MyRossCareer.com recently interviewed Doreen Kephart, Director of Recruiting, Ross Education LLC to discuss the importance of transferable skills and how best to highlight them in your cover letter and resumé.
Q: How does the idea of transferable skills apply to getting a job at Ross Education?
A: In today’s economy, transferrable skills are a good way to attract an employer, regardless of one’s previous job. For example, an individual with a background in retail sales, event planning or customer service may have the appropriate experience to become an Admissions Representative at Ross. Likewise, someone from the banking, manufacturing, or property management sector could use their attention to detail and knowledge of reporting to become a financial aid coordinator.
Q: What’s the most important transferrable skill that someone could bring to Ross?
A: We have a sign we use at job fairs that says, “We hire people people,” and that sums up what everyone at Ross is about. We all care about our students, both inside and outside of the classroom. We care about providing them with outstanding customer service and the tools they need to be successful in the workplace. If our students are successful, then we’ll be successful. As a result, we’re looking for candidates who are interested in helping others to be successful.
Q: What important characteristics do you look for in a cover letter or resumé?
A: I like when prospective employees take the time to organize their cover letters in a way that explains how their skills match the job listing. For example, a career development prospect might say, “As a staffing employee, my job responsibilities are similar because I’m responsible for finding qualified employees to fill job openings on a daily basis.”
Also, if you have special circumstances, like a relocation or desire to work full time or part-time, it’s helpful if the cover letter addresses those needs.
Most of the time, we prefer traditional, reverse chronological resumes. When we are reviewing transferable skills in a resume, we are looking for the actions and activities in each job. Many candidates also draw out their abilities with “Skill Summaries” or “Accomplishments” and these can be a quick and instructional read for the recruiter. The important thing is to use specific detail and be able to back up your words on the interview.
Q: At Ross Medical Education Center, how much medical background does one need?
A: Faculty positions clearly require medical knowledge. In order to teach medical assisting, dental assisting or medical insurance billing and office administration, a candidate needs at least 3 years’ experience working in the field. You need to be able to speak and understand the terminology used in the classroom, in addition to being able to relate real-life on-the-job experiences with the students.
Administrative positions do not require any medical background.
Q: Is it important to have an education industry background at Ross?
A: We have many staff members who come from other industries, and education experience is not a requirement for many of our positions. A transferrable skill for classroom work could be standing up in front of people before to do presentations for a previous job or community activity, mentoring new employees, providing training to a department or group on a process or software, etc.
Many people have had these types of experiences, including potential Faculty members. If prospects with medical experience are interested in teaching, Ross provides training for them to help build classroom management and curriculum presentation skills. .
Q: What are some other tips that you have for someone wanting to market their transferrable skills for a job at Ross?
A: It’s often difficult for people to step outside themselves to determine what transferrable skills they have and how best to explain them. I would encourage individuals to look at their cover letters and resumé as an employer might. You may also consider asking an objective friend or relative to read your cover letter or resumé and determine whether you’ve listed all the transferrable skills that would appeal to a prospective employer.