What are your transferable skills?

We have all heard the term transferable skills, but do you know what your transferable skills are and how to use these skills to your advantage?

Transferable skills are those skills that you have now that you can transfer to a new job or career area. Whether they are skills that you personally developed on-the-job or developed through training, there are many types of transferable skills that can help you get your foot in the door for your next role.

The top transferable skills employers are looking for include:

1. Communication – How do you present yourself? Are you a confident communicator? Do you engage with others using eye contact and open body language?

My communication skills were first developed when I worked as a Checkout Operator at Woolworths. It was my first role and I needed to be able to liaise with customers on a regular basis. This experience helped me develop my communication confidence. I have since transferred these skills to corporate settings; meeting and greeting clients, liaising over the phone with professionals to meet their needs, and organising events and conferences.

2. Problem Solving –What information do you collect in weighing up information? How do you respond to different types of problems? How do you find solutions to meet deadlines?

Whether it is work or personal life we have all experienced a moment where we have been outside of our comfort zone. The more my roles had progressed, the greater accountability I had in decision making. As my career progressed the steps in problem solving remained the same, but the problems became more complex, involving more people and in shorter time constraints. I transferred my skills and grew my problem solving skills as I grew within my career.

3. Teamwork –How well do you cooperate with others? Do you contribute to group tasks with enthusiasm? Do you motivate and inspire others?

Challenge Consulting conducts a weekly group interview for our temporary team members, part of the reason we do this is to see how individuals interact with one another in a group environment. Transferable skills don’t need to only have been developed in your paid work. I gained my teamwork skills while taking part in many volunteer roles for not-for-profit events and exhibitions while studying at TAFE. You learn a lot about yourself working in group environments and the great results that can be achieved delegating tasks amongst team members. You even learn how to adapt in the environment if situations change and how to deal with different personality types. I have then been able to transfer these skills into different roles and positions throughout my career.

4. Planning and organising – employers look at examples of how you organise yourself, adapt to change, what you have learned from your experiences etc. And they will also assess if you have had situations where you have lead a team of people. How well do you delegate? How well do you take responsibility for tasks at hand? Are you self-motivated and disciplined when you need to be?

Planning and organising skills are developed with the more experience you gain over time. However, even if you aren’t currently in a management role, we all have to manage and organise priorities outside of work. Some examples can include, sporting teams, committees, family commitments, personal events etc.

What are your transferable skills?

As you can see I developed my skills through my studies, jobs, and outside of work. It is important not to discredit your skills when considering a career change. Take the time to review the skills you have built up over the years and see if you can transfer those skills in the new role for which you are applying.

When I changed roles over a year ago I found my administration skills (customer service, data entry, event planning) to be highly advantageous to my new role, and I am continuing to grow new skills in marketing and social media which I will be able to transfer in future job areas.

When have your transferable skills helped you get your foot in the door for an interview or has helped you through a career change?