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March 8, 2014, begins the celebration of Women's International Day

Women small business owners gather information and support at a conference
Women small business owners gather information and support at a conference
Photo by Professor Metze

Women's History Month celebrates the achievements of women in a vast spectrum of service and contributions that have enriched the lives of nations. Ford R. Myers, Career Coach and Author, shares how women can add "Transferable Skills" to their resumes and provides tips for women in their job search efforts this International Women’s Day.

The 103rd celebration of International Women's Day on March 8, 2014 will entail thousands of events around the world to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. "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," Myers said.

For women 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. This rejection hurts women.

Myers, author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring, 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 productive activity - volunteer positions, classes, projects, parenting, hobbies, and 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 provides these notes on 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 resources, 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, controls budgets, 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

Although laws are in place that prevent discrimination against women, research shows that many women are still locked out of key positions. Employers who find ways to discriminate against employees must be identified in order for authorities to bring them to justice. will feature the achievements of successful women in small business and service this month.

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