Get that job: Identifying and leveraging your transferable skills

Get that job: Identifying and leveraging your transferable skills


Find your dream job via Undutchables now!

Undutchables, a recruitment agency with a proven track record in international job matching and placement, knows that the current job market is changing faster than ever. Staying up-to-date with your professional knowledge is therefore imperative.

One aspect of skill attainment that should not be overlooked are transferable skills. Transferable skills are great assets to possess in this ever-changing labour market. Especially if you are considering finding a job, or a career change. Before we go into identifying and leveraging your transferable skills, let’s first define what transferable skills really are.

What are transferable skills

Transferable skills are a set of skills that are not niche, industry or job-specific. These skills can be adapted to different industries and transferred between jobs regardless of the position. Transferable skills are usually acquired through school, internships, employment, and volunteer experiences.

To be able to qualify for a job, you need to meet a number of skill requirements. These skills can be qualified as either hard or soft skills. Transferable skills can be both. Hard skills are those skills that are teachable and measurable. An example of a hard skill can be language fluency.

By contrast, soft skills are harder to quantify and can be classified as ones' traits and interpersonal skills, such as communication. Your language skills and communication skills are therefore transferable skills because they can relate to and can be used in many occupations.

Examples of transferable skills

According to Undutchables, these are some of the most sought for hard and soft skills:

Hard Skills

The following skills fall under hard skills:

  • Proficiency in a language
  • Computer programming
  • Certificate or degree
  • Software knowledge
  • Accounting

Soft Skills

The following skills are also called soft skills:

  • Communication
  • Organisation
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving 

Identifying transferable skills

Employers value skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, to name a few. Employers want more value from the people they employ and therefore look at candidates with a wider skill set who can work across different areas. Identifying your transferable skills and highlighting them can in many cases help you secure a position, even if you do not necessarily have the relevant experience in that specific field.

So, how do you identify your transferable skills? Start by carrying out an audit of your skills. Look at the things you love to do and what you are good at. This will give you an indication of what your strengths are. Also, look at your personal qualities and specific work experience. This can shine some light on your core interpersonal skills and hard skills you’ve already acquired.

You can also ask yourself the following questions in order to pinpoint some of your transferable skills:

  • Think about your previous roles. What goals did you achieve? And how did you go about reaching these goals?
  • What challenges did you have to overcome? And how did you solve these issues?
  • Did you experience any team successes? And how did you play a role in these achievements?

When you are done assessing your experience and skills, list these qualities and skills and see how they can be transferred to the position you are targeting.

Leveraging your transferable skills

When looking for a job or switching careers, keep this in mind; you are always starting with some degree of experience, never from scratch. Take your education, volunteer work, part-time job, or previous work experience into consideration.

So, the goal here is to articulate those transferable skills that you identified in a way that will convince the employer that you still fit the bill. Incorporate these skills on your CV but, most importantly, prove them. Don’t just say “Great Management Skills”. Show the employer how you managed a team for a specific project. Demonstrate real-life scenarios.

Note: Whatever you do, don’t exaggerate your skills or qualifications. Employers are aware of this and can call you out on your claims. Also, remember that most employers do expect their employees to learn on-site. Be transparent and, most importantly, open for new experiences.

Find your dream job via Undutchables

Undutchables Recruitment Agency is the international business recruitment pioneer in the Netherlands and helps both starters and executive candidates, fluent in languages other than Dutch, to advance their careers in the Netherlands.  Are you looking for a job or thinking of switching careers? Visit Undutchables for all their current vacancies.



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