Transferable skills are incredibly useful to keep in mind if you don’t have loads of first-hand work experience yet! You’ll have picked these soft skills up throughout your life – at home, at school, or as part of a hobby. These skills can be great examples to an employer to see why you may be the perfect fit for a role as they are relevant across most areas of life, including work. So, don’t discount any of your experiences or hobbies, no matter how small you think they might be.
Remember, if you’re giving examples of your skills, make sure that these apply to the role that you’re applying for and expand upon them in more than just one or two words. That means if you’re applying for a role with a charity, showing that you’re committed and dedicated to your values will support your case if you don’t have loads of volunteering or past experience.
It can be difficult to properly show your strengths, but we’ve put together some examples of transferable skills you have that are incredibly valuable to employers. Many of these might be proof of more than one skill, which will be great in proving you have what it takes for the role.
Activity/Statement: “I played in the netball team at school or as a hobby.”
Skills: Communication, teamwork, leadership, motivation, competitiveness, time management
Activity/Statement: “I worked with my friends to accomplish my Duke of Edinburgh goal.”
Skills: Leadership, teamwork, communication, interpersonal skills, organisation
Activity/Statement: “I love chatting with my friends and new people”.
Skills: Teamwork, communication, interpersonal skills, good customer service, empathy…
Activity/Statement: “I regularly volunteer at a charity shop.”
Skills: Dedication, interpersonal skills, passion, motivation, time management
Activity/Statement: “I enjoy playing video games in my spare time.”
Skills: Communication, analytical skills, adaptability, problem-solving, technical ability…
Activity/Statement: “I play as part of a band.”
Skills: Creativity, teamwork, motivation, collaboration, confidence, memory, dedication
Activity/Statement: “I love cooking and baking for my friends and family.”
Skills: Attention to detail, multi-tasking, creativity, decision making, organisation
Activity/Statement: “I enjoy following new fashion and makeup trends.”
Skills: Research techniques, creativity, attention to detail, confidence, knowledge of trends
Activity/Statement: “I had a part-time job in a supermarket while at school.”
Skills: Time management, teamwork, organisation, dedication, networking
Make sure when you use examples that they are relevant and timely. Don’t include examples if they happened years ago, as it might make your skills look out of practice. It’s also important to be realistic. Don’t be too boastful or brag too much about your achievements – an employer wants to know you can work well in a team, not that you were the best scorer on your football team!
What skills do employers look for?
Here are some of the skills that employers are always searching for. Try and think of your own examples for each that you can use in your job search!
This is both written and verbal. Employers want workers who can communicate with customers and colleagues, face to face and over the phone/Skype. You may have to adapt your writing style for reports, marketing materials, or communications or convey important information in a variety of situations.
Demonstrating your ability to work with others will reassure employers that you can ‘fit in’ and offer a contribution to their team. Think of any situations where you’ve worked effectively in a group or as a team, whether in a formal or informal setting, to reach a goal.
You will need to be able to prioritise and manage your work. Mention examples that you have from school, whether this is creating a revision timetable to prepare for your exams or ensuring that you fit in your hobbies and extracurricular hobbies alongside your studies.
You may not be applying for roles that require leadership abilities, especially straight away, but taking charge of some projects or certain situations is always crucial. Make sure to note any scenarios where you’ve shown initiative or had to delegate.
Research and Analytical skills
Being able to research and analyse information independently is crucial to any role – it shows you have the initiative to solve issues and find solutions! You may have to work with and make sense of complex data, such as sales figures or reports.
Being able to swap tasks, depending on which is the higher priority at the time is often crucial in the workplace. Any scenarios where you’ve had to work under pressure and switch tasks will be useful evidence of this. Some examples could include picking which exams to prepare for in a time crunch or taking on a different role in a group project in order to meet a deadline.
Written by Hollie, Administration Assistant at GetMyFirstJob and Recent Masters Graduate in Early Modern History from the University of Birmingham.
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