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Using Transferable Skills In Job Applications

8th January 2020

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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