Transferable skills are skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across different areas of life: socially, professionally and at school. They are ‘portable skills’.
People usually think about their transferable skills when applying for a job or when thinking about a career change. Employers often look for people who can demonstrate a good set of transferable skills.
The good news is that you already have transferable skills – you’ve developed such skills and abilities throughout your life, at school and perhaps at university, at home and in your social life, as well as through any experience in the work-place.
It is often important that you can identify and give examples of the transferable skills that you have developed – this will go a long way to persuading prospective employers that you are right for the job.
Work effectively in a group or team to achieve goals. In many jobs you will be expected to work as part of a team. Demonstrating your ability to work with others will help to reassure employees that you will ‘fit in’ and offer a valuable contribution.
Personal Motivation, Organisation and Time Management
Manage and prioritise your workload and time effectively As well as being able to work effectively in a group situation, you are likely to be required to work alone and take responsibility for your time and work.
Are you a good listener? Employers commonly complain about their staff’s inability to listen effectively and Richard Branson rates effective listening as one of the most important skills we can develop.
Write accurately, clearly and concisely in variety of styles. Many job roles will require an element of writing skills. You may be required to adapt your writing style frequently, producing reports, press releases, marketing materials, letters or emails, and you may have to write for the web, for customers, shareholders and colleagues.
Speak clearly and dynamically in a variety of situations. Employers often require staff with strong verbal communication skills. Can you communicate information and ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of situations?
Research and Analytical Skills
Gather, interpret and analyse information. It may be appropriate to demonstrate your ability to research, analyse and critically evaluate information. There could be a variety of complex information that you are required to work with and make sense of, for example sales figures, new product and supplier specifications, technical reports and financial information.
Accurately and effectively work with numbers You may not be applying for a job or pursuing a career in mathematics or statistics but it is likely that some basic understanding of numeracy will be useful. Most jobs will require some numeracy skills. Numeracy is an area that is frequently quoted by employers as lacking – especially amongst graduates.
Know yourself and find ways to develop. Personal development is an attractive quality to employers. By demonstrating that you are keen to learn and progress, you are likely to be seen as enthusiastic and willing to take on new challenges.
Effectively use computers and technology. Many jobs will require that you use word processing, spreadsheet and web-based software on a daily basis. However, think beyond these basic IT skills. Are you confident using a computer? Can you learn how to use new software and new technology quickly? Can you troubleshoot basic computer problems and do you understand the importance of data security and privacy?
Besides the above mentioned transferrable skills, creativity, adaptability, collaboration,analytical skills, emotional intelligence (EQ), leadership skills. judgement and decision making skills are also important. Communication is the ability to express yourself or transfer information to others efficiently in the workplace. It is probably the most easily transferable skill of all.