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How to Identify your Transferable Job Skills

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Transferable Skills Career Change

Skills and experience are two major factors that can help decide whether or not you’re a successful job applicant. So if you’re planning on changing career, you’ll need to be able to articulate and demonstrate your particular skill set. But before you start applying for jobs, you should make sure that you have all the right skills to actually undertake your career change.

This is where your Transferable Skills come into play. You should be able to recognise the pertinent skills that you have acquired throughout your life, and apply them to your new job or new career. They’ll feature on your CV and application forms and be discussed in Your Interviews. This article takes a look at how you can identify your transferable skills to aid your career change prospects.

Understanding the Term

The phrase transferable skill is pretty self-explanatory – it basically refers to a skill that you have acquired from your personal or working life that can be appropriated for a new job or career.

Transferable skills encompass technical skills (for instance skills pertaining to IT software applications, computer programming or web development), personal skills (communication ability, working with others and individually), as well as data skills (research, organisation with data and bookkeeping, statistics and ability to analyse).

Obviously, there are general transferable skills that can be applied to a multitude of new careers. These can include organisational and project management skills, administration skills, ability to supervise and manage, as well as good IT skills. This is often where your ability to articulate examples of your skills in practice, as well as how they would prove beneficial to your new job role, is important and can help to further your chances of landing a new job.

Identifying Your Transferable Skills

To get you started, it helps if you have an idea of the type of job you’re looking for in your new career change. Once you have an idea, take a look at your old job specifications, tasks and responsibilities and compare it to career profiles and job specifications of your new career. Are there any attributes that you can match up and transfer from one job role to another?

Don’t be afraid to take skills from your personal life (for instance, multi-tasking by running a home and working part-time) in addition to your working life, as they can all be relevant. Also take stock of your daily activities at work and try to allot them under the technical, data or personal transferable skills heading.

It’s very important that you can demonstrate that you understand your potential new employer’s needs, and that you are easily able to identify how you can fill them. Don’t forget to back up your skills with evidence of how you implemented these transferable skills in your old job, and how they would be pertinent to your new job. Experience counts for an awful lot!

Finally, you should always make sure that you keep your CV updated to ensure that you are always documenting any new skills you’ve acquired. Make sure that your transferable skills have prominence on your CV, and give brief but clear (don’t waffle!) examples of where you used them in your employment. This will hopefully help to create an attention-grabbing CV and job application, helping your chances of succeeding in your career change.

Updating Your CV

Knowing what to include on your CV can be tricky, especially if it has been a while since you last updated it. For help composing your CV, read our article How To Write A Good CV.

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I am employed as a Student Welfare Officer in FE.I have achieved a L3 Mentorship qualification and am currently studying L4 Life Coaching. I have a desire to support young people and see Social Work as a positive pathway.I would have to study on a part time basis, has anyone else studied part time?
sarahlee - 5-Feb-18 @ 10:57 AM
I have worked in secondary education for the past 12 years. I have a degree in English Language and Literature. Have I seriously got to do the Social Work Degree to get into this line of work or is there another route option?
Specky - 20-Oct-17 @ 11:37 PM
I'm 40 and been in retail management nearly all my working life. I have now grown tired of it and need a new challenge. I enjoy, amongst other things, numbers, analysis, reporting and people. I want to see the fruits of my labour, rather than subjective feedback that can be taken many ways. I want to know my workload and get through it in my own way. I am considering customer insight, financial services as the next stop on my career path. Just looking for advice on making that step, and any success stories/testimonials of people making a change in mid life from retail.
Stu - 17-Jan-17 @ 4:34 PM
Hi, I'm 38 and have been a soldier for 19 years. I would like some advice on social work and if any of my experience or qualifications would help in this area. Kind regards Chris
Chris - 17-Jan-17 @ 1:29 PM
I am a real broker in Ontario,Canada with my own brokerage and am thinking about moving back to U.K. can you advise what I would have to do so I can be an estate agent in England or Scotland
JMc - 8-Jan-17 @ 8:20 PM
pop - Your Question:
Hi iam 18 I've done my level 1 health and social and I am now doing my level 2 child care but I wanna go in to social working I was wondering you would be abel to help me on what I need to do to be abel to become a social worker

