You might think that your skills and knowledge are quite specialised and only applicable to your current job, however, your expertise and many of your skills can likely be transferred to other jobs and industries and will be highly valued by employers. Identifying your skills will help you with your job search activities, including determining your suitability for occupations of interest and tailoring your résumé.
What are transferable skills?
‘Transferable skills’ are skills, abilities and knowledge you have acquired and demonstrated through your work, home life and other activities that are applicable to different jobs and/or industries. Put together, these skills, experiences and qualifications create a ‘package’ of technical and general employability skills that you can use to market yourself to employers.
Everyone has transferable skills, but finding ways to effectively communicate these skills to a new employer can be difficult. There are a few things you can do to make the most of your transferable skills.
- Know what transferable skills you have to offer
Think about the skills or knowledge you have gained in your current role and through other work-related activities (previous jobs, active participation in social clubs etc.), your hobbies and leisure activities (volunteering or sport) and home-based skills (organisational skills and managing a budget). Spend some time documenting your transferable skills. Use the Skills Stocktake Activity to assist you.
- Get ready to sell your transferable skills to employers
Think about examples of when you have applied your skills to achieve positive outcomes at work or in other parts of your life (in voluntary or community work, for example). Consider changing the way you talk or write about your transferable skills so that employers in a different industry can understand how your skills are relevant to them – this might involve learning some new jargon or keywords to describe your skills. Make a start by considering the ‘my achievements’ section of the Skills Stocktake Activity.
- Use your list of transferable skills to help you find jobs you are well suited to
Read through job ads and job descriptions or talk to employers to find out the skills required for jobs that interest you. Use your list of transferable skills to figure out how you measure up against the job requirements. If you think you have the right transferable skills for a particular job, try to describe these skills using the same keywords and statements used by the employer in their job ad or application form.
For a better understanding of what your transferrable skills might be, please read The Occupational Mobility and Skills Transferability of Australian Auto Industry Employees report.