27 Sep 2021

Transferable Skills

It’s NOT always possible for recruiters to find candidates that have the exact experience or education that they have listed in their job specification, so many recruiters look at candidates that have transferable skills. These are the skills and experience that people have, that with additional training will allow them to successfully work within another role.

If you see a job that you would like, but you don’t have the exact work experience, think about your transferable skills. Outline how these skills will help you to be successful in the role, with a bit of additional training and coaching.

Because of their versatility, transferable skills are of interest to any employer regardless of the industry.

What are Transferable Skills?

These are the skills that you have developed in other roles and everyday life, as a student, parent, volunteer, athlete etc., such as;

As you begin your job search, it is important to highlight all your skills. Over the years you have developed many skills from doing coursework at school and college, extracurricular activities and from your total life experiences. For example, if you have completed an individual or a group project and you have presented it, you have used skills which are not limited to that particular academic discipline, but these are transferable to many occupations. Likewise, if you have managed bills and had to deal with lots of different duties in a home environment, you will have demonstrated that you can manage budgets and also multi tasked.

Here is a list of the transferable skills that are particularly popular with recruiters:

  • Communication: ability to communicate orally, in writing or via electronic means in a manner appropriate to the audience
  • Teamwork: being a constructive team member, contributing practically to the success of the team
  • Leadership: being able to motivate and encourage others, whilst taking the lead
  • Initiative: ability to see opportunities and to set and achieve goals
  • Problem-solving: thinking things through in a logical way in order to determine key issues. Creative thinking is also useful
  • Flexibility/ability: ability to handle change and adapt to new situations
  • Self-awareness: knowing your strengths and skills and having the confidence to put these across
  • Commitment/motivation: having energy and enthusiasm in pursuing projects
  • Interpersonal skills: ability to relate well to others and to establish good working relationships
  • Numeracy: competence and understanding of numerical data, statistics and graphs.

But we also learn these skills in other areas of our life. Think of times when you have had to do any of the skills above to get by, document these occasions. You now have examples of transferable skills that you have that you can use in work scenarios.

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