Whether you’re just out of college, going through a career change or simply just trying to find a new job – sometimes your history of job skills don’t match the skills you’ll need for the new job. This is where transferable skills come in! Many people starting out in their careers imagine that their qualifications are the things that count. Certainly, a good degree or diploma can open doors to prestigious jobs. But it is not knowledge alone that will help you along in your career – nor even the people you know!
Employers are looking not as much for bright sparks, but for people who can function effectively in the workplace. Transferable skills are job capabilities that bring value to many environments, rather than being specific to a given organisation. Although you may have learned and practised them in the context of one job, they can be applied to new job opportunities.
Building these skills greatly expands your career options because they have broad appeal to potential employers. Below are the key transferable skills that you should develop to assist with your career progression.
Good communication skills come down to how effectively you translate ideas and facts into understandable terms on paper and verbally. Also how well you can listen to others and understand what they are attempting to communicate. If you took part in group projects, wrote reports, gave presentations, and then use them to show your excellent communication skills.
Effective leadership and management is about directing and motivating others to achieve individual, team and company goals, overseeing projects and making decisions. Have you ever help a supervisory position or oversaw a project? Or even captained a sports team or been a chairperson of a local committee? If so relate the position to responsibilities and traits associated with management.
These skills are the way you relate to and interact with others. So describe how you are able to motivate colleagues to perform better or how you dealt with conflict between team members. Also if you ever worked in a customer service role, describe how you interacted with customers and clients.
Planning and research skills enable you to articulate needs and formulate a strategy to accomplish specific objectives. If you’re a recent graduate you have plenty of examples of research skills from all the assignment s and projects you undertook during your degree. If you’re not a recent graduate, give examples of specific projects you undertook and how you set goals, gathered relevant information and analysed, interpreting and disseminated information.
Self management skills
Self management is about how you direct your own activities toward the achievement of objectives. So how do you manage your time and organise your priorities? How do you set goals, meet deadlines and solve problems? How do you cope with stress and pressure?
How well can you cope with change? If you held more than one job, you can describe your flexibility and even with one job can indicate how you adapted to changes and new roles.
Creative thinking and problem solving skills
Are you able to solve problems? Think about jobs you held where you faced problems and came up with brilliant solutions.
How do you develop transferable skills?
Transferable skills are mainly gained through experience; therefore the burden of responsibility is on you to develop these skills. So if you have a job put yourself forward for team assignments so you can build on your interpersonal skills or even volunteer as team lead for group assignments to improve your management and organisational skills.
If you’re currently unemployed, try and relate your personal life to these skills. Keep up teamwork skills by joining a sports team; develop your speaking and presentation skills by joining a debating club. You can also develop your skills through, doing some volunteer work, or going on a training course.
And remember your specialised knowledge may get you an interview and perhaps the job, but it is those important skills we tend to overlook which will enable you to do your job successfully.
Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 30 November 2017