Transferable skills can help you to change your career
Why are transferable skills important? Why are they being spoken about so often lately? What are they, and how can they help me?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions recently, then hopefully we can help answer them for you.
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are abilities that you can use in most roles and which you have accumulated throughout your life. They can be abilities that are taken for granted, but future employers will look at them as an essential part of positions they are trying to fill.
These attributes continue to develop throughout your career and can be “hard” or “soft” skills, transferable to each role undertaken. Your proficiency in each and their relevancy to an occupation are important, and they can help to prove your competency.
Why are they important?
Having a varied set of transferable skills usually shows that you have greater flexibility. This can be invaluable to employers who need a person who can cope with multiple demands on any given day.
The more diversity you can show as an applicant, the more potential employers will be interested in speaking to you. Your work and life experiences all count as transferable skills, many of which can be put to good use in most roles.
The very essence of a transferable skill means it can be taken with you when you change roles. They will improve exponentially throughout your life whilst also adding new competencies with each position you take.
The top 5 transferable skills
This is essentially the ability to understand how to plan for the future of a business. It is about knowledge of a sector and defining how you will reach business goals within that market. Understanding how to build a strategy and put it into practice is beneficial across a huge number of roles. Whether you work in Marketing, Sales, or Finance the ability to disseminate data and plan effectively is a crucial skill.
The ability to manage your time effectively is another indispensable skill that should ensure you are a productive employee. Being able to plan your day capably and identify the order in which tasks should be completed will improve efficiency immensely. This is a key skill that any business will be on the lookout for.
The four primary communication skills that any business will look for in a potential employee are:
Verbal skills – Essentially what you say and how you say it and how your tone of voice will be perceived. This also includes your body language and facial expressions.
Listening skills — Not just listening but listening to understand. Taking on board the speaker’s arguments and concerns and being able to formulate a concise response.
Writing skills — Having clear written communication is essential for success in any professional career. Having great vocabulary and grammar are universal writing skills.
Public Speaking — The ability to speak clearly in front of others will help you progress your career immeasurably. As will being able to build great slide shows, answer questions and defend your arguments.
Team WorkMost roles will have an aspect where you will be expected to work as part of a team. Exhibiting your ability to work with others will help to reassure a potential employer that you will offer a valuable contribution. Being a good team player shows you are happy to muck in when the going gets tough, whether there is any personal gain to be had.
Being an effective leader can go hand in hand with teamwork. Being able to put your hand up in a situation and solve a problem by driving the group forward is a key leadership trait.
Other leadership traits are the ability to delegate, plan, coordinate resolve problems and implement decisions.
You don’t have to be a Manager to be a Leader but by becoming a Leader you stand more chance of becoming a Manager.
If you are looking to change career for whatever reason then I would suggest having a look at the Careershifters site to help you get started. They have a wealth of information to help you navigate the best ways to go.
Alternatively, why not have a look at the current roles we have advertised on our vacancies page? Your next role might just be waiting for your there!
Here’s a controversial statement:
Interviews are scarier for interviewers than interviewees.
Not only do you have the responsibility of structuring the interview, knowing exactly what you want and bringing the best out of a candidate, you have some pretty tough decisions to make at the end of it. Life-changing decisions, in fact.
But, before you go into interviewer meltdown, here are some tips to make sure you are fully prepared for the task ahead.
1. Know your business.
Not just your job.
That moment at the end of every interview when you ask the candidate if they have any questions? Make sure you can answer them. Whatever they may be. What skills does the business need long-term? Be ready to spot talent and think outside the box. They may not be right for this precise role but if you know the entire business inside out, you will be in a position to refer them, develop them and potentially hire someone who has the ability to make an impact in a way you never thought possible. So, re-learn your business in the same way that your potential candidate will be learning it for the first time. And don’t get caught out.
2. The last minute CV print-out.
A cursory glance over a candidate’s CV five minutes before they walk in the room just isn’t going to cut it. Prepare for the interview in the same way your candidate will have. If they knew your name in advance, presume they have researched you on Linkedin (maybe on Facebook too, god forbid) and do the same back. That way you can tailor your questioning to a real understanding of that person, getting the most out of your time together. Remember, you are both on trial here.
3. Start as you mean to go on.
Make the beginning of the interview as positive as possible. Putting your candidate at ease is going to help you analyse their suitability far more easily than if they are stressed or on edge. So start by giving information, rather than with the hard questions. Talk a little about your role, the vacancy, how it fits in with the business as a whole. Make them feel excited about the position and ease them into questions based on your knowledge of their experience. Remember when you’ve been on the other side and make this interview memorable for the right reasons.
4. Be specific.
This is where your knowledge of the candidate’s experience will really come into play. Dig deeper into their CV. What did that project return for the business? How did they create company buy-in for that campaign? A good candidate with a robust CV will relish these opportunities to share their expertise and knowledge. A bad candidate will expose themselves. An easy decision for you.
5. Culture first.
The last thing you want to do is be responsible for bringing in ‘that guy’ to the business. The one that simply doesn’t fit in, is difficult to work with and, no matter how extensive their experience, just never feels part of the team. Leave time in the interview for finding out about the person behind the CV. What do they do out of work? Generic answers won’t do here, do a bit of digging, where were they last weekend? Does that resonate with how your business or department operates? It’s not just about do you like them: will they bring that something extra to your company that it needs? And, from their point of view, will this be an enjoyable place for them to work? Only you can answer that one…
We can help you prepare for the task of interviewing. Just give our team a call and we will talk you through the process from start to finish. Or follow us on twitter for more interviewer insights.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could read the mind of your interviewer?
Until we learn how to do that, being prepared with some of the most commonly asked questions can really set you up for a killer interview. Whilst we don’t recommend a ‘canned’ response to questioning, knowing what could be asked and what you will say will help you feel more confident, and stop you being caught off guard.
These are some of the topics you are more than likely to be quizzed on in job interviews, and how you could respond.
1. What do you know about the company?
This is not an opportunity to demonstrate how good you are at memorising the ‘About’ page on their website. Instead, demonstrate an understanding of the company goals, and how they align with your own. By showing that you understand and appreciate the vision of the business you are already fitting in with their culture, ambition and values. Hiring you should be a no-brainer.
2. Why should we hire you?
Don’t be shy! If you are asked this question you are in luck. It gives you the ultimate springboard to sell yourself, and that is exactly what an interview is all about. You can do the job, you can deliver great results and you can be part of the fabric of the business. This is your chance, don’t waste it.
3. What is your greatest weakness?
Aaaah! The dreaded question! Do you reel of a list of personal afflictions and remain humble or say you’re perfect and high five them on the way out? Finding the middle ground with this question is key. Be prepared with something you are working on. Like: “I have found public speaking challenging in the past but my recent role requires team management and I am finding new ways to develop this skill.” Hired.
4. What are you looking for in a new job?
Read the job specification. And then read it back to them.
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
Bit of advice: get a life. Telling them you like to go out and get pissed every Saturday night is not going to cut it. Think about what makes you tick, and do your research. If you’re fortunate enough to know who is interviewing you before you walk in the room you might find you have something in common. Love camping or languages or maybe you studied art in college? Consider this a first date and be interesting. It’s not just your work ethic they are interested in.
Most of all, have faith in your abilities. They want to meet you so you’re already in the game. It’s up to you to close it down.
Plus, you probably have never been in situation as bad as some of these terrible interviews, check them out here or contact us to find out how to nail the perfect interview.