What Are Transferable Skills?
As the name implies, these are those skills that can be applied across different industries.
They are specific skills possessed by professionals that allow them to move between career paths and industries much quickly, even if they did not have the direct skills needed in the other sectors they were going to.
For example, an engineer might not have direct managerial skills, but their problem-solving skills will help them excel in the role. That is the same way a personal coach might not have training in sales, but their interpersonal skills will allow them to get across to clients and consumers.
The exciting thing about interpersonal skills is how they are usually gained by experience, not training.
Most of these skills are what we, as professionals, pick up in the family, college, gatherings, etc. That does not mean they cannot be learned or taught in training, but it takes experience to perfectly express them.
Top Transferable Skills Employers are Looking For
There are a lot of transferable skills. There are also some of these skills that are top on the list of employers in different industries. They are:
#1 Communication Skills
Especially for people working in a technical environment, communication skills are critical.
Relaying what you mean in as simple terms as possible is a critical aspect of the job.
This skill is especially essential when letting bosses with a lesser or non-technical background in on what is happening. Without proper communication skills, you won’t be able to get through. When you are not able to get through, your work is also impeded.
#2 Teamwork skills
Even if you are a loner, the company is where you have to work in line with others to achieve a common goal.
Teamwork is non-negotiable, no matter what role you are in. As long as you are not the only one who makes up such a company, your demonstration of teamwork skills could get you ahead faster than others with the job’s direct skill requirements.
#3 Time Management Skills
No company wants to come behind on its goals and prospects. In times like this, when employees are working from home, proper time management skills are needed more than ever.
Self-starters who can get things done with minimal to no supervision at all are on the top of the career food chain right now. Those who do not know how to get things done before they are nudged or will always come in late are not appreciated.
#4 Digital Skills
We would have said ‘computer skills,’ but that would have been confusing.
It took the pandemic to know that many people have computer skills but are lacking on the digital front. Such employees found it hard to adapt to the remote working model, had issues with video conferencing and deploying other digital tools.
It is a no-brainer that such employees will hold their teams back, which keeps the company back.
#5 Leadership Skills
We mentioned something above, under communication skills.
It is possible that the boss of an IT department does not have an IT background. If they have the right leadership skills, though, they will be well equipped to handle just about any team thrown at them.
That said, leadership skills can not be taught. It is something that you develop yourself and can only be honed by training. That is why companies will look for those with such skills rather than train leaders from scratch.
Getting Ahead with Transferable Skills
Now that you know what they are, how can you use these skills to your advantage?
There is no one-size-fits-all model here, but there are sure approaches to take for success.
Here are some of such steps.
After all, how well will you tell someone else about your transferable skills if you don’t know them yourself?
List all of your skills and identify which ones are soft and hard skills. Your hard skills are often those specific to a job type, so don’t rely on them for transfers. Soft skills are where you want to choose your strengths.
Know the Translation
So, you have stellar communication skills – but does your potential employer require that in their ranks?
Don’t get us wrong. Communication skills are essential everywhere, but they are not the prime skill in demand everywhere.
When you know the translation, you can make the job easier for the recruiters and hiring managers. Even though they are naturally biased to employ someone with a linear career path for that role, your knowledge of how your skills translate helps them to see things in a new light.
In fact, they can now determine that bringing you onboard allows a fresh perspective on the role.
Forget the Buzzwords
If you rely on your transferable skills, there is a high chance you are changing career paths, industry, or both.
The people who hire for such career paths and industries have buzzwords they are used to. The same applies to the people in your industry. You can see how it can get confusing when you use buzzwords from your current line to apply for a new career line.
Keep things simple and without industry jargon. Explain in simple, concise terms that everyone will relate to. That gives you a higher level of success in your pursuit.
Use your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is not a place to mention everything on your resume again. Doing so is wasting the unique chance of a cover letter.
Inside that letter, connect the dots of how your skills help the company solve its problems via the intended role. Point them in the right direction, shining the light on what you want them to focus on.
Rather than leaving things to chance, you would have influenced their decision to favor your application.