What transferable skills do you have to offer?

Are you looking for a new job but can’t find anything suitable in your industry?  Don’t think you’re stuck to one job or sector – now is the time to think about what transferable skills you have to offer.

Transferable skills are a set of skills that can be applied to a wide range of different jobs and industries - everyone has them – you just need to know how to recognise yours and show them off to your future employer!

So, what skills does every manager want from their employees?

Communication

Communication is the ability to effectively communicate to others and a big part of this includes listening, understanding your situation and adapting your tone to different situations.   If you can communicate, listen and engage with customers and colleagues on a variety of levels, you should be in huge demand within a number of industries.

Time management

Time management is an important skill in the workplace to help you accomplish your goals.  If you’ve managed projects to certain deadlines, and can manage a very busy workload, these are excellent examples of how you can demonstrate good time management to future employers.  Managing your time well by making simple changes like arriving 10 minutes early to an interview can also make all the difference in your success.

Organisation

Being organised is an essential skill to work and goes hand in hand with time management skills – it’s about having structure and order to your day. It’s also about understanding what’s a priority, how to multi-task and knowing when to delegate or ask for help when you need it. Demonstrating your organisation skills is extremely important at the moment with people working remotely, so think about how you manage your day, and talk through these examples when speaking to recruiters or potential employers.

Leadership

Leadership skills don’t just mean leading a team or being a manager. You develop leadership skills by leading in a group activity, when planning an event, making a decision or even booking a meal with friends. Being a good leader is about communication, listening to others, working as a team and being honest – think about the things you do in work and your personal life to recognise your key leadership skills.

Team work

The ability to work well with others to achieve a shared goal is a very admirable skill for all employers and is essential to the success of your career no matter what job or industry you work in. Think about how you have supported your colleagues in the past roles.  Have you achieved various goals and projects when working with different teams?  Are you a member of a club or team outside of work? These are all excellent ways to show how well you can contribute to a team.

Research and analysis

Just having knowledge about the company you work for and the industry as a whole is having the research and analysis understanding that helps you do the best job possible. Every role will require you to have this understanding in some shape or form, so think about how you’ve used information that you’ve learnt about your role, employer and their competitors in the past to achieve better results.

Research has never been more important to you right now.  Research jobs and industries so you can see where your skills fit, and once you’ve got through to the interview stage on certain opportunities, make sure you know everything you can about the company.  Finding information can be easy with the internet but the key part is understanding what you’ve found, this is where analysis skills are important. Analytical skills enable you to problem solve and make decisions based on the data you’ve found. 

Problem solving

Problem solving is also a key skill to have and is needed to accomplish many goals. It’s about being able to identity a problem, understand the issue and come up with a solution to solve it – every manager will welcome any problem you take to them, if you have a few solutions to discuss for the best possible outcome. If you have suddenly found yourself out of work, now is the time to show how good you are at problem solving.  How you face your job search is essential to show how committed you are to businesses who are looking for new employees.    Tackle this problem head on, assess what you have to offer and show employers that you’re the best person for the job! 

Now you know some examples of what businesses are looking for, how do you identify if you have these skills?

Grab your CV

Look at your previous jobs and the key responsibilities you held. From there look at your accomplishments. Think about what skills you used to carry out each responsibility and how those skills can be transferred to do something in a new job.  Don’t think to specific, think about general examples.

Look at current job descriptions

Employers will list the key skills they are looking for, so you can use a job description to highlight these skills on your CV. It will help to make a list and think of examples where you have used each skill. If you can’t think of any in your professional life, look at your personal life - what situations have you been in where you have needed each skill?

You’ve identified your transferable skills – it’s time to start applying for jobs!

You’ve identified your transferable skills – now use your examples to develop your cover letter or job application. Tell the employer a story of how you have used each skill they are looking for, as this will help them see how well you can do the job and contribute to their team and business.

It’s important to remember in the current climate there are a lot of people looking for work. There may not be jobs in your current sector at the moment, and that’s why showing your transferable skills is more important than ever.  We wish you all the best and hope this has helped you to identify how valuable you are!

Rebecca Bennison
Team Leader
Rebecca has five years of recruitment experience within Acorn and has excelled in her role. She has expert knowledge of the local area’s businesses and the candidate market across Devon. She is particularly interested in recruiting for Administration, Sales, Finance and Accounts, Customer Services, HR, Marketing and Clerical roles.
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