Chances are you've developed and honed specific skills on jobs over the years -- those that have made you successful up to now. Employers often refer to these unique abilities as transferable skills, meaning they can be used in future jobs to help you advance your career. That being said, following are some of the top transferable skills your next employer will be looking for when you interview with them.
Communication is today's most important skill. One of the reasons communication is so important is that it's bidirectional, meaning it requires both a sender and a receiver. Without proper communication, great ideas would get lost in the shuffle and departments wouldn't be working together as cohesive groups. Communication skills primarily include speaking, writing and listening skills.
Organization is your ability to arrange tasks and responsibilities so you can meet project deadlines. One of the best ways to stay organized is to use daily planners. This handy tool enables you to create a list of assignments and mark them off when they're completed. To improve organization skills, you must know or estimate how long certain tasks will take to complete. You can then allot the necessary hours required to complete a project so you get it done in time.
Change in the marketplace like everything else is constant. Today's desired products and features will vary from those five years from now -- even a year or less with high tech wares. Creativity elicits change in the workplace. It enables people to think outside the box to make improvements and enhance their employers' bottom line.
Most employees do not work on islands, performing their tasks independently from their coworkers. They work on project teams -- many of which are multifunctional (i.e. accounting, marketing, business development) -- to introduce new product ideas, test their acceptance with consumers and get them to the marketplace on time. Working with others takes patience and the ability to give and take in situations. It also helps reduce dissention and other time wasters in the workplace.
Coaching is a supervisory function where experienced employees help others learn their jobs. Ninety-two percent of employers value strong teamwork skills. The strongest employees are the ones who assist others, making sure they complete tasks the way they're supposed to be done. This fosters team building, helping less experienced employees become more self-sufficient so you get more done.
Problems and challenges arise every day in the business world. That's why companies need people who can come in, assessment complex situations and derive solutions for them. During many interviews, hiring managers ask applicants to describe situations where they faced certain challenges and what they did to overcome them. This type of question helps employers gauge how well candidates solve problems, which is why you must learn how to answer it on interviews.
As with products and customers' expectations, the modern day business climate is always changing. Methods or systems that worked in the past may not work as efficiently tomorrow. That's why must continue to hone your skills and keep up with the changes. Your ability to remain flexible and perform tasks outside your comfort zone speaks volumes about your adaptability.
Middle and higher level managers often need to create slides about their ideas or findings and present them in meetings. Presentation skills, however, go far beyond creating nifty visuals in PowerPoint. You must also learn how to maintain eye contact with your audience, answer questions and communicate the details in layman's terms.
Keep these important skills in mind when preparing for your interviews. Accept assignments that help you develop these skills. Once you start mastering these vital transferable assets, you'll increase your chances of getting hired.