If you Google “transferable skills” you might quickly receive a response explaining that the term refers to the “general abilities you develop that are useful across a range of different jobs and industries.” They are the standardized, but always important key traits that you add to your resume like leadership, communication, creativity, organization or the ability to delegate. Most often, people refer to transferable skills as more personality-based skills, not necessarily the fundamental skills while on the job. Transferable skills are definitely as important as the more technical skills needed to do your job, and you should be selling them as such in every job interview, annual review or chat about a promotion you have with an employer. However, in all of my panel sessions, private conversations and job experiences that have arisen lately, I am here to argue that some of those skills that are traditionally thought of as more technical skills, like social media knowledge, the ability to write a professional email, and well-honed phone skills, should no doubt be considered in the same group as these transferable skills.
It is now the norm for most organizations and companies to have an employee who is handling social media on their behalf. However, a good portion of them are asking these social media “experts” to take on this responsibility in addition to the job they were hired in to do, either based on budget constraints or the fact that more traditionally-minded groups haven’t completely bought in to the idea of hiring a dedicated person just to handle social media. For these reasons, it has become more and more valuable to be able to market yourself as social media savvy in terms of your transferable skills. Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to increase your value within your current organization, reminding your employer that you are capable of handling their social media needs can help you receive a job offer, a raise or a promotion. This will at least show your willingness to be a team player.
During Females in Athletic Business’ Strong Women in Sports Summit last month, our panel of experienced women in the sports industry stressed the importance of our members’ telephone and writing skills. Now that might seem to be in direct contrast to the idea of mastering social media, however it is not. Yes, many jobs have required less and less time on the telephone, even jobs that traditionally relied on the phone as the main source for communication, such as sales. Not so fast, however. You may not be using the phone to conduct most of your business these days, but this faster-paced, immediate result nature that our work has to it now, can only be supported by the ability to speak professionally over the phone with no notice or to quickly produce a well written email. The expert panelists referenced specifically the ability to call someone when you need to re-schedule a meeting at the last minute, or text a client with urgent news, or even craft a tweet in order to get your audience engaged. So while these more antique-sounding skills, like conversing over the phone or writing an email might not be obviously important these days, make sure to be able to tout them as some of your transferable skills in an interview as well. You’ll be sure to show your true value.
For more information on Job Action Day, log on to www.livecareer.com/jobactionday/job-action-day-2017