Transferable Skills That Every Employer Looks For
While individual roles each require their own specific skill set, there are certain skills that are attractive to employers across the board.
As the name would suggest, ‘transferable skills’ are general skills or abilities that can be used in (or transferred between) various jobs, sectors and departments. Rather than being taught, transferable skills are usually developed through experience; at school, college, home, in your social life and throughout your career.
So what are some of the key transferable skills that employers look for – and how can you demonstrate that you have them, on your resume and in a job interview?
Good time management skills demonstrate that you can work to deadlines and complete tasks in an effective and organised way. No matter what career path you take, being able to manage your time effectively will show that you can do more work in less time – something that will be valuable to every employer, for obvious reasons.
Closely linked to organisational skills, time management is not something you can learn overnight, but something you will have developed over time; often learning from experiences where you have not done it effectively.
If you have successfully met a deadline at school or college, been involved in clubs, societies or volunteering, or held a job alongside your studies while maintaining good grades, you can demonstrate to an employer that you can manage your time effectively.
The majority of jobs require good communication skills – and in today’s competitive jobs market, demonstrating that you are an effective communicator (that is, that you have the ability to convey information to others in a clear, direct and unambiguous way) will be highly attractive to employers across the board.
Though it is often used to refer to verbal communication, this umbrella term can also relate to written communication, as well as the ability to listen to others, and take their ideas on board.
If you have previously worked in any kind of customer-facing role, been involved in group projects, or have been a part of a debating / public speaking society at school or college, you’ll likely have developed good communication skills, which you can reference on your resume.
Research and analysis
Most jobs require a basic level of research and analysis – and being able to gather, critically evaluate and form a reasoned opinion on information will be valuable to employers in various different industries.
As well as proving useful when a specific research project is required, good research and analysis skills will also indicate that you can come up with new ideas and ways of doing things – something that will be valuable to any business.
The best way to show an employer that you have good research and analytical skills is by referencing a specific project or task you have worked on (whether this be at school or in a previous job), where you were required to use these skills, and achieved a good end result.
Regardless of your role, and whether or not it is client-facing, you will need to be able to work well with other employees – so demonstrating that you can contribute, listen and thrive within a team will be hugely valuable to employers. Teamwork skills are especially important if you are looking to move into a management role in the long-term – as you’ll need to show that you understand the dynamics of working effectively in a team, and supporting others to achieve a good end goal.
People who have been involved in team sports possess naturally good teamwork skills – so make sure to mention any involvement in sports on your resume.
Equally, though, most jobs require some level of teamwork – so citing any previous positions you have held, and referencing the times when you were required to work on a project or task within a small team, will show that you are a good team player.
Good problem-solving ability is a big plus for employers. It is usually meant to mean taking the initiative, analysing situations, and finding actionable, inventive solutions to them.
For employers, possessing good problem-solving skills demonstrates that you can assess situations on your own, predict potential issues and prevent them before they even happen – something that will add real value to their business. Plus, finding solutions to problems will often require thinking “outside-of-the-box”, in a creative way – another key skill that will be important to employers across the board.
You may be able to cite a situation in a previous job where you reacted to an issue in a logical and effective way. Alternatively, you are likely to have developed problem-solving skills when planning an event, writing an analytical essay, or overcoming a tricky situation or dispute in your personal life.
Personal development refers to the ability to evaluate your own performance, recognise your strengths and weaknesses, and formulate a plan to progress and develop. If you can show that you are aware of your own personal development, you’ll be indicating to an employer that you are motivated, self-aware, and that you are dedicated to growing within their business.
Rather than being something that you learned at one time or another, personal development is usually a quality you develop through your life; as you face different challenges, and get to know yourself better over time.
On your resume or in an interview, you can demonstrate personal development by discussing how you have learned a new skill, or referencing a time when you have been taken outside of your comfort zone, and grew from the experience.
As well as those listed above, there are a number of other transferable skills; all of which can be referenced on your resume and in a job interview to make your application more attractive to employers.
This guest post was authored by Jessica Ching.
Jessica Ching is Digital Content & Marketing Executive at the London-based graduate recruitment agency, Give A Grad A Go. Since 2009, they have supported the growth of over 500 companies, and placed nearly 3,000 candidates in their ideal graduate jobs.
With 9 years of experience in the recruitment sector, the Give A Grad A Go team are primed to offer careers advice, job hunting tips and guidance to graduates who are unsure about what career would suit them best.
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