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Let’s talk about transferable skills…

October 27, 2020 by Liam Donaldson

Let’s talk about transferable skills…

There are two little words that are – more than likely – going to come up when you’re applying for work… transferable skills. Neither is there any escape from the question:

“So, what transferable skills do you have that will let you do this job effectively?”

When talking about skills such as teamwork and time management, it can come down to a shift in your thinking. Even with limited experience, you can effectively answer the transferable skills question.

Here are some ideas on how to address two key transferable skills in your resume, and then how to expand on your answers at interview.

Across all industries teamwork/collaboration – or whatever new hot button word is being used – has always been essential. But how can you demonstrate that you are a great team player?

When talking about teamwork, it’s all in the framing. Examples can be something as simple as completing a group assignment or taking part in a volunteering activity.

For example, completing a group assignment could be included in the ‘Skills’ section of your resume as:

Teamwork – Building upon classmates’ opinions, knowledge and motivations to create a consensus of ideas, definition, and best practice when completing a group assignment.

You can then expand on this statement during an interview…

“To me teamwork is a collaborative approach allowing for creative practice. It’s all about tapping into each other’s skillset and knowledge to meet project goals. For example, in class, we regularly undertake group assignments where I’ve worked with people who have varying opinions, knowledge and motivations to reach a consensus. This has shown me how you can grow and learn at a more rapid rate then you would individually.”

Time management
Have you ever had to meet an assignment deadline? Are you always 15 minutes early to class? Have you had to adjust your schedule due to the current pandemic? Well, have I got good news for you! You are mastering the skill of time management.

This skill looks straight forward and an easy one to get right, but employers will still ask you to demonstrate it.

Just like your teamwork example, you can use something related to your university experience to demonstrate your time management skills in your resume:

Time Management – Coordinated and organised class timetables, organised group project meetings, and rescheduled online classes around the rapid COVID-19 shutdown.

And, at interview…

“During the current COVID-19 crisis, I’ve had to adapt the way I learn as my lectures and classes have been moved online. I have had to re-organise and manage my day to insure I’m attending classes and managing all my assignments virtually. This has also allowed me to adapt to new technology connected to good diary management such as Zoom, MS Teams and WebEx.”

Over the next few weeks we’ll continue to look at how you can demonstrate a range of transferable skills, both in your resume and at interview, so keep an eye out for follow up articles.

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