Transferable skills are abilities that you can use in any job. You might develop skills in one environment, such as work experience, that can then be used in another setting - like a full-time job.
Right now you probably already have lots of transferable skills that you can add to your CV, without even realising it. Employers highly value these skills, so even if you've not had loads of work experience, you'll still be a great addition to the team.
In this guide, we'll provide a transferable skills definition, show how they can come in handy for your career, and a full list of transferable skills.
How can transferable skills help my career?
These skills can actually help you find your first job. Try this: have a look at the job description of the position you're interested in. Take note of the required skills that are listed. Which of these skills can you relate to your school work or extra-curricular activities?
For example, let's say you're interested in applying for a job in advertising. The employer is looking for someone with good communication skills and digital abilities. You might not have work experience in advertising, but maybe you have communication skills from your volunteering role, and IT know-how from your Instagram posts. So you can transfer these skills to that job role.
'Transferable skills can be just as important as first-hand experience'
Another important use of these skills is to make yourself a really valuable employee. Even if your job role doesn't specifically require leadership skills, if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, then you can transfer those abilities to the job. That will help you progress in your career.
IT skills are one of the most sought-after skills you can have. Whether you study IT at school or not, it's worth mentioning on your CV. You should reference things like email, social media, spreadsheets and word processing.
Most employers look for candidates with group work skills. Think of some examples that you can speak about that shows you're able to work as part of a team and follow instructions. Some examples of team working at school might be during sports or group activities.
We're not just talking about verbal communication here. Written communication is a great transferable skill to be able to demonstrate, as most jobs will require you to work with email and update computer systems with notes. For more information about how the importance of good communication, take a look at our post How to Improve Your Communication Skills for Work.
Research and analytical skills
English and Modern Studies are great subjects for demonstrating research and analytical skills. If you have your sights set on a job that requires working with data, writing reports or researching, then these skills will definitely come in useful. During job interviews, you may want to give examples of working on school projects that required you to conduct research and draw conclusions from survey results.
Numeracy is a great skill to have and one that employers value highly. If you study maths, you can mention how your skills will transfer to a working environment and how you already use these skills in every day situations.
Being able to manage your time is an essential skill to have at school and at work. A great example to draw on during an interview is how you have studied for several exams all at once. The time management skills that you need to plan and organise a study schedule can translate well into work.
There are some great ways to improve time management skills in this video:
Now you know the transferable skills definition, why not test your abilities against our list of key skills?
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