There’s a hot new buzzword on everyone’s lips, and it sounds a little like this: “transferable skills”. We’re sure it’s something you’ve heard either on your career counsellor's couch or that big family dinner you were dreading, or even as the reason you were rebuffed from your latest job interview.
The thing is, no-one’s really gone to the trouble of spelling out what transferable skills mean, have they?
Put down your resume — there’s no need to break out in a cold sweat in search of which past internship looks remotely similar to that new job you’re eyeing up. We’ve done the work of decoding ‘transferability’ for you.
Let’s start with the most straightforward. If your employer’s looking for a demonstration of teamwork or initiative, the ability to prove you’ve been trusted with responsibility is the ticket. This might manifest itself in a variety of forms, ranging from key club positions you’ve held at university to managing events for a society.
Bear in mind that leadership also means the demonstration of other skills in which you may not explicitly need to take action. Have you, for example, delegated tasks efficiently and in a manner appropriate to your club/event/organisation’s aims? Can you explain the thinking or logic behind your choices for instances where you’ve said “no” to a budget proposal?
The ability to work effectively with others is built into the heart of any organisation, regardless of how the workplace changes. (After all, if you’re collaborating over how to mend that cool robot that makes your company’s products, you’re still talking to another person, aren’t you?)
Your ability to effectively communicate with and affect positive change on and amongst other people will be what employers are looking for. As above, involvement in clubs and organisations, as well as creative groups such as the theatre, could help prove your ability to interact with others positively. (After all, all the technical skills in the world can’t make up for a poor team player!)
Beyond that, employers want to see that you’re motivated to participate in the groups you’ve chosen to be a part of, rather than simply there for the wage; that you have flexibility to work within a group (or set of stakeholder)’s needs and that you’re empathetic to said needs, and are professional and resourceful in the way you meet those challenges.
Eyeing that high-pressure retail job as an example? We can see where you’re coming from.
These skills will vary depending on the type of industry and organisation you work for. So let’s strip it back down to the basics.
In short, they’re the abilities to: manage time effectively, analyse information, organise paperwork (electronic or otherwise), map out projects and think creatively to solve problems. Or in other words, all the skills you hope to acquire as part of your tertiary education.
Bear in mind that no employer will expect you to come to their organisation with a seasoned and nuanced knowledge of how all these things work together. So long as you can exhibit that you have the patience and diligence to file monthly data reports — say, from the fact you’ve worked as a tutor in an organisation before — will be enough to indicate you have the right mindset.
Out of the lot, the skills of time management and information analysis bubble to the top as the most important. The rest and others not mentioned here — like, for example, financial management — can be learnt on the job, but these two? They’re critical to your performing effectively within a department. After all, if you can’t quite make sense of your work nor understand its priorities, there may be further training your company isn’t currently at liberty to provide you with.
If it so happens that you’re having trouble identifying where these skills appear in your own CV, don’t stress. Why not make a list of the attributes you’d like to acquire and next to them, a list of how you can go about gaining experience? For example: to get hands-on with both time management and leadership, why not think about running a charity event?
At Social Hire, we don't just do social media.
The social media marketers in our company are the best in the business at helping our partners enhance their online marketing. We outline and implement cutting-edge social media marketing plans that help our customers realise their organisational objectives and further their social media presence. Our experienced team of digital experts do your social media strategy creation and management in an uncomplicated monthly plan that is cost-effective and is genuinely useful, whatever results you demand from your marketing team.
Our group of specialists are an organisation that helps our clients boost their online marketing by offering social media management services on a monthly basis.
You might like these blog posts Why is Digital Marketing Necessary for Your Mobile App, B2B Product Marketing Offers- Capturing An Audience, How to Gain Winning Traction to Succeed In Your E-Commerce Business, and Want to Strengthen Your Team with 360-Reviews? Here are Four Questions to Ask.