We all have transferable skills and they are incredibly valuable to employers. By identifying and harnessing your transferable skills they can help you stand out in your job search.
So, what are they? Transferable skills are a core set of skills and abilities that transcend any particular organisation or role. If you’ve got great interpersonal skills, for example, you will prosper whether you’re an intern or a senior executive, a carpenter or a customer service representative.
Transferable skills can be just as valuable as experience and with a bit of brainstorming there’s probably quite a few that you could be highlighting in your resumes, cover letters and online profiles.
To help you identify some of your key selling points, we have developed this list of transferable skills for you to refer to. Read it here or download the checklist to work through in your own time.
- Time management: Managing your own time to get the job done is a timeless skill valued particularly within fast-paced organisations. Make sure you highlight examples of your time management skills in your resume or cover letter.
- Research and analytics: You can apply analytical skills in whatever field you’re in. If you can research, analyse, report on your findings and make recommendations, you’ll go a long way to becoming invaluable in your current role and hot property on the job market.
- Administration and clerical: Are you the person who gets all the forms filled in on time, files reports, and is a clerical genius? Attention to detail on deadlines as well as being able to administer are hugely important transferable skills.
- Financial management: Can you develop and manage a budget, keep financial records, fundraise, or project manage? If so, you have sought-after abilities that transcend multiple industries including marketing and communications as well as sales and construction.
- Sales and marketing skills: Being able to market and sell a product or service is invaluable across all sectors and industries. If you’re someone with a proven ability to influence behaviour, you should be calling it out during your search for a role.
- Creative thinking: Do you have a track record of generating new ideas at your organisation or in your volunteer roles? List them.
- Planning skills: Can you plan projects and events, or change manage? These skills transcend all organisations.
- Listening: If ever there was a skill useful in almost every organisation and role it’s listening. That’s not just hearing what someone’s saying to you, but stopping and thinking about what they say before replying. Think about how you can weave this into your resume or cover letter using examples.
- Writing: All industries need people who can write reports, blogs, sales materials articles and much more. Don’t confuse this with the creative writing you might have done at school. Business writing is much more to the point. If you lack confidence with this, you might want to think about taking a course
- Face-to-face: Can you facilitate meetings, interview, persuade, negotiate, speak in public and/or express ideas? And can you counsel, coach or mentor? If so, plenty of workplaces need you.
Interpersonal skills. Some people just can’t work with anyone else. At the other end of the scale there are people that everyone wants to work with because of their interpersonal skills – the ability to communicate or interact with other people. Here are some examples of interpersonal skills. Pick out two or three of these skills that relate to you and promote them in your resume and cover letter using examples:
- Prioritisation and delegation: Can you step back from the coalface and prioritise what needs to be done first? Can you say “no”? Can you determine when a job simply isn’t necessary and wastes time? These are all key elements of leadership.
- Critical thinking and problem solving: Organisations have problems. Someone who can step above those problems, analyse and solve them is invaluable to any organisation. Highlight this sought-after skill with examples.
While this may not be an exhaustive list of all transferable skills, hopefully you have been able to identify some new selling points that you can use to help you stand out in your job search. When building your transferable skills into your resumes, cover letters and online profiles, a great technique is to add them under a “relatable skills” heading, or weave them into the narrative. Most importantly be sure to always accompany any transferable skills with relevant examples.