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Published on August 28, 2019

13 Essential Transferable Skills to Accelerate Your Success

13 Essential Transferable Skills to Accelerate Your Success

Transferable skills are a specific set of skills that crossover into multiple job roles and positions. These skills are general and can be used in multiple industries: blue collar, white collar, and in life. Transferable skills are valued by many corporations and organizations because they can be used and applied companywide.

Transferable skills included, but not limited to: problem solving, teamwork, leadership, time management, and personal motivation. Let’s break down the examples:

  • Being a problem solver means you are a critical thinker; this means you likely excel at strategy.
  • Good leadership skills means you can take charge and motivate other employees.
  • Having good time management skills means that you can organize and prioritize which means you are productive.
  • Being personally motivated means that you are a self-starter and can work with minimal supervision.

Interpersonal skills, in my opinion, are the core of transferable skills. A few examples are:

  • Dependable means the company can rely on you to get the job done.
  • Active listening means that you can secure information because you are present, in the room, and not in your head.
  • Communication means that you can communicate clearly and effectively- both verbally and in writing.

A few examples were mentioned and described above. In addition to those, these 13 transferable skills should be developed and pointed out in your resume and cover letter.

The list of transferable skills below can be used and transferred between multiple job types and industries.

1. Cross-Functional Collaboration

It means that you have the ability to collaborate with multiple departments on initiatives that impact the full organization.

2. Personal Development

It means that you have the ability to take ownership of your development, you take ownership of growing and progressing.

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3. Analytical Skills

It means that you have the ability to analyze and evaluate critical information.

4. Adaptability

It means that you have the ability to learn quickly and adapt to change- which is the only constant in life and in a business organization.

5. Organization

It means that you have the ability to organize tasks which means you have the ability to meet important deadlines.

6. Public Speaking

It means that you have the ability to lead meetings and speak in front of groups.

7. Relationship Building / Management

It means that you have the ability to establish and nurture relationships which means you have the ability to network.

8. Coaching / Mentoring

It means that you have the ability to develop and train other employees.

9. Customer Service

It means that you have the ability to interact with people in a professional manner. Even if the position doesn’t work with the general public, internal customers are just as important. For example: IT services an entire organization of people.

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10. Bilingual / Multi-lingual

It means that you have the ability to communicate and translate between international partners, customers, sponsors, etc.

11. Planning

It means that you have the ability to identify problems, develop strategies, and define requirements.

12. Project Management

Although this is an actual job/ position, it means that you have the ability to manage projects and initiatives. And that you have the ability to manage the project finances and reporting.

13. Negotiating

It means that you have the ability to debate, deliberate, and reach agreements.

So there you go, 13 transferable skills that are important for your career success. But maybe you still have a lot of questions in your mind about transferable skills. So here’re some of the commonly asked questions that may help you.

Commonly Asked Questions about Transferable Skills

1. How to Develop Transferable Skills?

Naturally, transferable skills are developed at every stage of life; they enhance and get better with time.

Let’s walk through life starting with teenage years:

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  • High School: being a member of clubs/organizations helps build teamwork skills.
  • College: being a college student helps build time management skills.
  • Volunteer work: this helps build empathy and personal motivation.
  • Internships: this is the entry way into the workforce and helps strengthen communication.
  • Entry level jobs: this helps strengthen dependability and leadership.

Check out this piece on honing in on transferable skills: How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

2. How to Highlight Transferable Skills on a Resume and Cover Letter?

Always review the job posting or job requisition thoroughly to determine the skill set required/desired by the employer.

As discussed in this DIY resume guide below, applicant tracking systems rule everything when you “apply now”. Your resume and cover letter should be specific to the job being applied to. Let’s take a look at the resume guide here:

Job Scan says the following about ATS:

Applicant tracking systems are used by corporations to assist with recruitment and hiring processes. Each system offers a different combination and scope of features, but ATS are primarily used to help hiring companies collect, organize, and filter applicants. Corporate recruiters can have their ATS automatically extract information from an applicant’s resume to build a digital applicant profile that can be searched, filtered, and/or ranked. The goal is to quickly cull out anyone who is under-qualified, make the applicant pool smaller, and quickly identify the top candidates.

Highlighting transferable skills within your qualifications summary and area of expertise is recommended. Also, further elaboration on the cover letter is recommended. Here’s an example for each:

A resume sentence for the qualification’s summary:

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History of success managing client relationships by evaluating client’s needs and recommending solutions and services that are suitable.

A cover letter sentence:

I am accustomed to the rigors of fast-paced, regulated environments requiring sharp attention to detail, consummate accuracy, and exceptional communication skills.

3. How to Highlight Transferable Skills When Changing Careers?

This is where transferable skills help the most. For someone seeking a career change, transferable skills take lead in resume and cover letter development strategy.

If you are currently a bank teller, and you are wanting to transition into an office manager role, you want to make sure to highlight the transferable skills that apply to both roles: customer service, organization, filing paperwork, and financial transactions to name a few.

Keep in mind that no matter what, the first step is to determine the skills needed by thoroughly reviewing the job posting. You want to highlight the transferred skills required and desired because your resume and cover letter must speak to the job being applied to – because ATS rules the recruiting process.

More About Career Success

Featured photo credit: Adeolu Eletu via unsplash.com

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Veronica Castillo

Vee Castil; Resume & Career Writer ᛫ Traveler ᛫ Vegan ᛫ Weight Loss Success (-85lbs)

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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