Many students aren’t aware of how important transferable skills are in the graduate recruitment process. By making sure you understand how to sell yourself using your skills, you can significantly boost your chances of landing a job!
What are transferable skills?
Before we dive into the problems that many students face with articulating their skills, let’s first define what transferable skills really are…
Transferable skills are abilities or competencies that an individual has developed in one area of their life which they can transfer to another area of their life. For students and graduates, transferable skills naturally often refer to the skills that are developed in education or work experience that can be transferred to a graduate job. You may have also heard transferable skills referred to as employability skills.
As a current student or graduate, it is likely that your experience from your degree, and any work experience has helped you to develop a whole range of valuable transferable skills that can really make a difference when applying for graduate roles.
But many graduates aren’t great at selling themselves using their transferable skills.
Research has found that many young people do not know what transferable skills they have developed, nor do they realise the importance of transferable skills in the employment market.
This lack of knowledge has consequences. Many students struggle to understand what skills they have developed, what opportunities suit their skillset and how to articulate these skills to employers.
The Importance of transferable skills
With technology accelerating the pace of change across many industries, the type of jobs appearing is set to change dramatically in the next several years. This means that it is possible that 10 years from now you may be doing a job that doesn’t yet exist!
This means that employers are putting a much stronger focus on transferable skills when assessing candidates. They want to see that candidates have developed skills that can be transferred to the workplace.
This means that being able to show your skills to employers is more important than ever!
When to show employers your skills
So we’ve established what transferable skills are, and why they are important – now it’s time to look at when you should show employers your skills.
Employers will be looking for examples of transferable skills at every stage of their application process. This means that you need to be able to articulate your skills on your CV, in written applications and in job interviews, assessment days and video interviews.
Therefore it is important to be able to reflect on your experience from your education and your work experience, in order to be able to really show your skills to employers.
- Remember that it is likely that you have developed valuable transferable skills from the majority of your educational qualifications and work experience. Even the part-time job you had in a shop or a bar may have helped you develop important skills such as interpersonal skills.
- Always try and describe specific examples where you have shown that you have had to use a particular skill.
- Practice answering interview questions whilst referring to your transferable skills.
For more tips and advice on transferable skills visit Occumi’s blog!
Look out for Occumi at your university. Occumi helps students to identify, understand and articulate the transferable skills that they have developed over the course of their education and work experience.