What are your transferable skills?

by Nik Lemmens on May 15, 2011

What are your transferable skills

We all heard about it but what are they. A good definition of a transferable skill is “an ability learnt in one environment, which can be utilised in another”. Often transferable skills are also referred to as soft skills.

Transferability of your skills can take several dimensions

For example:

Transferability among job types
This means you have learned a skill as a builder or project manage, for example, which can also be used when you work as an IT engineer.

Transferability in seniority level
Skills you might have acquired as a call center operator, could well be useful when you progress into a call center management position.

Transferability among industries
If you learned how to identify problems working as a car mechanic you could use those problem-solving skills as a manager.

Transferable skills are the best way to demonstrate indirect experience. Maybe you cannot show experience in problem solving for a specific technical skill but you can show you know how to solve problems and be able to give great examples if you master the problem solving skill.

Changing industries or deciding to take on a new route and have a career change will be much more successful if you understand all your transferable skills. Below is a list of skills you might have but never highlighted on your Curriculum Vitae/ Resume or during interviews.

IT Skills

These are rarely mentioned but most people know how to use a word processor, make a presentation or even use basic spreadsheets. Make sure you indicate all your IT skills.

Language Skills

Languages are another skill that easily transfers between jobs. International companies love candidates with language skills. You might not have seen them on the job specification but rest assured speaking an extra language can often give you that extra little boost you need to get selected.

People Skills

Communication skills, people management, team working are all skills most people pick up during their career but fail to understand they master them and actually can use when applying for new roles. Most people don’t like to but their hamburger experience on their CV or Resume but when you managed a small team it can become more valuable then you think. Team working is probably one of the most overlooked transferable skills. Who has not worked in a team and did achieve the desired outcomes by working together? Most people do but few write about it or give evidence.

Understanding your transferable skills is a great step in the right direction. Anyone considering career coaching and work on their job search or career change they will be asked to work out their transferable skills and make sure they have evidence to back up their claims in interviews or in the achievement section of their CV’s or Resume’s.

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