Just like the IT sector, the recruitment industry is ever-evolving. In recent years, it seems recruiters are increasingly placing higher importance on ‘transferable skills’, rather than actual work experience. They appear to be more interested in how a candidate fits into a company culture, as well as what they can individually bring to the team environment.
Here’s why, and what it can mean for your job search.
First Up, What Are Transferable Skills?
As the name suggests, transferable skills can be used across multiple roles regardless of the industry. Things like excellent time management, critical thinking or leadership abilities.
Here are a few more examples of transferable skills you may possess that are useful in IT and beyond:
- Time Management & Project Planning
How well you manage yourself in a fast-paced environment. It may also extend to planning for others.
- Critical & Innovative Thinking
That well-regarded ability to analyse a problem and come up with novel solutions.
- Research & Analytics
This skill pertains to research, collating and analysing data, but might also include reporting and recommendations.
An area that encompasses a wide range of aptitudes, including written communications (for example, you might be known for your succinct emails that digest and simplify complex material) and in-person communications, such as presenting project reports.
Another area that includes a wide range of skills, from coaching, motivating and managing a team, to going in to bat for the team when needed.
- Personal & People Skills
You might be particularly adept at collaborating with others, understanding different viewpoints, keeping calm when things heat up, or having a highly flexible work style so you can easily respond to changing parameters.
- Financial Management
You might have experience being the team’s money-man/woman, for instance, setting and overseeing project budgets.
The IT Industry Is King When It Comes To Adaptability
You’d be hard pressed to find another sector where rapid developments mean transferable skills are so crucially in demand. The rise of e-commerce, the huge interest in data analytics, and the need for watertight cybersecurity are just three areas where a host of new jobs have been created in the past 10 to 15 years.
It’s worth noting that when the need arose for professionals to work in such fields, most didn’t possess the requisite experience. But what they did have were transferable skills that helped them succeed in those roles. For instance, in the e-commerce arena, those with sales, marketing and IT backgrounds were quick to make their mark.
Transferable Skills Are Universal So They Can Take You Anywhere
Whilst job experience is often bound to a certain geographic area or industry, transferable skills aren’t. You can take your project management, collaborative, leadership and people skills to any role, in any location, in just about any field.
This opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to your job prospects. An example – as a data analyst, you could use your skillset as a springboard for a new career in financial planning, banking, insurance, healthcare or retail.
Using Your Transferable Skills In Your Job Search
The key to branching out into a new career is to not only successfully highlight your transferable skills across your resume, cover letter and in interviews, but to provide concrete examples of how they work in action. This ensures your lack of experience in the area is not the focus, spotlighting instead what you can individually bring to the role.
If you’d like some help tweaking your resume and cover letter, or some interviewing tips incorporating your best transferable skills, please let one of the team here at Finite know. We’ve placed countless IT candidates in a cross-section of fields, and would love to assist you in applying your transferable skills to your next career move.