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Top transferable skills for pursuing a long-desired career change

Apr 2, 2021
Top transferable skills for pursuing a long-desired career change

Transferable skills are those that can be applied across different roles. They may be personal attributes that you’ve developed over time. Or they could be skills you’ve acquired through training. While the range of skills an employer or recruiter will be looking for depends on the role, there are some fundamental transferable skills that will help you stand out.

Why not take the time now, while you have it, to think of some really good, real-life, examples that demonstrate the transferable skills you have. Spend time planning out the best way to talk through your background and experience, and prepare and practice giving answers to commonly asked questions that demonstrates your skills in the following five areas.


Express yourself clearly and with confidence. Demonstrating proficiency in written and verbal communication is a sure-fire way to impress an interviewer.


Answer the question asked. Listening is more than hearing what is being said, it’s about being able to interpret the message and act accordingly.


Teams that work well together, achieve more. Employers are typically looking for people who work well and get along with others.


Demonstrate that you’re able to organise your own work schedule and can adapt to and deal with unexpected issues that arise.


Leadership is a skill that most employers look for in all employees, regardless of seniority.


The amount of time you have in an interview is limited, so make sure you prepare to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

Identify what skills you have; you might even ask friends or colleagues for their input.

Then determine what skills the recruiter or employer is looking for. Finally think of examples that show how the transferable skills you have will add value to their business. Simple really!

Measures put in place to combat the spread of coronavirus appear to be paying off according to the latest figures. So, hopefully it won’t be too much longer before things return to normal. However, if you’ve lost your job, or are on furlough, now’s the perfect time to brush up on your skills and to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to securing a new role.


Give your CV a makeover – if it’s been a while since you last updated your CV, now’s the time for a re-fresh. There are lots of good templates out there. In fact, why not sign up for a free trial at Search ‘resume’ and you’ll have hundreds of templates to choose from! Be sure to include the four key elements recruiters and employers look for too; a personal statement, up-to-date work experience, a skills section (which should be tailored to the role you’re applying for) and details of your educational or training qualifications.

Let your network know you’re available – update your LinkedIn profile (you do have one, right?) and put up a post letting people know you’re looking for a new opportunity.

Use your free time to strengthen your skills – look back through your job appraisals to see what has been highlighted as areas for improvement. Or, compare your skill set against the skills mentioned in job descriptions you’re interested in to see what you’re missing. Then go find yourself an online course, there are thousands out there and who doesn’t love learning something new? This also shows prospective employers that you’re proactive and willing to keep learning.

Research sectors that are hiring – Hiring patterns change with the times as we have seen in recent months. It’ worth doing some research into the sectors, industries and areas that are actively looking for people. Recruitment ebbs and flows, make sure you’re aware of where those opportunities are and respond in your strategy.

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