for teachers are those that teachers have that they can transfer and use in other types of careers. These often include soft skills, which are related to personality traits or natural habits. Teachers may use skills they developed during their work or training as an educator and apply them in new ways to succeed in other jobs in the education field or different industries entirely.
14 examples of transferable teaching skills for a resume
Here are some examples of skills that may transfer well for teachers pursuing a new career that may be beneficial to include on a resume:
Problem-solving skills enable teachers to evaluate situations and develop potential solutions. These skills demonstrate resourcefulness, and they may suggest an ability to learn new things and process information quickly. Teachers often use problem-solving skills to address a variety of concerns in the classroom, such as to address behavior or to develop plans to support a struggling student.
2. Instructing and presenting
Instructing and presenting skills support teachers in sharing information with others. It's essential for teachers to be able to inform others in a clear, concise way. Similarly, it's important for them to understand how to engage with their audience and check for understanding. This allows them to adapt their presentation to meet their audience's needs or align with the various learning styles of audience members.
3. Management skills
Management skills enable professionals to lead projects and oversee groups of people. Teachers often have excellent management skills to lead their classrooms and motivate their students. This may prepare teachers to pursue similar tasks in other roles, such as managing projects.
Read more: Management Skills: Definition and Examples
4. Communication skills
Communication skills, which include verbal and written communication, enable people to share, receive, process and record information. It's important for teachers to have excellent reading comprehension and communication skills to understand assignments, guidelines and curriculum. Teachers often also understand how to develop and use resources that enhance communication. This may help them engage more successfully with different types of audiences.
5. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a soft skill related to understanding the feelings and needs of others. It's important for teachers to have excellent emotional intelligence so they're able to interpret how students may feel, especially when students cannot communicate this for themselves. This may be a beneficial transferable skill into any type of workplace, as teachers can better understand their coworkers and build more successful relationships with them.
6. Time management
Time management refers to a professional's ability to prioritize tasks successfully and plan each day so they can accomplish everything required of them and meet all deadlines. It's important for teachers to have excellent time management skills so they're able to discuss all learning materials in their allotted time with students. Good time management skills may transfer into nearly any other role to achieve efficient and successful operations.
7. Ability to work under pressure
The ability to work under pressure helps professionals work well in stressful environments. Teachers may work in stressful environments, such as being responsible for the safety of large numbers or students or managing classrooms with different types of students with unique needs. Developing this skill may prepare teachers to work well under pressure in other careers without missing deadlines or compromising the integrity of their work.
Collaboration skills include the skills people use to work together on a project or in the pursuit of a common goal. For example, teachers often collaborate with other teachers or administrators to develop an appropriate curriculum or to determine the best course of action for assisting a struggling student. This skill may transfer well into other workplaces to help teachers listen to and work well with others.
Self-motivation refers to the ability to work independently and feeling naturally motivated to complete work. Teachers are often responsible for independent tasks like creating their own lesson plans, preparing their classroom or grading their students' assignments. This is a helpful transferable task because it demonstrates a teacher's reliability and ability to perform their tasks without constant monitoring.
Adaptability relates to how well someone responds to changes. It's essential for teachers to adaptable well to various changes, such as unexpected classroom interruptions or curriculum requirements from year to year. Being adaptable demonstrates flexibility, an ability to modify performance based on feedback or needs and a commitment to doing whatever's required to achieve success.
11. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills include the skills required to understand others and build relationships with them. It's important for teachers to have excellent interpersonal skills so they're able to build good relationships with others. These skills may translate well into other industries to help them build relationships with coworkers and clients alike and handle any situations professionally.
Organizational skills help professionals create and maintain order in the workplace, including both physical spaces and with tasks themselves. For example, teachers may use organizational skills to create a classroom that meets their needs. They may also use these skills to prioritize their work appropriately and develop and manage calendars well. These skills often translate well into other professions and support completing work efficiently and on time.
Multitasking refers to the ability to complete multiple tasks at once without compromising their results. Teachers often multitask in the classroom and are responsible for handling a range of responsibilities. This may translate well into other professions, especially those that require professionals to transition easily between different types of tasks throughout the day.
Decision-making skills involve evaluating possibilities and determining which is the correct solution. Teachers often decide what methods to use for teaching students, how to respond to student actions and how to help students who need extra assistance. These skills may translate well into other types of workplaces because they demonstrate the ability to think critically and consider the best outcome for others.
How to improve transferable skills as a teacher
Here are some ways to help you improve your transferable skills as a teacher:
1. Pursue professional development opportunities
Research opportunities to develop your skills. For example, you may enroll in an online course or an in-person workshop through a local organization to help you improve a particular skill. Another option may be to read books or online resources about new techniques.
2. Try new methods
Consider using different techniques than you normally do. This may be especially beneficial for skills that may not be as strong as others. For example, if you want to improve your time management skills, research and try different techniques for organizing your tasks and time.
3. Practice them in daily life
Use your skills in your personal life. This may help build your skill and help you develop it as a natural habit. For example, you may hope to improve your organizational skills. Consider reorganizing your personal files or developing a new organizational system for your closet.
Transferable teaching skills in the workplace
While exact ways to use transferable skills may vary, here are some examples of ways to show them in the workplace:
- Presenting new information to others
- Mediating a disagreement between colleagues
- Collaborating with other professionals on the same project
- Changing the approach to a project based on feedback
- Building relationships with colleagues or clients
How to highlight transferable teaching skills
When applying for jobs, it's essential to highlight your qualifications and skills, particularly as they relate to the role you're pursuing. If you're looking to transition from teaching into a different role, it's crucial for you to know how to align your experience with the requirements and responsibilities of the new position. This may help the hiring manager understand why you're a good candidate for the job, and your unique skill set may distinguish you from other applicants.
Some ways to highlight your transferable skills as a teacher throughout the job-seeking process include:
On a resume
Include a section with a bulleted list of your relevant skills. Consider including a professional summary at the top of your resume to highlight your strengths and connect them with the position you're seeking. As you describe your work history, use the descriptions to demonstrate ways you used your skills.
On a cover letter
Use your cover letter to better introduce yourself to the hiring manager. Incorporate specific examples that showcase your personality and abilities, and, when possible, include quantitative information to support your examples. Focus on discussing your achievements that best align with the position you're seeking or the skills you need to succeed in the new job.
In a job interview
Prepare a few stories to share during your interview. Select stories that use skills that translate easily into other occupations. As you tell each story, include details of how you applied your skills, and discuss how you think this experience may help you succeed in this new role.