Transferable Skills – They Matter to EmployersJuly 01, 2006 by tracey drake
Launching a new career is a daunting task for anyone, but especially so for new graduates. After years of schooling, young job hunters are entering the employment market, and yet are unable to put down in words what makes them different from the 100’s of other candidates applying for the same job or internship. Graduate and entry level resumes must emphasize education, transferable skills, career-matching qualifications, and academic achievements.
Transferable skills can be defined as those skills or abilities that can be applied equally from one job to another. They are skills that graduates have gathered through volunteer work, education, sports, hobbies, community work, and can be used going forward in their new careers.
The importance of transferable skills for graduates cannot be overstated. There is a growing demand from employers, for strong graduates with desirable transferable skills.
In this day and age, employers expect graduates to not only have knowledge of their area of study or expertise, but to have the inherent and learned ability to adapt to the new working environment they will be joining, bringing exceptional communication skills, the ability to lead and be led, and the proven ability to function efficiently and effectively.
Transferable Skills and Education
Education does not mean simply to impart knowledge, but to contribute to the holistic development of the student. Skills, such as communication skills, planning skills, and multi-tasking skills, among others, are known as transferable skills, and are also alternately called ‘key skills,’ ‘generic skills,’ or ‘core skills.’
In the ever-changing employment market, there is an increasing need for graduates to move away from the conventional market, as there is a diverse range of jobs for them. They need to perform efficiently as soon as they take up their new appointment, utilizing the many transferable skills they may have picked up during their education. Today’s work environment strongly endorses the transferable skills in a graduate seeking employment.
There is research going on to identify the type of transferable skills that are required by graduates. The scope of the research, among others, includes:
• Identifying transferable skills valued by employers
• Ascertaining the importance of transferable skills when recruiting graduates
While recruiting graduates, ‘transferable skills’ is a more sought after factor as opposed to academic record and relevant work experience. Developing transferable skills that would be an asset in a work environment is a major concern for graduates. In the fast-paced work environment, employers are looking for graduates who can fit into their organizations; can add value and learning quickly.
More and more organizations and employers are looking to employ graduates, who not only are experts in their career field, but also are competent in other realms of the business world including communication, networking, team building, and career management.
Some of the transferable skills, which employers look for, are:
• Delegating responsibility
• Dealing with crises
• Attending to visual detail
• Assessing and evaluating own and others’ work
• Time management
• Presenting written and oral material
• Handling complaints
• Keeping records
• Coordinating activities
• Planning and arranging activities
• Utilizing specific computer software
• Training or teaching others
• Motivating others
• Identifying and managing ethical issues
Organizations with affirmative recruiting objectives will recruit earlier, even before the end of the academic year, allowing them first pick in graduates. Employers are specifically looking for resumes that show a diverse range of transferable skills and abilities.
Tracey Drake is the owner and Director of Operations of GradResumes.com. Tracey believes in the importance of educating new graduates regarding the importance of launching a career, and the value of their education and transferable skills to potential employers. GradResumes.com specializes in writing graduate resumes and college admission documents for high school students entering college, graduates seeking internship and post graduates entering the work world.
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