By Mia Casey
While there are certainly some skills that specific industries value above others, there are many that are valued in a variety of contexts, regardless of the field of work. These abilities can be developed through extracurricular activities, paid work, volunteering and your general life experience, and are often referred to as ‘transferable skills’. We’ve compiled a short list of a few of the transferable skills employers are looking for, and why they are important as you enter the workforce!
Being able to successfully communicate, both verbally and in writing, with your colleagues and other professionals is a very important skill. So important in fact, that many employers rate it as their number one desired skill in graduates!
Verbal communication skills are valuable as they help you to build positive relationships with those around you, contribute to successful teamwork, share ideas and contribute to meetings or discussions, and avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Written communication skills help you draft polite and efficient emails, create persuasive and well-expressed documents, and produce written work that successfully translates ideas and arguments which reflect your proficiency.
These skills can be learnt throughout your studies and in from experiences that involved working actively with others. For example customer service roles or group projects often require high levels of verbal interpersonal communication, and office jobs or academic study can encourage positive written interpersonal communication skills.
Many jobs require you to work closely with others to effectively complete a task or assignment. Being able to listen to others, contribute to discussion and encourage those around you are important elements of positively working as part of a team.
If you are in any extracurricular groups (such as a sports team), have worked in retail, volunteered at an event, or completed a highly regarded group project at university you will have developed some skills in teamwork. These are all great examples that you can add to your resume, or bring up in an interview when asked.
Have you ever had to work to a deadline, balance multiple large projects or events at once, or juggle work and study during times of stress? If so, then you have likely developed some positive time management skills! In many work environments, you will be required to submit work by a certain time or manage multiple tasks at once, so developing this ability is vital in many career contexts.
If you’re asked in an interview or application to talk about your time management skills, think of a specific example you can refer to and make note of any time management techniques you used during that time. If you have a clear system in place that stops you getting behind on work (such as setting reminders in your phone, scheduling emails to yourself, or creating a work plan), it helps show potential employers that you are serious about completing your work and have successful strategies in place to fall back on in times of stress.
A large part of what employers look for in potential candidates is their attitude, considering questions such as: Will they be a good fit for the workplace? Are they self-motivated and will to learn? Are they polite and friendly?
While these are all elements that largely come into play at the interview stage, they are also important when it comes to networking, building industry connections with those around you, and achieving continued career success. Having a reputation for being a positive and encouraging influence in the workplace can help to open doors and build relationships that could prove super helpful as your career progresses!
So while grades and industry knowledge are important factors in the hiring process, it’s important not to lose sight of the skills you can develop outside of the workplace. Check out our website for more skills employers are looking for, or have a look at this article to find out more about transferable skills.
Why not make a quick list of some of the transferable skills you have that you can refer back to next time you apply for a job!
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash