10 Transferable Teacher Skills to Have on Your Resume

Updated 8 April 2023

Teaching skills are highly valuable skills as teachers can use them to apply for jobs outside of the education industry. It's important to demonstrate your skills and qualifications to hiring managers to secure job positions. Learning about the top transferable teacher skills can help you to present your skill set and experience on your resume for a different career. In this article, we define what transferable teacher skills are and list the top skills that teachers can highlight on their resumes to secure interview opportunities.

Related: 10 Best Skills To Include on a Resume

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What are transferable teacher skills on a resume?

Transferable teacher skills are skills that teachers can use in other types of careers. They usually include soft skills like interpersonal communication and presentation skills.

Hiring managers in various industries often notice a candidate's soft skills, so it's important for teachers to highlight the skills they developed during their experience as an educator. Besides including these skills on their resumes, teachers can also demonstrate how they can apply their skills across industries and professional fields.

Related: What Is a Career Transition? (With Indicators and Guide)

10 transferable teaching skills

When writing your resume, it can be helpful to research the top transferable skills to guide you. Here are some of the skills that may transfer well for teachers pursuing a new career in a different industry:

1. Public speaking

Teachers typically conduct lectures in front of large groups of students. This enables them to develop public speaking skills since they prepare teaching or presentation materials to share with their students. Public speaking skills are useful for various jobs like marketing or sales. Teachers develop their confidence in speaking to large crowds and they can transfer this skill to careers that require brand promotion and negotiating with company stakeholders.

2. Communication

Part of a teacher's job scope includes simplifying difficult concepts and finding the most effective teaching methods to help students understand their course materials. Teachers often find new and innovative methods to make learning enjoyable and knowledge accessible for their students. Communication skills apply across industries since teaching professionals can accurately present their ideas to different audience groups.

3. Project management

Teaching different courses is similar to managing projects. Teachers decide the teaching curriculum, objectives, necessary materials and strategies to instruct and manage students throughout the course duration. Academic courses have similar concerns as business projects like formulating the timeline, brainstorming course concepts and making adjustments in the process depending on students' feedback and needs.

4. Collaboration

Hiring managers value candidates who can work independently and with other people. Teachers usually design lesson plans and course content independently and manage their own class of students. They also work closely with other colleagues in the same department to discuss teaching plans for upcoming semesters or find ways to make the teaching curriculum more engaging. Collaborative skills apply to other fields of work where employers prefer candidates who can brainstorm and execute ideas alone and with other team members.

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5. Instructional design

Instructional design refers to the practice of formulating and executing teaching techniques to meet academic goals. Teachers have instructional design skills because they design their courses using a specific framework and can use metrics to evaluate their effectiveness. This skill is useful for training and management roles. Professionals require instructional design skills to produce instructions for new processes or business solutions. These instructions are usually easy to understand and follow so that company stakeholders can access new tools and methods.

6. Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills are important for teachers to evaluate situations and develop potential solutions. Teachers typically require resourcefulness to find new approaches to help students learn. They're able to think quickly and are creative in coming up with innovative solutions by processing information. Teachers also learn new things quickly and explore new teaching methods to make classes more interesting. This skill is important in the workplace where problems may arise and require professionals' quick critical thinking skills to formulate solutions.

7. Management skills

Teachers are responsible for managing a classroom and students' behaviour. They develop their management skills by interacting with different types of students and motivating them to study or follow the course plan. This skill can prepare teachers to manage projects in other career paths. They can identify key project aspects and find ways to work with different types of people in the workplace.

8. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an essential soft skill for teachers because they often form close connections with their students. This skill enables them to relate to their students' feelings and give them advice. This is a transferable skill in any type of work since it helps professionals to connect with their colleagues and clients. They can also form relationships with company stakeholders and clients to understand their needs and preferences.

9. Time management

Teachers plan timetables and course outlines for upcoming school semesters. They typically have a set amount of time every week to teach their courses so time management skills are important for them to cover all the necessary course material within the allocated time slot. Teachers may also teach a few courses during the semester and this skill helps them to manage different course loads so they've sufficient time to mentor students and mark their submissions. This transferable skill is useful in other industries to achieve efficient operations and project management.

10. Ability to work under pressure

The ability to work under pressure helps professionals perform well in stressful environments. It enables them to navigate tight deadlines and find effective methods to complete their tasks. Teachers are often responsible for large groups of students with varying needs. This ability enables them to keep the students' focus while staying calm.

Related: How to Change Your Career at 30 (With Steps and Tips)

How to improve transferable skills as a teacher

To prepare yourself for an alternative career path, consider improving your transferable skills in these ways:

1. Pursue professional development opportunities

Research online courses or workshops to develop new skills and improve your current skill set. Online courses offer you some flexibility such that you can complete them in your own time. You can get online certifications and include them on your resume to enhance your application. You can also consider reading books or online resources to develop the necessary skills for your alternative career path. This shows that you're interested in pursuing a new career and taking steps to prepare yourself.

2. Try new methods

Consider trying different methods to improve your existing skills. This can be beneficial for skills that aren't as strong as others. For example, if you want to improve your organisational skills, research possible tools and techniques you can try to organise your time and tasks better. This demonstrates that you're motivated to constantly improve yourself and recognise your weaknesses.

3. Practise everyday

Practise using your skills on a daily basis. This can help you develop your skills as a natural habit. For example, if you want to improve your time management skills, consider allocating a set amount of time for each task in your day and following it. This can enable you to find new and effective methods to complete your tasks within a shorter period.

Ways to highlight your transferable teaching skills

During the job application process, it's important to highlight your skills and qualifications to hiring managers, especially if they relate to the position. If you're looking to switch careers, it can be helpful to align your work experience with the responsibilities of the new position. This enables hiring managers to understand why you're a suitable candidate for the job and recognise how your skill set distinguishes you from other applicants. Here are three ways you can highlight your transferable teaching skills during the job application process:

List them on your resume

Start your resume with a professional summary to give hiring managers an overview of your key skills and working experiences. You can also include your career goals and a brief elaboration on why you're a good fit for the position. You can also include a skills section to list your top transferable skills and use the work experience section to talk about how your teaching positions enable you to develop these skills. Include descriptions to demonstrate ways you use your skills in the classroom.

Related: How To Write an Executive Summary for a Resume

Include them in your cover letter

Your cover letter is the first document that hiring managers typically read before your resume. Use your cover letter to introduce yourself and write specific examples that showcase your personality and abilities. Choose skills and achievements that apply to the position so that your cover letter doesn't exceed one page. Consider planning out your cover letter content before writing it to ensure you focus on applicable examples that appeal to hiring managers.

Talk about them during the job interview

Prepare a few stories that relate to your transferable skills. Ensure that these are stories you didn't include on your resume or cover letter so that hiring managers are hearing them for the first time. Each story can include details of how you apply your skills and how you think your skills can help you excel in the new position.

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