Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Evaluating your transferable skills

As an experienced worker, or even if you are coming back to the workforce after a break, you will have developed many skills and abilities based on your experience, which are not dependent on education. These skills which may have been obtained in previous jobs, or as a parent or homemaker, are valuable in many different work situations. The following resources will help you to identify these skills and advise you how they can be transferred when you are considering a change of profession, developing your resume, or preparing for an interview.

Useful websites

This is part of the AARP-American Association of Retired Persons site which was identified in our Getting started section. Experienced workers can identify their skills and discover how they can be transferred to new work assignments, or help make the transition to a new career.

Career Analysts (occupational psychologists and career coaching)
Although based in Auckland, Career Analysts offer a number of programmes to individuals including career E-coaching which is available via email, mail and/or telephone for solving career management problems.

Careers NZ
Putting transferable skills into your CV.

Careers NZ
Skills gained outside the workforce.

DBM New Zealand
Their services include individual and group career transition programmes and change programmes. Click on links through to articles about career transition and change.

Transferable skills : bringing your skills to a new career

A useful article by Dawn Rosenberg McKay, About.com. The page contains links to other articles on the subject, including a worksheet and examples.
Transferable skills gained outside the workforce

Library resources

Articles available via our online magazines

The articles below which have links are from the EBSCO database, part of mygateway.info and can be accessed fulltext online. If you have not accessed Ebsco within the last thirty days, you need to login here first.

Author: Clewes, Graham
Source: Financial Management Apr2010, pp35-36.
Abstract: The article discusses career development and transferable skills.

HOW TO find your strengths and weaknesses
Source: Occupational Health; Feb2008, Vol. 60 Issue 2, p24
Abstract: Although discussing the occupational health profession, the article is applicable to any profession.

Syndetics book coverWork your strengths : a scientific process to identify your skills and match them to the best career for you / Chuck Martin, Richard Guare, Peg Dawson.
"Written for general readers in plain language without scientific jargon, this book looks at the neuroscience behind 12 types of executive skills, including memory, emotional control, and sustained attention. Readers are guided to take the author's online test to discover innate strengths and weaknesses in these areas, and then to match their executive skill profile against the executive skills of high achievers in different professions, industries and organizational departments.

Syndetics book coverGo put your strengths to work : six powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance / Marcus Buckingham.
"Buckingham, an authority on workplace issues, provides a road map for managers to learn for themselves and then teach their employees how to approach their work by emphasizing their strengths rather than weaknesses. He offers a six-step plan for six weeks of reading and habit-forming action for discerning strengths, along with optional tools to enhance the process such as online questions for measuring strengths and downloaded films (two of which are free). The steps of his plan are belief that the best way to compete is capitalizing on your strengths, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, volunteering your strengths at work, lessening the impact of your weaknesses on your team, effectively communicating the value of your strengths while limiting work utilizing weaknesses, and building habits and pushing activities that play to strength. Although everyone will not agree with all the elements of Buckingham's approach, he offers valuable insight into maximizing employees' strengths rather than the more common focus on weaknesses and failure. --Mary Whaley Copyright 2007 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission." (Booklist)

Upgrading your skills

If you feel your computer or technology skills are outdated, or if you have been working in a job which did not require computer skills, or wish to move into a completely new field, you may need to upgrade your skills. The Central Library holds university and polytechnic calendars for full-time, part-time or distance education study, as well as information on other courses offered in your community. Night classes are run at many of the local polytechnics or high schools. Many of these have a presence on the web.

Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Here is a general introduction to what courses they offer.

Wellington High School Adult and Community classes
Either view the course index online or pick up a brochure at your local library.

Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec) 2012 prospectus
Wellington Institute of Technology provides an extensive range of nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, including certificate, diploma and degree programmes. Weltec runs a number of business focused courses as well as a number of free computer courses and summer semester courses.

English Teaching College Stepping Up Programme
The programme is sponsored by Microsoft and is a free internet and computer training for adults. It is designed for anyone with basic computer knowledge to develop their skills a step further in areas of direct relevance to their work and life Top of Page

Marketing yourself, resumés etc

In today's competitive workplace, one has to be able to produce an effective and professional resume, as well as being seen to be well prepared and confident in an interview situation. These skills may be difficult for those of us who are not used to having to sell our skills or praise ourselves. Also, more mature workers may need to overcome an employer's prejudices. A good way of showing that you are familiar with new technologies is having a resume that is scannable and adaptable to email. This section has links to web sites which can help you with writing resumes and interview preparation, as well as showing you what is held in this library.

