Have you ever found the perfect job only to read through the job description and realise that there are some areas that you appear to be lacking in? What do you do in this situation… click the back button and move on to the next opportunity hoping that it will mirror your experience perfectly? Or do you carefully consider the skills being requested and link them to a skill that you already have?

Many candidates fall into the first category and consider themselves not suitable for a given role, but should companies and candidates alike be focusing on what we call ‘transferable skills’.

Transferable skills are those key skills that you have developed over time that you can take with you, be it in general life or a work based situation. These are key skills that can show and demonstrate that you could in fact be perfect for the role or the company regardless of past experience, or the skills that you fear you do not possess. Now that is not to say that a complete career change is always feasible in unrealistic circumstances, but in some situations you may be the right candidate for the job, even if your CV doesn’t contain the key requirements for that particular role.

Nowadays culture is a key factor to those looking to hire their next recruit and as a candidate you can use some of these transferable skills to highlight why you would not only be a great fit for the specific job, but more importantly the company. These skills can tell an employer a lot about you and are extremely key to the recruitment process.

What do these skills look like?

• Motivation
• Leadership
• Analytics
• Research
• Commitment
• Determination
• Time management
• Delegation
• Communication

These skills are increasingly valuable especially for entry level roles or for those considering a step up in career or alternately a career change. If you are a Marketing Executive working in the manufacturing industry, you take the time to read the job description and the role looks perfect, but when you discover that it is for a company in the property industry you may be put off applying for fear of not having industry knowledge and experience. In this situation would you hit the back button and continue looking for industry specific roles or would you take the time to think outside of the box and consider all of the relevant skills that you have that you could transfer to the role? Clients may be far less concerned with the industry experience and more about what you as an individual can bring to the role, the experiences you do have and how you go about applying your skills.

If these transferable skills were not highly sought after and considered extremely valuable by employers then we would all spend our lives ‘hitting the back button’ and never exploring new opportunities.

If you are active in the job market and considering a change in career, level or industry it would be worth making a list of all of the ‘softer’ skills that you have and think about how these can be linked to a new industry or role. Transfer the skills that you do have, and have worked so hard in building up over to a new role and show your potential new employer exactly what you can bring to the role.


Author: Michelle Mumford