You might have heard of “transferable skills” on numerous occasions during your graduate job search. So, what are transferable skills and why are they important in the workplace?
If you’re a graduate, it may be that you don’t have heaps of work experience on your CV. That’s where transferable skills can really help you out. They are an excellent way of showing your potential, even if you’re not the ideal candidate for the job description.
Use this guide to find out some examples of transferable skills, and identify your own in preparation for your next job application. Read on to find out more!
What are some examples of transferable skills?
Transferable skills can be a mixture of easily quantifiable “hard” skills, such as project management, and qualitative “soft” skills such as communication. These include:
1. Technical: For example, knowledge of computer programming.
2. Communication: The ability to communicate clearly and concisely, in both written and spoken words is a versatile skill. Maybe you worked in a customer-facing role that required excellent communication skills.
3. Research/Analysis: If the job description requires a harder skill such as experience of Microsoft Excel, have no fear. Instead, refer back to research for your university dissertation and academic essays as an example of gathering information.
4. Time Management: School and university are great examples of showcasing your ability to work to deadlines and finish tasks efficiently.
5. Listening: A versatile skill that’s found everywhere; perhaps you processed information quickly in lectures by listening, or by helping out a customer at work.
6. Multitasking: The ability to carry out more than one task at once is an important skill in most working environments. If you studied for various modules at college at one time, you have experience of multitasking.
7. Teamwork: The capacity to work effectively with others cannot be underestimated. Whether you were part of a fast-functioning team in a restaurant environment, or
8. Creativity: Can you come up with fresh and exciting ideas? Perhaps you play an instrument, like to draw or came up with new ideas for a former employer.
9. Leadership: Your ability to take initiative and lead others is an important skill that employers may ask for, and can be demonstrated in team sports, group projects and so much more.
How do I identify my transferable skills?
1. Make a list of your skills
Firstly, take some time to write down your job, education, volunteering history - and even your hobbies. You should be able to identify a number of transferable skills using the list above, and come up with even more!
2. Look at the job opportunities available
Now, start your search for jobs that you’re interested in, and that you think you’d be a good candidate for. If this seems like too much at this stage, that’s OK, too. Start small, and simply begin to familiarise yourself with potential transferable skills to apply to any job.
3. Match your skills to each job opportunity
Now comes the most important bit. Instead of simply identifying and stating your transferable skills, be sure to demonstrate how you’ve developed that skill. For example, your time management skills are thanks to your experience working a Saturday job while studying for your A-Levels. Try creating a CV skills section and adding them here.
What is the most transferable skill?
Talent acquisition experts on LinkedIn report that soft skills are equally, if not more important for hiring than hard skills.
Soft skills include interpersonal communication, or “people” skills, empathy, listening and time management. They’re also all skills that can easily be practised in everyday life.
Feeling more confident about writing your CV skills section now that you are familiar with some examples of transferable skills? Check out our jobs here and start applying with your new found skillset!