Identifying your transferable skills

You might think that a lack of relevant experience may stop you from getting a job, but this isn’t always the case. Employers are often looking for potential and you can demonstrate this by highlighting the skills you’ve developed from school, university, part-time work and any other area of your personal life.

transferable skill is a skill learned, or developed, in one place (job, study, volunteering, student society, community) which can be used in – transferred to – another place. Some common examples are:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Working to deadlines

How do you gain these skills?

It’s likely you’ll have some already! We’ve given a few ideas below of activities which you could use as great examples to demonstrate your skills and apply them to your job applications.

Sports teams – Being part of a sports team gives you a great range of skills. Aside from working as part of a team, you can improve your communication skills and develop leadership qualities (team captain, delegating tasks, organising fixtures).

Clubs and societies – Joining a club or society (both on campus and outside of QM) is a great way to meet new people and build confidence, but can also give you another good example of teamwork and communication. Clubs could help you develop specific skills, i.e. if you’re part of a debating society, this gives you negotiation skills which could be useful in many roles.

Part-time job – A part-time job whilst studying clearly demonstrates to a potential employer your ability to plan your time and manage your workload. Depending on the job itself, this could also involve leadership responsibilities, numerical skills, working as part of a team, providing customer service and a whole range of others. 

Other activities – Studying for extra qualifications, such as playing a musical instrument and passing your exams, shows commitment, as does taking on a voluntary role with a local charity for example.

In all of the above, you could pull out many other skills such as using your initiative by introducing a new idea or solving a problem, or motivation by volunteering to take responsibility for a task or project.

These are just a few examples, but hopefully this shows that you may have gained more skills already than you think! It’s now about demonstrating these skills effectively in your applications. If you need some advice about how to do this, why not book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants? You can find the details here: http://www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/about/book/index.html

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