9 Transferable Skills to Change Careers
According to Pew Research, jobs requiring analytical, critical, and computer skills grew 77%. Why is this important? Because all of them are transferable skills, and they are crucial if you are searching for a new job. In this article, we are going to talk about the most useful list of transferable skills and why you need them.
What are Transferable Skills?
When people talk about transferable skills, they mean the skills that you acquired during your studies, internships, or work experience that can be used in a variety of roles or occupations. These skills are important when you want to change your position or even industry, for example, when moving from a military profession to civilian life.
Transferable skills do not depend on your professional duties, but can be applied in a wide range of posts. Suppose you worked as a sales representative but would like to start a career in a completely different field. You are perfectly able to contact customers, manage your own time, and even find efficient solutions. These skills can be transferred and used in other areas as well. For example, working in the field of human resources, journalism, or logistics.
So, why are transferable skills important? In short, it helps with employment for those who are changing careers and for graduates with no experience who are looking for a job. If you do not have practice in the role that you are applying for, transferable skills become crucial for an employer.
Here are the benefits of transferable job skills that you can bring to any business.
- Flexibility. This is what allows you to perform multiple tasks. In conditions of growing competition in the labor market, this can become your significant advantage.
- Diversity. The more skills you have, the better your value to an employer. The transferred skills will support you in carrying out duties.
- Portability. In the process of your development, you will improve your abilities and acquire new ones. This is an important suitcase that you can take with you in any role.
Most In-Demand Transferable Skills
Now that you understand the definition of transferable skills let’s move to its types. Here are the top 9 abilities that will come in handy for any role.
Communication is one of the most important skills for any position. Regardless of whether you are engaged in sales, tech maintenance, or manage personnel, you should be able to clearly articulate your thoughts. High-quality communications are a sign of respect, as it saves time for you and the other person
Below are the main abilities that a good communicator must possess:
- Oral skills – it’s what you say and how you are doing it.
- Listening skills – it’s not about waiting for your turn to talk. It’s when you clearly understand what a speaker wants of you.
- Writing skills – it is important to be able to provide information through messages, emails, and in person.
- Non-verbal communication – it’s your body language, tone of voice, and gestures. It’s extremely important to control how your body acts at an interview. 55% of candidates receive a rejection due to wrong body language (Insider Hub)
- Discussion – it’s the way that you behave when there are one and more interlocutors. It’s an essential skill even if you’re having a plain conversation with colleagues.
- Technological communication skills – it’s the ability to assess protocols, established rules, assess the advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the approach that is most appropriate for your audience.
#2 Analytical skills
The ability to solve problems is now required from any employee. Regardless of the tasks facing you, you must find an effective solution. Problem-solving is part of analytical ability. In addition, confronted with large amounts of information daily, employees must be able to correctly interpret it.
For example, healthcare providers get access to patient information. Having received this data, they must analyze it in order to choose the most effective ways of treatment, as well as predict which patients are most at risk of complications. In the field of sales, analytical abilities help determine the target audience and qualitative ways of interacting with it.
#3 Work Ethic
Any employer expects commitment and dependability from you. A strong work ethic is part of your own values, which is based on the pride of your work. By showing an honest and positive approach, you say to an employer that they can rely on you. According to various independent studies, candidates who demonstrate a good work ethic during the interview receive 49% more positive answers than those who didn’t.
Let’s be honest, management is not always about managing people. It can also be related to how well you can organize your workplace and time. Regardless of the position, you are responsible for controlling your own responsibilities. Thus, time management and structuring of the working day have a significant impact on your productivity. You must demonstrate that you know how to set priorities correctly, and are able to meet deadlines.
Another crucial ability in the transferable skills checklist is leadership. It’s often confused with management, but actually these are different skills. Management is about efficiency, but leadership is about inspiration. Leadership does not depend on position or age. It is what you have inside. But at the same time, any candidate applying for a managerial position should be a leader. Leadership is when you set goals and motivate employees to fulfill them.
It implies that you have organizational abilities as well. For objective reasons, the number of managerial roles in each company is limited, but a person with leadership qualities can take on the responsibility of team building. The correct presentation of your leadership qualities in a resume is something that will allow you to stand out in the hiring process and gain a competitive advantage.
#6 Computer and technical skills
In the IT era, any candidate must be technically savvy, even if you are not working as a tech specialist. And it’s not about “proficient in MS Word and Excel.” Today, you must be able to do much more.
Technical skills include a huge range of tasks, such as connecting equipment for presentations, installing, removing or updating software, the ability to remove viruses from a laptop, and so on. Previously, companies built entire departments that performed these tasks for all personnel. But the world is changing rapidly and now even children can perform many technical functions. Why would an employer have a whole staff of technical administrators if they can just hire an employee who can take care of their own equipment?
Collaboration is what increases the effectiveness of any department. Employers are looking for professionals who can quickly adapt and join the team. A close-knit team quickly and efficiently achieves goals, and all members inside motivate each other. A person who cannot become part of a team quickly loses a competitive advantage. Teamwork is when success comes first. It also implies the possession of interpersonal qualities. In this article about intrapersonal skills and intelligence, more tips are waiting for you. These can also be extremely helpful with hiring.
This is the ability of a person to adapt to new conditions. It is great if you possess such qualities, as it may not be easy to predict what conditions you will encounter in a new role. Adaptability is not just about the office atmosphere. A new position may be associated with greater responsibility and load. Adaptability will help you begin to cope with new conditions and work under pressure as quickly as possible. Many employers value these qualities.
#9 Creativity & Critical Thinking
Your creativity combined with critical thinking allows you to evaluate goals and find the most effective solution to achieve them. Creativity is the ability to develop ideas formulated by critical thinking. Using these qualities, a good candidate can optimize processes and increase productivity, which leads to revenue growth.
In truth, these two skills have always been engines of progression. Typically, creativity is in demand in art, advertising, journalism, and so on. However, this can be a huge advantage in other industries, such as technical, consulting, services, etc.
How to Make an Accent on Your Transferable Skills
Your resume and cover letter are the first things that an employer will evaluate. So they must be top-notch. And these are those papers in which strong candidates should identify their transferable skills. If you want to bring out the best impression, you should not just list your talents, but also tell about the cases in your career when you used them effectively.
All recruiters require a resume. It is a paper where you describe your qualifications. But when you change your career, a cover letter is an integral part of your job application. It’s a statement where you describe in more detail your significant transferable skills. For example, if you mention technical abilities, tell a hiring manager about how you helped a colleague fix problems with their laptop.
An interview is the next step where you can demonstrate your special qualities. When answering questions, give examples of stories that reflect your transferable skills.
Authored by Anna Hmara (Career Expert, GetCoverLetter.com)