Articulating Your Transferable Skills

I will be facilitating an online workshop called Articulating Your Transferable Skills later this month.  Here is the description:

In this interactive online workshop, participants will reflect on and learn how to articulate the transferable skills and knowledge they have to offer an employer.

This workshop idea came out of a face-to-face workshop that I facilitated last year with my colleague Mike Randolph. We used a nifty tool called a “Chronolog,” which helps you identify what you have done and what you can do or know as a result of what you have done. From that, it guides you to generate specific examples (stories, if you will) from past experiences to demonstrate those skills.

The whole point? To generate language in order to best communicate and articulate your skills and knowledge, especially if you are transitioning from one career field to another. In other words, it can help you with resume-building, interviewing, or just informal cocktail-party or elevator-ride networking.


Sculpture au Mémorial de Franklin D. Roosevelt, National Mall, Washington DC - Thanks for permission to use!

I have since replicated this workshop in face-to-face settings twice: once to a group of AmeriCorps volunteers and once to a group of colleagues at a conference. The feedback on the workshop and the tool has been quite positive, so if you’d like to take this workshop, please let me know. It’s free and open to all Marylhurst students and friends (in other words, it’s open to the public). It will take place on the social networking site called Ning.

Dates: July 28 – 31, 2009 (Tuesday through Friday) — Login times flexible.

To RSVP and obtain login instructions to the site, send your name and email address to me at:


One Cool Tool

Here is some information about a cool new tool that I just learned about called Wordle. Wordle creates “word clouds” — you can copy the body of text (a memo, an essay, a strategic plan, etc.), paste it into Wordle, and you get word clouds. According to Wordle:

The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

My strategic plan team co-leader and I copied a draft of our “Mission” team’s draft strategic plan into Wordle and got a lovely cloud that emphasizes what Marylhurst is about. It helped us to see particular themes that emerged from our 8-page document and to consider how to finalize our plan. Here’s what one version of ours looked like (click on the image to see it in the large format):

Marylhurst_Mission_draftPOSSIBLE OTHER USES:

  • Copy one of your essays into it to see what words you are using frequently (maybe too frequently). Use the results to help you revise accordingly. (If my money is right, I suspect that the word “very” might be very prominent, for example.)
  • Copy your resume into it to help you see if you are using the language of specific careers or industries effectively. Analyze your resume with the results accordingly. See an example of a before and after resume HERE (scroll down to #3: How Others Do It:  Elon University Repurposes Online “Toy” to Help Students Improve Resumes)
  • Likewise, copy a cover letter into it.
  • Copy your business plan into it.
  • Use it to turn a love letter to your significant other into a lovely piece of word art.

I think the other reason I like this tool is that it helps us see differently; we don’t get enough opportunities in our lives to do so.