Why there’s no such thing as transferable skills!

If I had a pound for every time someone tells me they have transferable skills I’d be writing this post from my yacht on the Mediterranean (and probably wouldn’t feel the need to put pen to paper at all!). Luckily for you I’m not and I do!

Let me start by getting something off y chest: “I have transferable skills” is quite possibly one of the laziest sentences it has been my misfortune to come across in over 20 years of recruitment! What the speaker is really saying is “I think I can do the role but you need to work out how, as I can’t be ***** (bothered)”. There is also an unspoken threat behind the words which is “I will be really offended if you don’t take the time and trouble to interpret my CV and do work that I was unwilling to undertake for myself”.

Well, unfortunately a busy client doesn’t have the time to decipher your skills and workout if you can do the role or not. As a result, your potentially good CV can end up on the unwanted pile because it is not immediately apparent that you can do the job. A little effort spent digging among the weeds and pulling out relevant career achievements can move your CV onto the wanted list. Therefore, if you have transferable skills that fit the company’s requirements, you need to demonstrate this.

Your CV needs to talk about outcomes the client wants to know about in language they expect to hear.

When writing your CV, think about the company culture of the role you are applying for.

  • How does the company perceive itself?
  • What language does the company use to describe itself?
  • How are you a match for the role you are applying for?
  • What (industry) terminology is used in the role you are applying for?

So, let’s hear no more about transferable skills. Either you can do the job or you can’t! And if you can do the job, then show the client how!

To discuss how I can help you clarify your transferable skills call me on 02030581790 or email me catherine@spectrum360.co.uk