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Using Transferable Skills In Job Applications

Nikki, our Personnel Administrator, encourages job applicants to consider transferable skills when applying for work with YMCA Doncaster.

Looking for a new job, a career change or returning to work after a career break such as parental leave can be a daunting prospect.

Couple that with all the recruitment buzzwords that seem to fly about these days, it can make the process even more overwhelming.

You will likely come across the term “Transferable Skills” and wonder what is meant by this, or find it difficult to recognise your own “Transferable Skills” but don’t worry you will have these skills! We all have these skills!!

Communicating them to a future employer in a job application is sometimes the major barrier that you will face.

Transferable skills can also be known as “Portable Skills”. You won’t necessarily have acquired these skills from your previous employment roles. These can be skills that you have learned through volunteer work, your hobbies, your sports and even being a parent.

Your transferable skills are the result of your life experiences.

When considering what skills you hold that can be transferred to a new workplace, it is important to keep an open mind and be creative. Pinpoint what makes you unique.

Take some time out, possibly an hour of your day, to sit down and truly reflect on the skills that you have acquired up until now.

How would you honestly describe your character? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Knowing your weaknesses and how you would manage these in a professional setting indicates good self-awareness.

Consider important milestones in your life and previous careers; how did you react to these? How did you manage? How did you adjust and reorganise or reprioritise?

At this point, each skill is significant; write down everything even those things you don’t think are relevant. This list will be useful when you are filling out your application form.

Employers are often looking for potential.  It is vital, therefore, that you sell your potential by demonstrating the transferable skills that you have developed already.

The following list shows examples of skills relevant to the workplace at YMCA Doncaster:

  • Self Motivation
  • Organisation
  • Positive attitude and mindset
  • Ability to prioritise responsibilities
  • Taking ownership
  • Having responsibility for tasks
  • Team work
  • Lone work
  • Listening skills
  • Effective communication
  • Sensitivity to others
  • Conflict resolution
  • Administration skills
  • Willingness to learn
  • Reliable
  • Respect to all others; staff, clients and residents

Do you think you have some of the skills listed above?

Can you draw upon your own experiences to demonstrate some of these skills?

Have you looked at the YMCA Doncaster’s vacancies on our website: ymcadoncaster.org.uk/jobs?

If there isn’t currently a role that interests you, do you have the ability to offer your time and skills to a volunteering role?

Lack of direct experience is not necessarily a barrier to a new job.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Henry Ford

This is a lovely quote from Henry Ford; read it again and again until it sinks in and then think about it for a moment.

Your own attitude will determine your own success.

  • If you think you can, you can
  • If you think you can’t, you can’t.

Therefore, be positive and tell yourself that YOU CAN make a successful career change utilising your transferable skills and this positive attitude will come out through your application and interview.

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A Visit from Santa Paws

Young people living with us over the festive season have a very special staff member on duty with them for Christmas Day.


Olivia Burton, Deputy Chief Executive at YMCA Doncaster, opted to cover the Christmas morning shift in the hostel but found that posed a problem.

“My husband’s a chef and so he’s also working on Christmas Day,” she explained. That meant that their beloved dog, Rocco might have to spend part of the day alone.

“We decided to bend the rules a bit for one day and bring Rocco along to help with the festivities.”

Entering into the spirit in his “Santa Paws” costume, Rocco has thoroughly enjoyed the fuss of being centre of attention!


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Last Hour’s Pay

“The first day, when … the door closed, I burst into tears. It was a bit of relief …”

When the door closes for the first time, there are usually tears. Those tears are tears of relief, but they can be tainted with a little fear too; fear of the unknown.

Young people arriving at YMCA Doncaster often come from an unsettled background and fear of the unknown is a common feeling for them. Not knowing where they will be sleeping on a night or even when they will eat next.

You can make that first hour of a young person’s life at YMCA Doncaster a little easier, and a little more settled, by donating your last hour’s pay today.

Your donation could provide a welcome pack to help them settle, a warm cuppa, food for their bellies or a soft pillow to rest their head.

The last hour of your working day this year could be the first hour of a happier future for a vulnerable young person who had nowhere else to go. 

Take the time today to donate your last hour’s pay.

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That’s a Wrap!

We are very much in the festive spirit following The BIG Wrap earlier this week!

We kick started our celebrations with an amazing 18 people who came in and volunteered an hour of their time to help us wrap up Christmas presents for our residents.

It was the perfect start to the festive season as one of the halls in our Community Centre was transformed into a winter workshop, and was filled with a fantastic sense of Christmas Spirit as our wonderful volunteers wrapped away.

It was like a scene from a Christmas card with wrapping paper, hot chocolates and mince pies scattered around as we worked hard to wrap up gifts. And of course, there was lots of singing along to some of our favourite Christmas classics.

We would just like to take a moment to say a massive thank you, to all of our wonderful volunteers who became elves for an hour. You have helped us to wrap an amazing 230 presents! We truly do appreciate all of the hard work that you all put in to helping us make this a special Christmas for our young people to remember.

If you were unable to attend The BIG Wrap this year, do not worry! We were amazed that The BIG Wrap was such an incredible event that it will be back next year!

If you can’t wait that long and would still like to support our work this Christmas, please see our appeal here and help to bring a glimmer of hope to our young people.

For everyone who took part, here are your best bits!


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