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How your transferable skills could help you land your dream job

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at some point in our career - do I have the skills for the job? As it turns out, the answer might surprise you…

In an increasingly competitive job market, knowing your transferable skills and how they can help you to stand out from the crowd is a must - especially if you’re changing careers.

We all pick up and develop a range of skills that can be applied in many different roles, and they can be more far-reaching than you might think. So whether you’re considering a career change, looking for a new job or fresh out of university, knowing your transferable skills could give your CV the punch it needs to make an impact - and bring you one step closer to landing your dream job.

So what are transferable skills?

As the name suggests, transferable skills are abilities, knowledge and training that can be taken and applied to many different aspects of your life - including your career. We all have them, regardless of experience, knowledge or qualifications, and if you are lacking in experience, they can be just as valuable.

How to identify them

When it comes to identifying your transferable skills, the key is to think broadly. Transferable skills are usually picked up over time, and can be gained from previous positions, charity or voluntary work, your hobbies, or even just at home.

Your skills are a combination of different things:

  • Knowledge – what you know
  • Attitude – how you approach things
  • Character – your personality
  • Strengths – things you’re naturally good at
  • Experience – what you’ve done

Using the points above, take a moment to go through a typical week, and think about the different tasks you do and what they actually involve. This is a great way to identify skills you might not realise you had; quite often, it’s the things that come as second nature to you that are priceless to a potential employer.

While doing this exercise, make sure you jot down some examples that you can use - the key isn’t just to know your transferable skills, but to recognise when you’ve used them and how they relate to the job you’re applying for.

You can also supplement your self-assessment with feedback. Whether it’s from your manager, a colleague, friends or family, it’s the people around us who can best paint a picture of the things we’re good (and not so good!) at doing.

So what next?

Now that you’ve listed your skills, the next step is to map them to the ones you’ll need in the job you’re looking for.

If you already know the job you want to apply for, go through the role profile and look for the skills you have in common.

If you’re not sure what job you want to apply for, take a look at the different types of roles across a range of industries that you might be interested in, and see what skills they have in common. Then, map your findings back against your own list of skills and decide on the ones you’re best suited for.

And finally…

So, you’ve established your skillset and found the job you want to apply for. The next step? Applying!

Like any application, tailoring your CV is a must. Now that you have a detailed understanding of what you can offer, be sure to point to your strengths and skills that are relevant to the job – these are key selling points. And don’t forget to mention where you want to develop in terms of new abilities. The rapid advances in technology in recent years have produced the greatest shift in working culture since the industrial age, so your ability - and willingness - to learn new skills is something you can count on every employer to be looking for.

Now you’ve discovered what you can offer, why not take a look at what we can offer you? Who knows – we might even have your dream job!