Article: How transferable skills can make a difference in your career

Employee Engagement

How transferable skills can make a difference in your career

Transferable skills are qualities that workers can use from one job to another. When you’re switching to a different industry or career, it’s especially important to emphasize your transferable skills.
How transferable skills can make a difference in your career

What makes a nurse different from a white-collar worker? Sure, they perform different job functions. The former is in the healthcare industry while the latter is in the corporate world. But either way, across different fields there are skills that can be transferred, which can be helpful if you plan to switch careers.

Transferable skills are qualities that workers can use from one job to another. When you’re switching to a different industry or career, it’s especially important to emphasize your transferable skills. It helps employers know that you are flexible and versatile, and that you have the skills that many employers value.

If your new job is in a new industry, you can position your transferable skills alongside your work experiences. For instance, companies often look for candidates with effective communication skills. If you’ve developed the skill to easily communicate and share information to your colleagues, you can apply them to any job.

Jobs in HR management require individuals who can communicate well with job candidates, help build strong relationships between employees, and create an inclusive and diverse atmosphere in the workplace. 

Another example is for educators who also require good communication skills. They need to be able to communicate well with parents, students, and other faculty members. 

Lastly, individuals in marketing should be able to communicate well with clients, managers, and team members to effectively bring a campaign from idea to production.

How transferable skills can make a difference in your career

Even if you aren’t the perfect match for the job description, your transferable skills can show that you can still do the job. The more relevant transferable skills you have, the more likely you will land the job. Your transferable skills emphasize how much you can be an asset to the company. 

All of us have transferable skills, although it may vary from person-to-person. We pick up these skills in our daily life, and the collection of these experiences will accumulate and dictate what transferable skills we possess.

What are the top transferable skills?

Before applying for a new job, think of the kind of transferable skills you have which can be transferred to the new job. If you’re uncertain, you may brush up on the job descriptions of the jobs you are interested in and pay close attention to the required experience and skills. Most employers are looking for the following transferable skills:

  1. Communication. It includes skills such as active listening, verbal communication, written communication, confidence, responsiveness, giving and receiving feedback, and public speaking.

  2. Dependability. It includes skills such as integrity, work ethic, punctuality, having the ability to meet deadlines, being a high-achiever, and honesty.

  3. Teamwork. It includes skills such as collaboration, self-awareness, conflict resolution, and relationship-building.

  4. Organisation. It includes skills such as attention to detail, time management, analytical thinking, and prioritisation.

  5. Adaptability. It includes skills such as creativity, positive attitude, patience, and flexibility.

  6. Leadership. It includes skills such as delegation, project management, risk-taking, goal setting, interpersonal skills, and goal setting.

  7. Decision-making. It includes skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and analytical thinking.

  8. Empathy. It includes skills such as mediation, perspective taking, and curiosity.

  9. Initiative. It includes skills such as self-motivation, eagerness, and process improvement.

  10. Technology literacy. It includes skills such as programming skills, troubleshooting, point of sale software, productivity software, and customer relationship management software.

Where to add your transferable skills

You may add your transferable skills in the following sections of your resume:

  1. Resume summary or objective. Here, consider adding your most valuable and relevant transferable skill. For instance, “Tenacious marketing specialist with 3 years of experience using effective communication skills to complete successful campaigns.”

  2. Employment history descriptions. This is one of the most important sections of your resume because it shows what you’ve gained from your previous job experiences. Instead of simply listing your job duties, you may list down two to three of your accomplishments in that previous role and add the transferable skill you’ve learned.

You may also mention your transferable skills in your cover letter. Focus on two or three transferable skills that the employer included in the job description. Write about when you’ve used these skills in your past experiences.

Everyone has transferable skills, but it’s up to you how to put them to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to add them to your resume or your cover letter so you can stand out from the rest.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

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