Identifying your transferable skills

In this article we we explain exactly what transferable skills are how they could be vital when searching for a job. We also provide a list of transferable skills that you may have developed at school, university or in the work place that you can use in your applications.

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What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are skills developed in one situation that can be transferred to another situation. For example, an economics student will develop a knowledge of economics during their studies. However, this is not all that they will develop. They will also develop many other highly valued transferable skills such as research, presentation and report writing skills.

Examples of transferable skills

Transferable skills are not only developed through formal education – they can be gained through employment, volunteering or through clubs, societies or sports teams that you may take part in. Examples of transferable skills include:

  • Communication*
  • Report writing
  • Customer service
  • Negotiating
  • Problem solving
  • Budgeting
  • Operating office equipment
  • Team working
  • Leadership
  • Analysis
  • Empathy

* Communication skills are particularly important for employers. Many people fail to gain employment due to poor communication skills.

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Why are transferable skills important?

Transferable skills are highly-valued by employers as they help to show how you might meet the requirements of the role and organisation. By remembering not to overlook your transferable skills can help to show that you are right for the role – even if you lack experience or academic qualifications.

How do I demonstrate transferable skills in my application?

Check the job description for information on what skills are required for the role and ensure that you provide examples that demonstrate these skills. For example, if the job description states that “excellent communication skills” are required, simply stating that you have “excellent communication skills” is vague unless you can evidence this claim. Instead expand on WHY you think that you have excellent communication skills. For example, “excellent communication skills demonstrated when I successfully wrote and presented a speech aimed at inspiring young people at my school.”

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Further Information

To find more careers advice visit: Careers Advice

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