Jack Anderson: The importance of transferable skills
Jack Anderson, financial and professional services consultant at Core Asset Consulting, discusses the importance of transferable skills.
Sometimes overlooked, transferrable skills are a key part of your development and career – and often you have far more to showcase in your CV or at an interview than you might think.
All of us have transferrable skills (or softer skills) that we develop throughout our lives. Taken from our school and university days to our first part-time jobs, these softer skills and capabilities become the foundations of our careers.
Transferrable skills even form part of your personality – whether you’re organised, like to plan ahead, or if you’re good at problem solving and finding effective solutions.
Adding transferrable skills to a CV or highlighting them in an interview can be an easy way to make yourself stand out to potential employers – especially for those looking to enter the job market for the first time, or those looking to switch career paths.
What are some crucial transferrable skills?
- Problem solving
How can you showcase them?
On everyone’s CV, there should be an entire section dedicated to key and transferrable skills. A good rule of thumb is to list three to five skills, with two to three sentences per skill.
For anyone looking to start their careers, this is a good section to add bulk and highlight the skills you have gained through the experience you have.
Even if you’re lacking in professional experience, focus on all of the skills and personal strengths you have gained through volunteering, projects, university coursework, and any part-time jobs. For example, if you were involved in organising a fundraising event, you can use this to prove your time management and planning skills.
Before you interview with a company, take the time to do some research and review the job application to see what type of skills an interviewer is likely to ask you.
Be specific when you talk about responsibilities and skills, and use examples for each. Instead of saying you’re a good leader; talk about how you’ve led teams or specific projects – this will give your interviewer a much stronger impression of you as an employee.
For entry-level roles, interviewers won’t expect a candidate to have all of the skills on the job advert, instead they’ll be looking for someone who can learn quickly, is motivated and excited, and someone who could be a great culture fit.
You can demonstrate how you’re a good fit for a company by talking about your experience (with examples) working as a team, solving problems, and communicating effectively with colleagues.
Softer skills are key at every level of your career and can make you stand out as the best candidate to an employer.
Sometimes it’s not enough to have the requisite years of experience or qualifications – candidates who are also able to show off their transferrable skills like communication, organisation, and motivation will be a much more attractive prospect.