Owning Your Transferable Skills
What Is She Talking About?
When I say the words transferable skills you may be wondering what the heck I’m talking about. Or if you’re like me, you’ve probably heard the words way too many times. Starting out in the career services field over 5 years ago, I quickly learned what this meant and how important it can be. We all have skills – that are either work related or not.
Transferable skills are what we refer to as skills that are common amongst jobs and fields that all employers look for. Skills such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, leadership and so on are all helpful no matter what kind of job you land – or hope to land. We all have many transferable skills but may not think about them on a regular basis.
The most valuable thing about transferable skills is using them to your advantage when you are on the job hunt. If you have no experience at all or you are making a different career move, transferable skills can become your best friend. In your cover letter and in the interview process, you can’t very well boast about how much relevant experience you have, if you don’t have any. But remember, you still have all those transferable skills! So what if I haven’t done this exact job before? I’ve been successful in other jobs that required those exact same SKILLS!
Whether you are currently on the job hunt or not, you should take some time to think about your skills and what some of your key transferable skills are. Even if your happy in your job and not planning to move, you should always be aware of what you have to offer.
Top 10 Transferable Skills
There are so many different transferable skills but the top 10 skills that most employers look for include: teamwork, leadership, organization, time management, initiative, communication, interpersonal, research, analytical and computer skills.
How I Sold My Skills
I often feel like a broken record when I teach my weekly career course, saying the words transferable skills over and over again. But aside from knowing that you can use these skills to sell yourself, I’ve done it myself and can totally see why it’s so important.
Graduating from University almost 6 years ago, I had tons of experience as a Cashier, Sales Associate and Camp Counsellor. But what good did that do me trying to launch my career in a professional field? Actually, a lot! I rambled on enough in my first ever real job interview about all my transferable skills I built up during those jobs, that I totally sold myself on those. I don’t need all that experience if I can prove that I have what it takes to do the job well.
In the last 2 career moves I have made, I applied to roles that were in the same industry but actually quite different. Again, I didn’t have the experience in the types of roles that they were looking for. But I used my past experience to my advantage and really owned those transferable skills. You can also sell yourself on your personality as employers want someone who will fit in with their team.
If you find yourself lost when trying to gain entry to the work force or make a change to better yourself, think about these transferable skills. We all have them. It just takes time to think about them and really know how to use them to your own advantage!
Best of luck!