March 8th is the 101st celebration of International Women’s Day (  Each year, thousands of events occur around the world to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

For female job seekers who have been out of the paid workforce for a period of time —  yet have been performing valuable, non-paid work — this special day may cause confusion. Despite the gains women have achieved in the world of work, many employers reject valuable volunteer and extra-curricular activities that impart women’s diverse, multi-dimensional backgrounds.

Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” (John Wiley & Sons, encourages job seekers to “think outside the box” and draw on a variety of past experiences, in both paid and non-paid positions, when applying for new employment.  These “transferable skills,” acquired during any activity – volunteer positions, classes, projects, parenting, hobbies, sports – can be applicable to one’s next job.  By adding transferable skills to a resume, employers get a better understanding and broader picture of whom they are hiring – as well as the interests, values and experiences that the candidate brings to the table.

Myers uses the example of an attorney who does not wish to continue practicing law. “Attorneys perform research, write briefs, do counseling, and develop new business ideas with clients – skills that can be used in a variety of work settings, not just the law.”

Myers notes that transferable skills can be divided into five broad skill areas:

1.  Communication: 

writes clearly and concisely, speaks effectively, listens attentively, openly expresses ideas, negotiates/resolves differences, leads group discussions, provides feedback, persuades others, provides well-thought out solutions, gathers appropriate information, confidently speaks in public

2.  Interpersonal Skills: 

works well with others, sensitive, supportive, motivates others, shares credit, counsels, cooperates, delegates effectively, represents others, understands feelings, self-confident, accepts responsibility

3.  Research and Planning: 

forecasts/predicts, creates ideas, identifies problems, meets goals, identifies retargets, gathers information, solves problems, defines needs, analyzes issues, develops strategies, assesses situations

4.  Organizational Skills: 

handles details, coordinates tasks, punctual, manages projects effectively, meets deadlines, sets goals, keeps control over budget, plans and arranges activities, multi-tasks

5.  Management Skills: 

leads groups, teaches/trains/instructs, counsels/coaches, manages conflict, delegates responsibility, makes decisions, directs others, implements decisions, enforces policies, takes charge

“My hope is that this International Women’s Day will encourage female job seekers to really think about the professional skills they’ve developed in all the facets of their lives, not just from years of on-the-job experience,” adds Myers.



Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” Download your free bonuses now at

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