Our Response:
We have a full guide to becoming a social worker here - hopefully that will answer your questions.
ACareerChange - 3-Mar-16 @ 11:40 AM
Hi iam 18 I've done my level 1 health and social and I am now doing my level 2 child care but I wanna go in to social working I was wondering you would be abel to help me on what I need to do to be abel to become a social worker
pop - 29-Feb-16 @ 1:56 PM
Dara - Your Question:
Hi! I'm 22, settled finally and ready to start a new career. I always worked in Electricity since I'm 20, but I wanted to change something and become a esate agent. I know it will need a lot of effort, but I really want to try it. I just don't have idea where to start first. Can you give me some suggestions?

Our Response:
There are relevant qualifications but some firms will take on trainees, initially doing administrative work and arranging viewings then progressing. We have an entire article on How to Become an Estate Agent here
ACareerChange - 7-Oct-15 @ 12:27 PM
Hi! I'm 22, settled finally and ready to start a new career. I always worked in Electricity since I'm 20, but i wanted to change something and become a esate agent. I know it will need a lot of effort, but I really want to try it. I just don't have idea where to start first... Can you give me some suggestions?
Dara - 7-Oct-15 @ 8:39 AM
Hi! I'm 24, came here to London 1 year ago, settled finally and ready to start a new career. I always worked in hospitality since I'm 16, but i wanted to change something and become a esate agent. I know it will need a lot of effort, but I really want to try it. I just don't have idea where to start first... Can you give me some suggestions?
19nadia91 - 12-Sep-15 @ 6:26 PM
Co - Your Question:
Hello there I'm 17years old and currently working in a call centre selling insurances and devices, I want to go further to be a estate agent, selling housing and becoming very successful. I was just wondering whether you need qualifications or degrees in anything. What sort of money is it?? And how can you start becoming a estate agent. Thank you

Our Response:
Depending on the level you wantto get to, there are qualifications you can take, but you can also start out working in an estate agent without. Check out our article on How to become an estate agent.
ACareerChange - 1-Sep-15 @ 9:32 AM
Hello there I'm 17years old and currently working in a call centre selling insurances and devices, I want to go further to be a estate agent, selling housing and becoming very successful. I was just wondering whether you need qualifications or degrees in anything. What sort of money is it?? And how can you start becoming a estate agent. Thank you
Co - 31-Aug-15 @ 12:04 AM
pippa - Your Question:
Hi, I'm 25 and thinking of a career change, I have a childcare qualification level 3, leader and management qualifications, and communication and language qualification. So far my career has been in child care, I'm currently deputy manager in a private day nursery, I've been in child care for 9 years. Is there a chance for me to achieve my aim. Thanks

