Employers value many skills in addition to the technical knowledge in your discipline that you have honed while at Yale. These skills are called “transferable” because they can be employed in a range of employer settings. The skills most cited by employers include: written and oral communication, project management, collaboration, and leadership. You already have developed many of these skills through your academic training, full or part-time jobs, and extra-curricular activities or hobbies.
While at Yale, seek out additional experiences that develop these skills. They will benefit your future career, whatever course it takes. Note that to employers, relevant experience does not have to be a paid job. It can be any experience that develops skills that are important to their work.
The resources below can help you identify your particular skill set. These skills are a key input into the professional narrative that you will employ in your resume, cover letter, and interviews.
- Graduate Student Transferable Skills (courtesy of Northwestern University)
- Exploring Your Skills, Inside HigherEd
- PhD Transferable Skills (courtesy of the University of Michigan)
- Transferable Skills and How to Talk About Them, from Connected Academics (MLA)
- Making the most of your transferable skills, from CellPress
Looking for ways to enhance your transferable skill set while at Yale? Below is a list that can get you started.
- Consider teaching a class or becoming a research or teaching assistant.
- Learn new technology tools. Check out these campus organizations which offer classes, workshops and other resources:
- Mentor students
- Manage lab supplies and equipment
- Take a leadership role in a GSAS student organization
- GSAS students are invited to become a McDougal Fellow or GPE Fellow
- Seek out an internship or part-time opportunity either on or off campus
- Perform volunteer work
- Hone your writing skills
- Work on a consulting project through the Yale Graduate Consulting Club or Tsai CITY
- Improve your Excel skills, learn Python or master basic accounting by taking an online course! Check out the offerings on LinkedIn Learning (free to Yale students, staff and faculty through this portal