Have you ever hesitated to apply for a job although you thought it would be perfect for you, just because you were afraid that your skills and experience wouldn’t fully match the job description? Did you even refrain from applying because you simply assumed that your experience and expertise were not sufficient to be considered?
If so, then you’re not alone. Many job seekers are guilty of this, regardless of seniority or level of experience. However, in view of the current recruitment landscape, there’s really no need for job seekers to feel this level of self-doubt during the job search process.
Why? Because, in actual fact, many employers worldwide are finding themselves facing a skills shortage epidemic, particularly in younger industries and growth markets. Employers are also realising the importance of soft skills, which are now held in the same regard as those harder, more technical skills which tend to be more specific to the role.
How does this affect you?
As a result, job seekers like you are realising the value of their transferable attributes, the ‘hidden skills’. More so, they are using these attributes to consider applying for jobs which previously seemed out of reach, or weren’t even on their radar.
Hidden transferable skills are those that you may not even consider as having any value, something that you may think of as being par-for-the-course, but are actually highly sought after in other industries. It could be anything, even your own mother tongue.
People around the world are discovering their hidden skills which will enable them to do jobs that they would never have previously considered. More so, when applying for these roles, they emphasise these hidden talents during the application process, knowing that hiring managers are being more receptive and open-minded than ever before. Administrators are finding that their organisational skills are in demand as personal assistants; local radio DJs who spent time selling advertising space have found their way into selling real estate; and employees in IT departments – are finding lucrative positions in the automotive industry as AI grows in importance.
The question is: how you can do the same? We recommend taking the following the below steps:
Step 1: Identify your hidden skills
Look back at your previous jobs, volunteer work, educational background, extracurricular activities and hobbies, and identify the transferable skills you needed to do those tasks well.
Also, think about the attributes people have praised you for, both inside and outside of work and academia. For example, your university peers may have commended you for your organisational skills when leading on a group project, your friends may say you are very rational and great at giving practical advice, or your colleagues may see you as a strong team player who always has their back.
Make a list of these transferable skills, look at which ones you enjoyed showcasing the most, and which you think you could utilise and develop within a professional environment.
Step 2: Search for jobs where your hidden skills are needed
Assess which industries, companies and roles require these skills. You can do this by browsing recruitment websites, making use of search filters to find roles which require the transferable skills you have identified.
You should also speak with an expert recruiter, who can give you advice as to in which industries and roles you might be most in demand. You can also get their feedback as to whether you’ll need to up-skill before you embark on a job search, be it through volunteering, training courses, or even finding a mentor.
Step 3: Start looking for a job
Once you have identified exactly what your hidden skills are, and, importantly, know where these may be suited, it’s time to start getting job application ready. Update your CV and place a new emphasis on these a, and examples of when you have used them. When speaking with recruiters, hiring managers, and writing your covering letters, elaborate upon how these skills can transfer to the role that you are applying for.
One aspect you should keep in mind is that all abilities are transferable. However, it depends on which jobs you are looking for, which talents you like to present, and to what extent you have to develop your skills before you can start with the application process. In short: Believe in your core competencies. They will offer you career opportunities you never have considered before. Get started and show the world your hidden skills!
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