Now if there’s one thing that people underestimate when applying for a job or attending an interview, it’s transferable skills. Almost all employers will look for the absolute best candidate, often putting up barriers to make applying more difficult, cumbersome or exclusive. Usually these barriers are qualifications or experience-based such as:
“You must have a degree in a relevant field.”
“You must have at least 2 years’ experience in a similar role.”
Do these look familiar to you? They can seem disheartening, especially when you’re trying to break into an industry. The thing is, whilst most employers have requirements like these, it doesn’t mean they will completely discount you if you don’t fulfil the criteria. Soft and transferable skills are all just as valuable as a first-class degree, it’s just that most applicants don’t talk about these skills in their applications (or even worse, they see the requirements and don’t apply at all!)
So, in this post I’m going to work through some of the most desirable transferable skills as well as some of the common careers where you can make use of them.
No matter the industry or job role, good communication is essential for a healthy and productive workplace. We are sociable creatures and when collaborating towards a common goal, being able to share our views and thoughts effectively is the most important thing. You can discover your personality traits and work behaviours via a psychometric test and this information can be included in your CV to show your communication abilities.
Leadership is not about telling people what to do and getting it done. Leadership is about quick critical thinking and the ability to formulate a plan, then execute upon it. Every career will benefit from this and including it on your job application shows the employer that you can take the initiative and made decisions.
Working with other people is the bread and butter of the workplace. Being able to effectively work with others, as well as utilising the team’s skills, will helping you achieve more, no matter where you work. This skill also shows employers that you can get on well with other people and can be trusted to ‘do your bit’ when working on projects.
TIME MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATION
In today’s busy and hectic society, being able to make the most of each free minute is invaluable to a potential employer – and to you! Staying organised will help you manage your workload, reducing stress and keeping your work/life balance in check.
As mentioned before, these four points are just some of the transferable soft skills that you want to be talking about when looking for a new job. If you’re not sure about how to talk about your soft skills, then you can click here for tips. Now we’ll look at the careers that can benefit from these skills.
Communication is key for effectively explaining concepts to students; leadership is essential when guiding groups of students during tasks; teamwork helps you work and collaborate with other staff members and time management helps maintain the work/life balance – a notoriously difficult part of being a teacher. Jobs in education are available across the country from teaching assistant jobs in Cambridgeshire to careers advisors in Edinburgh, so include these skills on your application and you’ll have a position in no time.
THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
This is a very broad term, involving anything from animation and design to fashion or illustration. Still, each of these transferable skills makes a huge difference if you’re following an artistic career path. Communication is utterly invaluable when understanding a client’s desires and needs; leadership helps you progress to managerial positions and formulate effective plans of action; rarely will you be working alone on a project, so teamwork becomes essential as you collaborate with other creatives and time management allows you to stay on top of your workload. This is especially important because of the large periods of time that creative projects take to complete.
The last career sector we’ll look at is technology. Roles in the technology industry tend to be associated with maths and science but soft skills are becoming increasingly popular among employers. Communication is useful for discussing and fixing issues that regularly occur when dealing with technology; leadership enables structured planning and execution when dealing with these problems or creating something new; almost all technological jobs involve multiple people working towards the same goal, making teamwork invaluable and as always, keeping on top of your work involves time management.
It just goes to show that soft skills really do benefit you in every career. When you apply for a job, it’s just a matter of making sure that you show the potential employer that you have them through examples instead of statements. With any luck this will help you get that dream job role and develop your skills even further. Let me know what other transferable skills have helped you to land your job in the comments below.
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