Library resources


Syndetics book coverRésumé magic : trade secrets of a professional résumé writer / Susan Britton Whitcomb.
"Resume Magic is a giant compendium of advice and before-and-after resume transformations explains resume creation and illustrates professional techniques with actual examples that show why the techniques work. All the tricks professional resume writers use to create eye-catching, result-driven resumes are revealed in this book." (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNow you've been shortlisted : your step-by-step guide to being successful at interviews and assessment centres / by Denise Taylor.
"This book is for anyone that has received a 'you've been shortlisted' letter and wants to feel more confident and prepared for their forthcoming interview.It covers the different types of psychometric testing companies use, the various forms of interviews they employ, from first interview to panel interview to competency-based interview, as well as all aspects of performing well at assessment centres.The book finishes with advice on questions to ask at the end of the interview, different ways to follow up and what to expect at the start of your new job. Book jacket." (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnbeatable résumés : America's top recruiter reveals what really gets you hired / Tony Beshara ; foreword by Phil McGraw.
"Whether you've been on the job hunt for a day, a year, or more, you already know that there are countless 'résumé experts' out there. So why is only one of them-Tony Beshara-a regular guest on Dr. Phil? Once you dig into Tony's résumé book, you'll understand why.Unbeatable Résumés is first and foremost a treasury of great résumé tips. In this upbeat and incredibly practical book, Tony presents and critiques hundreds of examples from sample résumés. He demonstrates specific, powerful techniques and attention-grabbing language, and shows how to stay honest and yet put the most positive spin on liabilities like employment gaps and job-hopping.Tony doesn't stop there. After showing you how to create your killer résumé, he tells you what to do with it, including:How to identify every possible networking contactWhom to call, how often, and what to sayHow to complement your résumé with the only kind of cover letter you should ever useHow to leverage Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and other online resourcesHow to make your candidacy stand out in even the most crowded job marketsAnd much moreJust as he does on television, Tony brings to this book his incredible wealth of experience-not just as a résumé pro but also as one of America's most tenacious and successful recruiters. While most résumé services just do résumés only, Tony Beshara has personally placed close to 9,000 professionals in great jobs in every conceivable field.And don't forget his unparalleled access to executives, managers, supervisors, HR professionals, and the other people who hold the keys to your career success-including the more than 3,000 hiring authorities he has surveyed to reveal what really gets résumés read, interviews granted-and jobs offered.Read on. The next one hired could be you. Book jacket." (Syndetics summary)

Resumes for mid-career job changes : with sample cover letters/ by the editors of McGraw-Hill.
The job search solution : the ultimate system for finding a great job now! / Tony Beshara.
Knockout interview answers : 52 brilliant ideas to make job hunting a piece of cake / Ken Langdon and Nikki Cartwright.

Use the following subject browse terms to search the library catalogue:
Resumes (Employment)
Employment interviewing or Job interviews (will produce the same result)

Shelf search

Use this call number to browse the library shelves for other items: 650.14

Website links

Resume links - AARP-American Association of Retired Persons
Lists five types of resumes: chronological, functional, combination, electronic and modified letter. Select a format that best highlights your job history and skills as they relate to your current career status.

Quintessential Careers: Resume Tutorial

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Networking and the hidden job market

Although there are many employment sites on the internet, it is useful to remember that growing numbers of people find their new job through the hidden job market - i.e. through contacts. This is one area where experienced workers have an advantage through years of connections, both personal and professional. Volunteering is a good way to enlarge your network of contacts, whilst allowing you to help a cause.

