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Transferable Skills: What They Are & How to Identify Yours

As many people are changing jobs, whether it be from one department to another within the same company or doing a complete career switch, it will benefit you a great deal to know your transferable skills. It is these skills that you’ll bring with you that you will rely on in your new position. They are also the skills an employer will be looking for in candidates.

First of all, what is a transferable skill? Simply put, they are qualities that will be useful no matter what job you are going to, which is what makes them so valuable. Some examples of transferable skills are communication, organization, and dependability. The best part is you can gain these skills through employment, volunteer work, education, internships, and even hobbies. All it takes is the initiative (another transferable skill) to learn while you’re going about your daily life and building on your skills.

Now I have been told by many people “I don’t have any skills”. My response is always “Of course you do!” It’s just a question of figuring out what they are. This may take a little digging and thinking on your part, but it’ll be to your benefit. You’ll soon have a long list of skills and many of them will be transferrable.

One way to discover your skills is to use a tool like Type in a job you’ve had, and it’ll bring up similar jobs. Under the occupation, there will be a compare skills link that can offer a list of skills you will have. Add them to your list.

Another way is to write down in detail what you do each day and then connect each task with a skill(s). For example if you write emails or answer the phones, then you have communication skills. You may also be able to add customer service to that. If you’re handling issues from other departments or within your own department, then write down problem-solving.

Next check out some job ads, especially ones in your field. They’ll often list the skills they’re looking for. They also may use phrases that you can translate into a skills, such as “fast-paced environment” will require someone to have good time management and prioritization skills.

Lastly, use the magic of the internet. Google transferable skills, and you’ll get a load of results that will list all kinds of skill sets that you can peruse and add to your list. Just make sure you have an example for each skill that you add. You want to be honest on your resume, during your interview, and in your other job search activities.

To start inspiring you, take a look at these transferable skills and the specific related skills…..

Communication Skills

· Active listening

· Speaking effectively

· Writing concisely

· Expressing ideas

· Perceiving non-verbal communication

· Negotiation

· Providing appropriate feedback

· Interviewing

· Editing

Interpersonal Skills

· Developing rapport

· Being sensitive to others

· Motivating others

· Cooperating

· Mentoring

· Sharing credit with co-workers

· Communicating feeling appropriately

Leadership Skills

· Initiating new ideas

· Managing groups

· Coaching

· Counseling

· Delegating

· Promoting change

· Managing conflict

Other transferable skills to look into….

· Customer Service

· Critical Thinking

· Computer Skills

· Analytical Skills

· Management

· Teamwork

· Creativity

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