How to develop your transferable skills

JodieAdvice, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

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Transferable skills – we all have them. But what exactly are they and how do you show them off to employers? Luckily for you, that’s exactly what we’ll be covering in today’s blog post – as well as some handy action points for you!

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are a set of skills, attributes and strengths that can be applied to a huge range of jobs and industries. Whether you’re looking for a part-time job, placement role or graduate scheme, employers will expect you to have at least some of the transferable skills they list on their job description.

Action: Take a look at some job descriptions listed on TARGETjobs to get a feel for the type of skills employers want for particular roles.

Identifying your skills

The good news is, you probably already have lots of transferable skills stashed up your sleeves thanks to your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience.

Some examples of skills you might have include:

  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Team work

Action: Spend some time identifying what your transferable skills are – we have an Employability Skills Checklist over on the ‘Know what makes you tick’ section of our website which you can use.

Demonstrating your skills to employers

You might have realised you’ve got heaps of transferable skills, which is fantastic. However, when applying for particular roles, it’s best to focus on the skills employers explicitly ask for in their job description. It’s also important to always back up your skills with real-life examples as proof. For example:

Don’t say: ‘I have great leadership skills.’

Do say: ‘I have excellent leadership skills, which I demonstrated when I took the lead on running a successful fundraising event for my society.’

Action: Go back to your list of transferable skills you made earlier and see if you can identify some strong examples of your skills in action.

Gaining more transferable skills

If you’ve completed the previous two actions and realised you don’t have as many skills as you’d like, don’t panic – there are loads of ways you can gain new skills or develop the ones you currently have:

  • Work experience: this includes part-time jobs, internships, volunteering and peer mentoring – plus you can even do some of these virtually!
  • Extra-curricular activities: sports clubs, societies and hobbies all count as long as you are actively involved/learning in some way.

Action: Do some research – search for opportunities on Aston Futures, take a look at the student-led activities offered by the Students’ Union and Google local organisations or initiatives you can get involved with.

Get in touch

Struggling to identify your transferable skills? Not sure how to show them off to employers? Don’t know where to get some work experience? We can help with all that and more!

Book an appointment with a member of the team through Aston Futures or drop us a message at careers@aston.ac.uk

Photo by Elsa Noblet on Unsplash