What are Transferable Skills and How Can They Impact Your Job Prospects?

It might come as a surprise to some people, but when casting their line for new fish, employers do not only look for education and work experience. To find their ideal candidate employers also consider a wide range of abilities which go beyond just the technical requirements advertised for the role.

Yes, it’s important to match the key requirements of the role, however transferrable skills may increase your odds of standing out and could be just what gets you across the line.

If you are like most candidates, the very first thing you consider in your quest for landing a job is the suitability of your education and experience. Often, these alone are not the only essential skills. The abilities that you’ve obtained outside of your field of expertise can offer the key to attaining your new job. However, experienced you are, or how many distinct roles you’ve held in the past, identifying and clearly articulating your transferable skills to a potential employer is very important.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills, can also be referred to as soft skills, and can often prove quite crucial to attaining new ventures, especially if you’re changing direction or professions. These abilities matter because they may help you create a smooth and productive transition to another job function.

Transferable skills can prove your worth as a valuable employee from your very first day. Though your particular area of expertise may be highly specialized, transferable skills guarantee you attain long-term career success.

So, how can transferrable skills be acquired?

Transferable skills are obtained from the day you are born – they evolve from day to day interactions with family, formal and university education, social interaction with friends and acquaintances, athletic activities, everyday work tasks, workplace interactions, and during the course of life generally.

The areas to think about are vast but generally cover a few essential areas:

1. People Skills
Communication, interpersonal/influencing, delegating, diplomacy, coaching/mentoring, leadership, presentation, tact and empathy, cooperation, client support, negotiation, listening.

2. Analytical Skills
Problem solving, research, information analysis, risk management, financial analysis, budgeting.

3. Organizational Skills
Time management, prioritization, resource management, project coordination, efficiency, productivity.

4. Creativity and Business Acumen
The capacity to solve issues with creative, but workable solutions, thinking outside the box and adapting to changing environments, market scenarios and business strategy are enormous assets in today’s competitive world.

How do you determine which transferable skills you possess?

Think about your personal strengths and weakness and use this as a formal self-assessment tool. You could also enlist the support of a colleague or friend to help, or take a look at this PDF we sourced from the Australian Government Public Service Commission. Your formal yearly performance review could also be an excellent opportunity to determine some of your soft skills.

Transferable skills are an accumulation of life skills. The quicker you can identify your skill set, the quicker you will realize your full potential for landing that perfect job.

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