Our Response:
Of course there's always a chance to change career, but you have not said what kind of career you are thinking of, so we cannot give much useful information.
ACareerChange - 18-Aug-15 @ 12:42 PM
hi, I'm 25 and thinking of a career change, I have a childcare qualification level 3, leader and management qualifications, and communication and language qualification. So far my career has been in child care, I'm currently deputy manager in a private day nursery, I've been in child care for 9 years. Is there a chance for me to achieve my aim. Thanks
pippa - 17-Aug-15 @ 8:06 PM
I have been working within the childcare profession now for 14 years during this time I have progressed swiftly to gain a high level of decision making and responsibility with the children and interaction with their parents. I have achieved NVQ 3 & 4 in Management in addition to the NVQ & C.A.C.H.E Level 3, qualifications that I passed with distinction. I have also gained Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator (SENCO), Eat Better Start Better course, Safeguarding Children and First Aid. My roles have varied from room Nursery Nurse, Room Leader, Manager of the After School Club and assisted with the running of the Holiday Club. I have basic computer skills but willing to learn with on the job training. Would love any help and guidance on what options are open to me, I wouldn't mind working in Administration, hospital other childcare environments. I look forward to hearing from you in due course Best wishes Vicky
VickyM - 14-Aug-15 @ 11:54 AM
@sap. It's hard to say. You should contact the British Association of Social workers for their advice/opinion on this.
ACareerChange - 5-May-15 @ 11:46 AM
Hi, I am 41, single parent, wanting a career change. Have transferable skills, worked in a busy office, computer literate. Good listener, sympathetic, but struggling as to where my next move should be. Would like to be valued, and feel that I am making a difference as opposed to money for my current company. Loads of different websites seem to offer different advice. Want to help people.
Quirkyk - 29-Apr-15 @ 10:37 AM
I am a 50 year old school teacher with a BA,MA (.I need a honest opinion) Do you think a career change to social work is out of the question. Or, once qualified at my age am I employable.
sap - 27-Apr-15 @ 11:44 PM
Hello, I have been working as a Clinical Massage Therapist for approximately 4 years now on a self employed basis, and am busier than ever. I am 46 years of age...but feel about 20 years of age. I have just been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with quite severe nerve damage and have been told that I will need to be operated on. Unfortunately,there is more serious nerve damage in my neck,which they won't touch as it will be too risky! I am feeling completely frustrated and am thinking that I will have to change career's. I have thought about the possibility of working as an Estate Agent, but am not really sure how to go about this. Can I just apply for a job, and would I need to be honest about why I am thinking of changing career's or will that put them off?! I would really appreciate some feedback from anybody who understands my predicament.
Jewel - 10-Mar-15 @ 9:55 AM
@Tom - there are lots of college course that will help get you up to speed with your computer skills and you may find that they will have some ideas about what you can do next too. Good luck.
ACareerChange - 17-Dec-14 @ 11:07 AM
Hi im 30 iv served in the British Army I have also worked as a roofer for many years I am getting bored of the direction in which my life is taking, very driven person but once the wheels have fell of time to start again I have decent amount of life skills but nothing much on paper I know I need to have more experience on pc and macs.
Tom - 16-Dec-14 @ 10:56 AM
for the last sixteen years ive been a carer for my son who has cerebral palsy,i only left school with a city and guilds in business studies and community care,then when i left school i worked as a care assistant,im now 36 and would love to become a social worker.What are my chances on finding a part time course that will accept me.
shell - 10-Sep-14 @ 10:02 PM
@deanoqc. As you will see from this becoming a social worker article, you do need to have social work degree nowadays. You should talk to a few colleges/universities and find out if there are any access/alevel coursesthat you could study in order to obtain the necessary entry requirements. You will also need to do some work (either voluntary or paid) in a caring capacity. Hope it all works out for you.
ACareerChange - 3-Sep-14 @ 9:46 AM
Hi, I am currently working in a government arms lenght body and am looking for a new challenge, at 44 years old I believe I have considerable transferable skills both proffesionally and domestically buy have only a handfull of CSE grades from the eighties, I would relish an opportunity to be part of social working but would idealy prefer to study part time. What should be my next move?
Deanoqc - 2-Sep-14 @ 9:44 AM
@Sue. You do need to have a social work degree to become a social worker nowadays. Your previous care work will be an advantage to you when applying to do a course, but you may also have to complete additional academic qualifications in order to achieve the relevant entry requirements. We have a lot more information about becoming a social worker here.
ACareerChange - 1-Sep-14 @ 12:13 PM
I have worked in the community as a carer and went on the work in older peoples mental health as a support worker In plynouth for over age of 65. I am interested in training to become a social worker based in Plymouth but I had qualifications when I left school ( I am 44 years old) i am looking to study part time, could you please advise me. Kind regards
Sue - 29-Aug-14 @ 6:34 PM
I'm 42 years old was a medic in the army for 11 years and have been a career in the community for the past ten years I have just gained my NVQ level 3 in care but I'm getting bored with my job I would love to train to be a nurse as I used to take bloods dress wounds etc in the army but I left school with no exam results where do I go from here,many thanks Emma Noon
4nomore - 4-Jul-14 @ 1:52 PM
If you've worked in sales and marketing, those are eminently transferable skills, as virtually every company in the land needs people like that. The more successful you've been (and you should be prepared to back it up), the better chance you stand. Familiarity with different computer software is also important, as is experience on both PCs and Macs, for instance. All these are very, very transferable and make you a more desirable employee to someone
Emma - 27-Jun-12 @ 1:29 PM
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