18 Aug 10:00 by


You apply. You wait. You read "1 year experience needed".

You apply. You wait. You read "2 year experience needed".

You apply. You wait. You read "5 year experience needed".

You get the idea. Well, many employers don't, and that leaves graduates in this repetitive cycle of doubt, wondering if the blood, sweat and beers were worth the debt of doom that will hang over them once finished. So, it is essential for graduate job searchers to understand their transferable skills in order to market themselves effectively to employers in their chosen career paths. This is also notable information to those job searching, on how to extend your CV and prepare for interview procedures.

What are transferable skills?

These are the skills you've acquired, but in a different job role/occupation, which can be clearly transferred in the job that you are applying for. For example, let's say you had a part-time job as a Sales Assistant/Supervisor (99% of students will nod their heads here), there are key skills within this role such as Cash Handling and/or Financial Accounting, which can be related to a graduate job such as Accountancy. With this in mind, it is important to assess your past experiences, to help encourage your chances of landing a job in your desired career, because unfortunately, we can't eat takeaways and go to house parties for the rest of our lives.

How to exhibit your transferable skills?

Once you have recognised your transferable skills, you should then identify important examples of how they would be useful in the applied job role. When in an interview (the dreaded word), most employers will ask you to demonstrate "when have you used..." or "explain a time when you have...", which is your opportunity to step in and show them your past experiences and worth for this role, regardless of the lack of experience. Assuming it would be a role related to your University Degree, you can also display your theory-based knowledge and skills learnt, and explain how these can be exhibited in a practical scenario.

Show them what they're missing

Regardless of what anybody's CV illustrates, your personality and confidence in the interview could push you into a stronger position of landing the job. Research the company, identify their culture and what they're all about and show them how you'd comply with that. Tell them about your personal experiences, and how they've helped you grow as a person e.g. Travelling can show bravery, courage and the willingness to adapt to new situations. Just remember, you spent 3 or more years of hard work (and play) to get you into that dream career - make sure they can see that drive in you, making them feel they should GIVE YOU THAT EXPERIENCE!