8 February 2024
What Are Transferable Skills?
You might have already started your applications for a placement, internship or graduate role and think that you might not have the skills an employer is looking for. The reality is, you do.
Did you know that a lot of the skills you possess are transferable? Let’s get into it.
Transferable skills are all the rage, and for good reason too. Employers absolutely love them and are falling over themselves wanting to hire people who can demonstrate them well.
Read on to find out all about transferable skills and what they are.
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are exactly that. Skills that can be transferred between jobs and even industries.
You’ll have spent a huge amount of time honing these skills whether during a work experience opportunity, your studies, volunteering or in extracurricular activities (hobbies). You can use these skills in a variety of fields and workplace situations and tasks.
Transferable skills can be a mix of hard and soft skills.
For example, communication is a soft skill that every role requires. Data analytics is a hard skill that you can use in marketing as well as finance.
Why are transferable skills so important?
These skills are important because they show employers what you can bring to the role, how you’ll fit in and that you actually retain what you’ve picked up at previous work experiences.
Even if you don’t have all the experience in the world, your transferable skills are what will give you a real chance at landing that all-important role.
Employers are keen to meet talented students, so no matter what your background might be – there’s a place for you. That’s the importance of transferable skills.
Hear from employers themselves as they delve into what they’re looking for on your CV and how you can show off your relevant skills.
Working out which transferable skills you have
Looking at what skills you do have is a good practice to take on. It’ll help you understand;
- What is it you’re really good at
- Where you could always improve
- How to link everything to the work experience you’ve had.
If you’ve already had work experience through a placement or an internship or even other kinds of work experience, check the job description. What were some of the skills you already had? What skills did you develop while you were there?
Write those down! Think about all the times you used those skills and what the outcomes were. Trust us, they’re going to come in handy.
Keen to find out what those transferable skills are? Read on, we’re breaking them down.
Did you know you could pick up transferable skills whilst at university?
Examples of transferable skills
There are as many transferable skills as there are Kardashian heirs, hundreds. So don’t see this list as an exhaustive list of every single skill but more as a guide to what these skills are. We’ll split these up into soft and hard skills.
We use this every day, whether that’s to barter a market seller down from £5 for a pound of plantains (robbery) to £2.50 or to discuss salary with a potential employer.
Negotiation is more than just talking money. It’s useful for conflict resolution and problem-solving. Having negotiation skills means you’re able to listen and speak to all parties involved in order to come to a mutual agreement.
Do not underestimate the amount of times you’re going to have to speak during your job. Whether that’s presenting ideas in a group setting, hosting and moderating a group discussion or doing a presentation, having public speaking skills will help you get through those moments with ease and confidence.
The best thing about critical thinking is that it encompasses a wide range of skills including planning, decision-making and analytical thinking.
Critical thinking is all about looking at the facts and being able to form a judgement and solution. Having critical thinking shows you to be someone who is rational and can react to situations with a clear mind rather than emotions.
Think of professionalism as a way to carry yourself when you’re at the workplace. Employers are looking for people who are responsible, productive and a team player. Professionalism is also a collection of various skills that include communication, problem-solving, teamwork and flexibility.
Some honourable mentions include:
All those ICT lessons have come in handy. Computer skills are considered hard skills. More so when it comes to specific programmes. These can include being able to use Microsoft Office, Adobe and operating systems.
Coding comes in handy for those who are looking for work in the IT sector. However, it can be just as useful in other industries such as marketing, fashion and finance. There are loads of free courses, including Code Academy, if you’re looking to add the old HTML under your belt.
Having another language or two under your belt can be useful and can translate across industries. Several jobs might require you to speak a specific language and can even open up the doors to working abroad permanently or a few times a year.
Ready to show off those transferable skills? We have loads of placements, internships and graduate roles available. Click below to get started.
Written by Melchi
Melchi is a stan of the written word and joined the RateMyPlacement team as a Content Executive in 2021. Melchi started his career writing culture content for WeAreCollision magazine before completing an MA in International Journalism at City University and interning at Insider Inc. He now uses his head-thesaurus to write inspiring content to help young people make great career choices. These include everything from blogs about how to survive your placement year to industry guides outlining the latest placement and internship opportunities. Outside of writing, Melchi loves all things music and is currently learning how to DJ.