-By Sarabjeet Sachar, Career transition coach
More than 90% of the job seekers do not showcase their transferable skills and present only their domain or hard skills to promote their candidature. This means they miss out on a major opportunity to effectively attract recruiters. With over 3 decades of experience in sales, recruitment and career transition coaching when I have personally coached over 3000 job seekers and guided over 10,000 candidates, I have observed that even suitable candidates lose out on job opportunities because they use a traditional approach.
Identifying Transferable Skills
These are skills which are portable across roles and industries for example – adaptability, ability to communicate through the technology platform, learning, resilience, flexibility and so on which are also the skills that are in demand with the current pandemic on.
While employers look for relevant domain skills they also seek transferable skills, the combination of which reflects an individual’s candidature holistically. They are virtues which represent the potential of an individual even if the candidate does not have direct experience or much experience in the targeted field. Hence the transferable skills gain importance.
Think about it. What if you have great IT skills however do not have the resilience to bounce back after failing at a project. How effective will you be? So it is very critical to present your transferable skills to expand your job options. Let me help you in identifying your transferable skills. Let’s do a small exercise. Write down 3 personal and 3 professional stories of success using the following format :
What was the challenge/project – that you handled?
How did you go about handling it? and
What was the measurable outcome?
Let the flow of the stories be natural the way you experienced it except that you need to follow the structure mentioned above while describing them. For example, the personal success story could be that you were planning a holiday trip with your family and you managed it well with proper planning for negotiating to research. Include the hurdles that you would have faced and how you handled them well, for example at the last moment your hotel booking got cancelled and changed to another cheaper hotel and how you managed to retain it and so on.
Similarly, take a professional story of how you managed a project and successfully delivered a measurable outcome. When you have finished writing these stories identify the transferable skills that you would have used and make a list.
Once you have the list ready, as a buffet menu caters to different individuals’ tastes, you can pick up relevant skills and customise your resume and pitch letter (generally referred to as cover letter) for different jobs. And including transferable skills along with your domain or hard skills attracts recruiters. When your present skills and stories using your adaptability or resilience to deliver measurable outcomes, it presents a holistic picture of your candidature.
To give you a better understanding of how to integrate transferable skills in the marketing of your candidature, let us take a look at few industries which are hiring/have the potential to hire and the kind of transferable skills that are in demand with these industries (Source for industries hiring: Forbes, Themuse).
Industry Specific Transferable Skills
Healthcare Indutry – Top Transferable Skills
Besides the clinical ability, the following transferable skills are in demand by employers.
Empathy– The significance of this skill gains a lot more importance in this industry as compared to many other industries.
Team work : The need to collaborate with different departments for patient care is critical.
Working under unpredictable circumstances : It is stressful if you do not have the capability to persevere and continue to deliver results.
Real Estate – Top Transferable Skills
Negotiation – The value of deals are large and unless you are a tactful negotiator you would not succeed in this industry.
Patience – The firming up of deals and orders closing takes a long time. One needs to have high levels of patience to be able to see deals through successfully.
Social cues – Since one is dealing with international clients coming from different cultures, it is important to be aware of social cues which are disrespectful and those which are appreciated.
Retail/Trade – Top Transferable Skills
Attention to detail – To plan the inventory stocks, display of goods and services requires a good ability for attention to detail.
Conflict management – To handle irate customers and amicably resolve issues.
Interpersonal skills– The constant interactions with customers and internal employees requires great interpersonal skills.
Professional and Business Services – Top Transferable Skills
Listening ability – To understand the challenge faced by clients and being able to devise solutions.
Communication skills through technology platforms – To be able to get your point of view acaross clearly by using the technology platform , making effective presentations and being able to relate to people.
Analytical ability – Being able to research the needs of customers and draw meaningful inferences.
Once you have identified your own transferable skills, you can customise your resume and pitch letter while reaching out to recruiters which makes you stand out as a candidate. Also, in your LinkedIn profile do include these soft skills in about you section which can be presented in an interesting success story format engaging the reader motivating him/ her to reach out to you. That helps in you getting discovered by employers.
“You can’t be normal and expect abnormal returns”Jeffrey Pfeffer
Use these transferable skills to expand your industry and role options as well as differentiate yourself from other candidates and you will certainly attract recruiters and land up with your dream job.
Sarabjeet Sachar is the Founder & CEO of Aspiration, an agency offering HR services, is a career transition coach with over 3 decades of experience who has helped over 3000 experienced professionals by coaching them personally to fast pace their job search. His coaching service also has an alliance with Shine learning a leading E-learning platform from the Hindustan Times Media house. Has been a jury member for HR excellence awards, a speaker at HR forums has been a contributor of articles to reputed publications like Business World and runs his blog: https://www.aspirationjobs.com/blog/. Sarabjeet is on a mission to assist job seekers to find their dream careers. His LinkedIn profile link is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarabjeetsachar/
Sarabjeet’s You Tube channel link : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1yobWoSKkymB8fEIRxLP6Q/videos