TRANSFERABLE SKILLS for career change

Transferable skills are those general skills which can be used to advantage in many different job roles as well as positions. These skills can also be used in different industries and some of them also in our daily life. Prospective employers value transferable skills and look for them when screening candidates for open positions as well as for promotions or transfers within the organization.

As the impact of the current crisis is felt in different countries, we are seeing job cuts, restructuring and also closures of some businesses. In such a situation it may become necessary that a person is looking for a job. Lack of direct experience is not necessarily a barrier to securing a new job. If you can highlight the transferable skills that you possess in your resume as well as project those skills positively and persuasively to prospective employers your chances of securing a job may increase. So, it is essential to showcase and sell your skills and potential by demonstrating the transferable skills that you possess. Remember, that the type of transferable skills that you highlight in your CV should be related to the position you are applying for.

Some of the most relevant skills normally looked for are :

COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Both written and verbal communication skills are required for most jobs and highlighting your skills in this area is a good start. Being able to communicate information, interact with colleagues and share ideas clearly are all required in most jobs. Also the ability to address a group or make presentations is a plus point. Many jobs need writing skills as it may require you to write emails, reports and other material depending on the nature of the job.

USE OF COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY – These days most jobs require some degree of computer literacy ie word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and other related softwares. Improve your command in using these to develop your efficiency levels and also your skills. The ability to understand and use new technology is also a plus point.

ANALYTICAL SKILLS – Some degree of analysis is also required in most jobs. Being able to scrutinize, analyse and evaluate information to make the best and informed decisions is critical. Depending on the job requirements there may be an array of information you may need to analyse and make sense of, eg sales figures, financial information, technical data etc. to make more informed decisions.

TEAMWORK – In most jobs we are required to work as a team member. Possessing the ability to work with others, collaborating and effectively contributing to a common end, is a skill which is very useful these days. Teamwork contributes to achieving personal as well as departmental goals and employers look for prospective employees who can fit in the group.

TIME MANAGEMENT – Effectively managing your time and being productive is conducive to produce results, which positively contribute to being employed in current position, as well as being selected for a job. The trend of working from home is increasing and it also requires that you take responsibility for your time and work. Being able to demonstrate that you can effectively manage your time and organize your work is a plus point with potential employers.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT – Demonstrating that you are aware of your strengths and areas of improvement and are keen to learn and develop yourself is an attractive quality to employers. This will display that you have the potential to grow, accept new challenges and learn new skills. Employers look for talented employees from a future prospective to fill higher positions and you will possess a better chance to be selected for such a position when it arises.

LEADERSHIP – Many roles do not require leadership skills but being able to guide, manage and control different activities are skills which are required in most jobs. Possessing these skills depict your ability to lead and accept responsibility to achieve objectives. It also helps to project your capacity and abilities to take on higher responsibilities as well.

Bear in mind, that the transferable skills you possess can make a major impact in the situation of a job search. Therefore, learn to focus on and develop these skills and reap the rewards of better job security, future prospects and even job offers. If you can represent and embody these in your job and also the professional world you will be acknowledged as an accomplished professional in your field. 

So, remember to:

  1. Understand how these skills enable you to do a better job
  2. Focus on and develop these skills
  3. Highlight them in your resumé and other written communications
  4. Display them in your meetings with managers subtly, as the underlying skills you employ to do your work well

REMEMBER  “ It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change “ – Charles Darwin

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