It happens to everyone. You’re surfing the web looking for a job and you come across a job post that details a position you would love.
Quickly you jump to the requirements only to find that the opportunity requires specific software skills etc. you don’t have enough experience in.
This is the first job you’ve seen you got excited about but it’s going to slip right through your fingers.
What if you could paint in the mind of your employer that you don’t need those skills to succeed in the position and take away worry from their mind?
The Transfer Principle
Famous for it’s use with numbers, the Transfer Principle stresses skills used in one aspect of work can be used in another.
The key point is to frame in the manager’s mind you will be able to fulfill the obligations of the position. That’s what is keeping them up at night.
First, make sure you understand what skills they need so that you can form a bridge between what you already know and this specific skill. For example, if you’re unfamiliar with a software, look up what the program does and how you might need to use it at the position.
Pinpoint similarities in prior software you’ve used and the similar functions.
In other examples, if you need managerial experience, stretch your experience beyond a previous job. Perhaps in your personal life or even in your school days, where did you show managerial qualities? Be creative and open to finding these experiences.
Building the bridge is the first part.
The second part is clearly explaining on your previous experience can Transfer over to the position. Usually you want to have a quick story example of how you achieved this.
Back to the software example, you can tell a quick story on how quickly you were able to pick up using it or note similar tasks done in each.
Saying, “In my prior position, I worked with a similar program [name] that required many of the same functions as [required program]. I was new to that software as well but in just a couple weeks, I had already picked it up and actually started training a new employee on it in that short span.”
For more generic descriptions, such as the managerial example, you want to give a specific example on when you demonstrated those qualities. There, you need to paint the conflict clearly and show exactly how you solved it. Then you can follow-up with:
“I’m certain I can bring those same skills I demonstrated to this position and am excited for the challenge.”
You just did two things:
You calmly removed any doubt as you successfully framed in their mind you already have the required skills even if it’s not directly related to the position.
Got at the meat of the manager’s worry, “Will I have to babysit this person in this position?” Most of the time they aren’t worried if you are lacking in some areas, that’s why they train you. They worry they will need to hold your hand throughout the growing pains.
The Transfer Principle sounds simple and it’s fairly easy to implement. Figure out early which skills they are most looking for and build the Transfer Principle around those. Take prior experience and skills and find a bridge between that which you don’t have experience. Exploit all the similarities and successes you had to remove any doubt and make you the candidate of choice.
Have you used this Principle before whether you knew so or not? Tell us below!
Joe Cassandra, a personal brand equity strategist, is the Founder of the 7Minute Entrepreneur, where he shows you how to change your mindset and personal brand today from passive “employee” to thriving “entrepreneur” in your early career. You can follow him on Twitter.
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