Library resources


Syndetics book coverLinkedIn for dummies / by Joel Elad.
"LinkedIn takes professional networking online and provides access to people, jobs, and opportunities. This introduction to "LinkedIn" explains its key features with straightforward but fun language, and offers advice for starting and navigating the network." (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverGuerrilla marketing for job hunters 3.0 : how to stand out from the crowd and tap into the hidden job market using social media and 999 other tactics today / Jay Conrad Levinson, David Perry.
"Landing your dream job today requires that you be both the hunter and the hunted. Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 explains in step-by-step detail how to use the newest social networking sites and digital tools to perform a precision-guided, all-out job-hunting assault. Get access to cheatsheets, case studies, before-and-after sample resumes and cover letters, and proven tactics that you can tailor to your situation to make it drop-dead simple to find a job fast. Book jacket." (Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverJob searching with social media for dummies / by Joshua Waldman.
"Social media sites have proven themselves as important platforms for facilitating connections. "Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies" enables readers to harness the power of the Internet to research and identify job opportunities, then create a winning strategy for securing a position. "Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies" Features information on how to create effective online profiles and resumes to sell your strengthsShows readers how to maintain their online reputation (and ensuring that employers who Google them like what they find) and understanding electronic etiquetteCovers how to avoid common pitfalls, such as jumping into filling out a social media profile without a strategy" (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe digital mom handbook : how to blog, vlog, tweet, and facebook your way to a dream career at home / Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla.
"From the founders of ClassyMommy.com and MomGenerations.com comes the ultimate guide to helping moms build successful careers at home by doing what they already do online-just better.To work or not to work- it's the toughest question for most mothers today. But Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla have found the coveted "middle ground," creating successful careers from home via the Internet. They've literally Skyped, blogged, vlogged, tweeted, and Facebooked their way to the top-and in this eye-opening book they show other moms how to find success through these seven basic steps:Find your passion.Hang a digital "shingle" and start typing.Find your tribe.Make opportunity knock and learn how to answer that door.Manage the Benjamins.Don't forget the children!Live happily ever after by living your values. Book jacket." (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll a twitter : a personal and professional guide to social networking with Twitter / Tee Morris.
"This "personal and professional" guide to using Twitter is designed for prospective users who have questions about the social network's benefits, features, and access to resources. Morris is an active member of the Twitter community and social media expert, and he provides step-by-step instructions for setting up a Twitter account, creating effective messages (or "Tweets"), building an audience of "followers," adhering to Twitter etiquette and transferring these features to browsers, desktops and cell phones. The author also describes more professional applications for Twitter such as making business connections, uncovering hard-to-find resources, recruiting and coordinating for volunteer organizations and building a business through social network marketing techniques. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)" (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNetwork with confidence : how to make the most of your business contacts / Daphne Clifton.

Ultimate job search : invaluable advice on networking, CVs, cover letters, interviews, psychometric tests and follow-up strategies / Lynn Williams.

Shelf help

Use the following subject browse terms to search the library catalogue for other items:

Business networks

Career development

Social Networks

Useful websites

About.com articles on networking

Dress for success Wellington
Provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to more than 30,000 women in over 70 cities internationally each year. Dress for Success is a not-for-profit organization which helps low-income women make tailored transitions into the workforce. They are always looking for women interested in helping in a variety of ways including repairing garments and fundraising.

Her Business Networks
The networks have existed throughout New Zealand for over ten years. Her Business Group is the national sponsor, coordinator and administer of the Her Business Networks and maintains the philosophy of the original Wise Women Networks in providing opportunities for women who are seriously interested in self employment to get together, and to encourage and learn from one another through regular meetings. There is an annual subscription fee which entitles you to a variety of discounts and services.

New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women Inc

A unique social venture dedicated to researching, understanding and addressing the needs of all professional working women in New Zealand. See their "so you want to be a more effective networker" article

New Zealand Trust for Conservation Volunteers
Volunteers help to maintain and improve New Zealand's ecology, including natural bush areas, parks, reserves, wildlife, waterways, walkways, urban and rural landscape.

Successful resumes: navigating the hidden job market through networking
Volunteer Wellington
Volunteer Wellington, is an independent non-profit organisation and provides the essential voluntary workforce needed to maintain and sustain the work of more than 250 community based and not-for-profit organisations in the greater Wellington region. Volunteer Wellington also assists and trains organisations in the management of volunteers, to enhance the experience for both the organisation and the volunteer.

Volunteering New Zealand
This is the National Association for the Promotion of Volunteering in the community, with links to many agencies who use volunteers.

WWF Volunteers
Volunteers are encouraged to initiate and participate in education, public awareness, practical conservation and fundraising events.

