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5 minute read

Transferable Career Skills Employers Want in Today’s Job Market & How to Display Them

We present examples of transferable career skills that are trending in the corporate world and how you can develop them. 

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Many of us tend to focus on the hard skills or actual work experience we have under our belt – and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve honed your craft over many years, maybe even attained the right education for the job after all. But employers these days are on the lookout for transferable skills to put you ahead of other candidates.

Transferable skills are the abilities you’ve acquired in both work and non-work situations that can be applied across a wide variety of careers and industries. Having a solid foundation of transferable skills can help to future-proof your career.

What are the skills that employers and hiring managers are looking for in applicants for the next few years? Here are the top three we’ve identified.

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Top 3 Transferable Skills (Example!)

1. Adaptability

Crises and challenges come and go. And if there’s anything the pandemic taught us, it’s that we need to be quick to adapt to changes. Adaptability is the ability to adjust to a new environment and situation, and it forms a key part of career resilience.

Employers prefer candidates who are flexible and can adapt quickly to changes, as they tend to remain composed under pressure and have a positive mindset. Display adaptability by being willing to take on different roles and responsibilities when needed. When unexpected situations come by, stay calm and respond quickly to assist your team. The ability to demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness by coming up with unconventional solutions and ideas would truly frame you as an asset.

At an interview, tell stories and examples of how you’ve embraced changes positively. Talk about the last time you demonstrated a willingness to try new approaches to changes at work and how you adjusted your style of working or priorities to meet new demands.

2. Analytical thinking & problem-solving

Today’s businesses require individuals who are not just workers but also thinkers, someone who can make decisions by analysing and evaluating situations. This means the person is equipped to turn goals into actions, as well as solve problems and challenges.

Candidates who can display their ability to solve problems are surely an asset to any team in today’s corporate world. Problem-solving skills refer to your ability to identify issues and come up with solutions to address or prevent them. It would show that you possess strong analytical skills and thinks out of the box, making you a more reliable worker.

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Hone your skills by making time to read and reflect, keep abreast of what’s happening in the world, as well as be a good listener. Find opportunities to solve problems, such as through volunteering for new portfolios or embarking on DIY projects to train your ability to collect and analyse information. If you have a background in research, use this to your advantage and highlight this in your resume.

3. Communication

A valuable transferable career skill required for all other skills to manifest is communication. It was cited as one of the most sought-after skills by Singapore’s business leaders, according to a 2020 survey by NTUC LearningHub.

Communication is the ability to express ideas and information with others, a critical part of doing your job well. This essentially forms your ability to listen actively and convey information clearly and concisely. It also provides the foundation to build and maintain good working relationships and show strong teamwork.

The surefire way to improve your communication skills is simply to practise. Take small steps like checking your emails to ensure they are clear and accurately presented to the right people can be helpful. Practise active listening when interacting at work to ensure that you understand what your colleagues are saying and take in their opinions.

At interviews, hiring managers usually assess your ability to communicate effectively through whether you display confidence, empathy, friendliness and respect, alongside how clear and concise your responses are.

BONUS! Leadership and people management

When it comes to promoting for or hiring management positions, leadership skills are, of course, one of the key things an employer looks for. Leadership skills refer to being able to inspire productivity and motivate others while remaining level-headed and confident during challenging times.

As a leader, you’ll need to be able to manage personalities, supervise, adapt to different work styles, problem-solve, resolve conflict and more. You’ll also organise teams, take initiative and delegate tasks.

Getting into a leadership or management position may take time, but it doesn’t mean there are no opportunities to lead. Taking on responsibilities for special projects both at and outside of work, or assisting with managing interns, can contribute to your people management skills.

Whichever transferable career skill you’re looking to develop or enhance, having a mentor can help to ensure you’re moving in the right direction. Having the right technical skills is great, but showing that you possess these transferable skills as well will keep you ahead of the pack.

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