The Value of Transferrable Skills

One major challenge that fresh graduates face when they start their job hunt is their lack of working experience. Even though the theoretical background is of sound importance, practical experience is a necessity for almost every role.

The typical student CV is packed with grades and subjects covered during their studies; however, there is no or little sign of any non-academic practice. Conversely, when sitting around a desk discussing their knowledge and ambitions, on most occasions, one discovers that these students were involved in a host of different activities all of which may carry significant skills. Involvement in groups, such as youth groups, scouts, church groups, student organisations, sports and other activities provide a vast array of skills which are exposed and developed through such involvement. These skills may then be easily utilised in the working world. These skills are known as transferrable skills and it is essential that they are included in one’s CV. This would give a higher value and a more accurate portrait of oneself and would enrich your profile in addition to the academic proficiency.

Even though valuable, transferrable skills are not comparable to real working experience. They are not a proof of one’s ability to perform a particular job; however they portray the character, personality and soft skills of a person. Each organisation has its own environment and culture; therefore particular personalities may fit within an environment in an easier manner whilst giving the ability to an employer to train the recruit any specific skills. Transferrable skills are an indicator to whether a character would fit in a particular working environment. 

The following are some competencies or transferable skills that are particularly popular, all of which may be derived and extracted from activities previously described:

  • Communication - ability to communicate orally, in writing or via electronic means, in a manner appropriate to the audience.
  • Teamwork - being a constructive team member, contributing to the success of the team and the organisation.
  • Leadership - being able to motivate and encourage others, whilst taking the lead.
  • Initiative - ability to perceive opportunities and to set and achieve goals.
  • Problem solving - thinking things through in a logical way in order to determine key issues, often also including creativity and thinking out of the box.
  • Flexibility/adaptability - ability to handle change and adapt to new situations.
  • Self-awareness - knowing one’s strengths and skills and having the confidence to put these across.
  • Commitment/Motivation - having energy and enthusiasm in pursuing projects.
  • Interpersonal skills - ability to relate well to others and to establish good working relationships.
  • Numeracy - competence and understanding of numerical data, statistics and graphs.

Knowledge of such skills gives you a competitive advantage on other candidates who might lack such experience, therefore when writing a CV devote some space to transferrable skills. 

Latest News