When employers look for people, they look at what cards they bring to the table. Setting yourself apart from your peers is essential at the interview stage, and even more so during day-to-day tasks at work. This can be achieved by developing your transferable skills.
So, what are they and how can you benefit from them?
Transferable skills are split in two – hard skills, like languages and technological proficiency, and soft skills, like communication and time management. Hard skills are considered quantifiable, while soft skills are harder to quantify.
Transferable skills are developed in one context that may be taken to another. These skills are developed over time and are acquired from a range of places, like schools, internships, jobs, and extra-curricular activities.
Examples of Transferable Skills
Here are some key transferable skills that you can acquire during the course of your career to help you stand out:
Communication is important in all aspects of life, but extremely important in the workplace. You may have impeccable knowledge in your area, but if your ideas aren’t communicated effectively, there can be some loss in translation.
Develop your communication style and listening skills. Brush up on your report writing, presentation skills, and even virtual communication, like e-mail and virtual conferencing. Leaders appreciate it when employees take the responsibility to communicate new ideas, innovations, and better ways to get the job done. Taking on the challenge of sharing your insights is not an easy task. If you really struggle with this, you could consider taking a course in practical strategies for informing and influencing others – no matter where they fit in the organisational chart.
Interview techniques, career planning, and assessments, as well as skills gap identification, are all areas that will help your career trajectory. If you occupy a managerial role or aspire to, it is also very important to be aware of the skills related to your career development as well as for the people you manage – career progression is pivotal for retention and job satisfaction.
In an age where all our work is done on a computer, perfecting your digital skills will make your life so much easier and efficient. Technology is ever-changing, so your 10-year-old ECDL course may need some refreshing. Digital skills are learnt, and there is a wide range of masterclasses and courses that you can take to give you a competitive advantage.
Keep up to date with what employers are currently looking for by looking at job vacancy descriptions. Also, check out the reviews of courses before you decide which one is best to invest in.
Top Tip: Developing the right combination of transferable skills for a particular niche can help you stand out even further.
Interpersonal skills are developed over time. Conflict management, leadership, teamwork, networking, discipline…the list of interpersonal skills is not an exhaustive one. These skills are about you as a person – focus less on perfecting a skill, and more on diversifying what you already have.
I’m an employer – how can I help my employees develop transferable skills?
There are no rules on how you, as an employer, can instill these within your teams, but the CEEK golden rule is to give them the space to grow. When it comes to both hard and soft skills, make sure you really allow them to find the time to incorporate training and development in their careers. Different people have different strong suits, and it is your responsibility to help them realise where there is room for improvement. A number of resources are available to help you find the right training paths for your teams. As an employer, it is your job to foster an environment that encourages people to grow.
I’m looking for a job – what can I do to make myself more employable?
The first thing we suggest is to really look within yourself and question everything – what are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the areas that need work? What are your strong points? Use your answers to not only guide you in developing your transferable skills further but to point you in the right career direction. Brush up your CV and covering letter, make sure you’re prepared for interviews, and above all, trust your gut.
CEEK is here to help you, whether you’re an employer or you’re looking for your next career opportunity. If you’re an employer, we can identify what transferable skills you’re looking for in candidates and match you with the right people. If you’re looking for a new job in Malta, let us help you make the right move. Get in touch with us here at Ceek today!