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Alternative work arrangements

In today's working environment, the notion that one has a permanent full-time job, with its associated benefits is rapidly becoming outdated. For many people in a growing number of sectors, this concept has been replaced with short or long term contract work being more common; along with a shift to self-employment and consultancy.

Library resources


Syndetics book cover What next? : your career-change companion / Kaye Fallick (2010)
"If the work you are doing is no longer doing it for you, but you feel uncertain about how to change your situation this is the perfect book for you. And you are not alone, either. Thousands of people aged 45-64 are experiencing a new life stage not a mid-life crisis so much as a turning point as they consider their options moving from full-time traditional careers or homemaker roles. What Next? brings together a wealth of practical information and real-life stories as it looks at all levels of the decision-making process such as understanding current workplace trends, how to work out exactly what you want to do next, how to start building your new career, and how to manage your finances and your time as you explore all the options available. What Next? is for those who want to change gear rather than retire or carry on in an unfulfilling role." (Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverA woman's guide to working for herself : inspiration, information and advice from women who run their own business for women who aspire to do so / Sandra Hewett.

Syndetics book coverGo freelance : how to succeed at being your own boss.
"Deciding to leave the security of a permanent job and go freelance is a brave decision - and is not to be taken lightly. However, as long as you manage your time, work-flow, contacts, and money, it may turn out to be the best career move you ever made! Go freelance is packed with essential advice, including: Working out when it's time to move onDo you have the right skills to be your own boss?Finding new workNetworking to market yourself and your skillsManaging work-flowManaging your timeLooking after your accounts Also included are: a self-assessment quiz; step-by-step guidance and action points; top tips; common mistakes and advice on how to avoid them; summaries of key points; and lists of further resources." (Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverFlawless consulting : a guide to getting your expertise used / Peter Block ; illustrated by Janis Nowlan.
""Flawless Consulting is considered the "consultant's bible" and a landmark bestseller that explains how to deal effectively with clients, peers, and others. This third edition addresses business and new challenges since the second edition was written and also explores what's on the minds of "next generation" consultants. The book includes more guidance on how to ask better questions, ideas for the virtual world, suggestions for dealing with difficult clients, the challenges of international consulting, additional case studies, commentary, expanded guidelines on implementation, and more on how to ask good questions."--" (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn insider's guide to building a successful consulting practice / Bruce L. Katcher with Adam Snyder.
"Katcher, an industrial/organizational psychologist who runs a management consulting firm, and Snyder, a freelance business writer, offer a guide for independent consultants and those wishing to enter the field to aspects of consulting, including the economic realities; choosing a business model; finding a niche; establishing credibility; developing and implementing a marketing plan; marketing through writing, speaking, and networking; writing business proposals; selling services; delivering results and making sure recommendations are implemented; avoiding problems with motivation, loneliness, and money; and conducting research. Advice drawn from a survey of 200 consultants is interspersed throughout. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)" (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKitchen table millionaire / Catriona MacLennan.

Catalogue Quicksearches:

Useful websites

  • Her Business Networks
    The networks have existed throughout New Zealand for over ten years. Her Business Group is the national sponsor, coordinator and administer of the Her Business Networks and maintains the philosophy of the original Wise Women Networks in providing opportunities for women who are seriously interested in self employment to get together, and to encourage and learn from one another through regular meetings. However, there seem to be no networks up and running in the lower North Island or Wellington at this stage. There is an annual subscription fee which entitles you to a variety of discounts and services.
  • The Career Guide to Industries (US Dept. of Labor)
    provides information on available careers by industry, including the nature of the industry, working conditions, employment, occupations in the industry, training and advancement, earnings and benefits, employment outlook, and lists of organizations that can provide additional information and is the companion guide to the Occupational Outlook Handbook mentioned in Getting Started
  • Teleworking
    Telework New Zealand works to prepare for, and take advantage of, change -- by creating and controlling flexible work environments. Their work includes implementing and managing best-practice "telework" programmes, policies and strategies -- for Government, for employers, for community organisations, and for individuals.
  • Work-Life Balance
    This Department of Labour site provides access to resources/information, links to New Zealand research and access to national and international websites.
  • What you need to know about career planning
  • Work and Age Trust (NZ) Inc. (Nework Centre)
    The Trust has defined its purpose as "to stimulate mature people to take control of their work life directions and to foster their personal growth." with the vision of "having people of all ages building strong communities through meaningful work".

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