If you’re moving between roles or organisations, there’s a good chance you’ll be drawing on transferable skills. Sometimes these skills are specific to your role or industry. Other times they are more general. Identifying your transferable skills and effectively communicating them during the recruitment process can help to strengthen your job application. It can also be especially important when changing industries or careers. In this post, I provide some insights on five transferable skills and how to demonstrate them well.
An ability to communicate well is essential in many roles. From writing emails and answering phones to preparing reports and giving presentations, communication skills are diverse. With the rise of remote working, digital communication and collaboration skills are also beneficial across roles and industries.
The easiest way of demonstrating your communication skills is, of course, by communicating well during the recruitment process. Make sure your resume and cover letter are polished, return phone calls promptly and be friendly yet professional during interviews. Another way to show your communication skills is through insightful examples that highlight your abilities as an effective communicator.
Another transferable skill that comes in many shapes and sizes is leadership. As well as being well-regarded in c-suite and executive roles, leadership skills are also valuable in positions involving leading teams and projects. Regardless of the role, providing examples is key to illustrating these skills.
When using examples in your application or during interviews, choose examples that will resonate with the selection panel. Provide details of the context of your experience, such as the size of the organisation or level of responsibility in your role. If you are moving between industries or relocating to a new city, be careful not to assume the selection panel will be familiar with your previous employers. In addition, try to show a narrative of progression throughout your career and leadership experience.
Whether team leader or team member, a capacity for working successfully with others is beneficial in many roles. Most candidates will be able to point to examples of teamwork in their career history. Understanding how to leverage these examples can help you demonstrate teamwork skills to a potential employer.
The biggest mistake people make with teamwork examples is to focus too much on the team. While the outcomes achieved might be a team victory, employers and recruiters want to know about you. Therefore, it’s important to emphasise the role you played, the skills you used, and the contribution you made to the team as well as to the outcome.
In today’s data-driven world, analytical skills are increasingly important. An ability to analyse data and other information to solve problems and inform decisions is valuable in a range of roles, organisations and industries. Examples relevant to the role you’re applying for are great for showing these transferable skills.
While analytical skills are broadly useful, it’s important to be aware of differences between contexts. When switching contexts, a little research can help you prepare for how best to position your transferable skills. For instance, is there different terminology you need to know? Or are there new tools you should be familiar with? Look for ways to bridge these gaps where you can, such as by taking a short course or doing some online training.
In many situations digital literacy is an assumed skill set in the modern workplace. Familiarity with the basics of common technology is an essential and easily transferable skill. Depending on your experience and career direction, you may also find that your more specific digital skills are valuable across roles and industries. It could be experience with particular software or digital tools. Maybe it’s social media skills. Take a look at some advertised roles and identify where your skills and strengths could be valuable.
As with other transferable skills, finding ways of illustrating your capability is key. Depending on the type of digital skills you want to highlight, you might be able to showcase your skills through a portfolio. Otherwise, you’ll need to draw on examples that show your abilities. Ideally, choose examples from your work experience or skilled volunteering roles. Whether using examples in an application or interview, make sure you connect these examples with the requirements of the role you’re seeking.
I hope this post has been helpful on your career journey. If you’re looking for a fresh opportunity, take a moment to view our current positions and set up your tailored job alert to get future opportunities delivered to your inbox.