Transferable Skills For Jobs

20/11/13

Having worked with many graduates I often find that they have not added their previous or current role at McDonald’s, Woolworths or local café etc. to their resume as they feel it is not relevant to their chosen profession.

Graduates often ask me “How is it going to help me find a job in IT/Accounting etc.?” 

But these experiences are exactly what companies are looking for in a recent graduate.  You will not be expected to have much/if any work experience in your professional field at this stage of your career so employers and internship host companies will look for other opportunities which will have enabled you to develop valued skills.

Transferable skills are the types of skills that you have developed in one type of role (i.e. Customer service assistant at a supermarket) but you are able to apply and utilise in a completely different role or industry (i.e. IT Helpdesk Support). Transferable skills include skills such as communication, time-management, team work and problem solving skills.

The first step is to identify what transferable skills you have developed so that you can use them on your resume and when attending interviews. Breaking down the different tasks and responsibilities you have held in a previous or current role can be a good way to identify your transferable skills, for example;

Working as a waitress/waiter one of your main tasks is to take customer’s food and drink orders. 
This demonstrates listening and communication skills.

In many customer facing roles you may have to handle customer complaints, which demonstrates problem solving and listening skills and also an ability to stay calm under pressure.

As a chef you often work in a busy environment where you are responsible for preparing dishes in a given time frame. This demonstrates time-management andorganisational skills.

When you have few technical skills to compete by within the graduate market, it is your transferable skills that can set you apart from the competition!

Why not start improving your professional competitive advantage today by;

  • Becoming aware what transferable skills you have developed through your work experiences
  • Ensuring that you are demonstrating these skills on your resume
  • At your next interview demonstrate to the interviewer how these skills will benefit the employer or internships host company

 Have you got transferrable skills from a previous role or position? Make sure these are highlighted to your placement consultant. These may well be applicable to a future internship and will help you to gain your first step into the working world. 
 

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