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Looking for a job has become relatively tough for many people. Even some professionals with advanced academic qualifications, such as bachelor's degrees and even MBAs, are currently having a rough time on the market. However, there are still plenty of jobs out there for the right candidates.


One of the ways of differentiating yourself from other job seekers is by having transferable skills. Broadly speaking, a transferable skill is expertise that you can use across a wide range of industries.

According to the University of Southern California, many graduates change jobs as many as four times within a period of five years. If you are a job seeker, identifying your transferable skills and articulating them to employers is likely to increase your chances of getting a job.

Here are five transferable skills all job seekers need:

1. Communication

Two professionals with good communication skills

In almost every career, from banking to the hospitality industry, good communication skills are vital. As such, it would be to your advantage if you have the ability to articulate your ideas in writing as well as orally. Since communication normally involves more than one party, you should be a good listener as well.

Employers often look for people who can communicate with co-workers effectively and in an objective manner.

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2. Analytical Skills

Woman uses her analytical skills on the job

This is a vital skill in almost every field of work mainly because the majority of businesses generate revenue by solving problems that clients face daily.

For example, cloud-computing companies provide data storage solutions, thereby ensuring that their clients have a backup of data stored on-site. Employees can access company data on the go knowing they have secure storage for their information. In such an environment, analytical skills are likely to come in handy when clients face problems such as uploading data or updating certain files. To solve those issues, one would have to identify and define the problem's parameters.

This skill also involves collecting and analyzing data in order to design creative solutions to complex problems.

3. Leadership

Man displays leadership skills at work

Most organizations and business enterprises employ more than one employee. Because of this, it may not be possible to have all the employees in leadership positions. Therefore, a few employees who show the ability to lead generally take charge of the others.

Leadership is all about motivating fellow employees and leading them to work toward a common goal. In addition, leaders analyze tasks and set priorities for the other employees as well as identify and allocate resources that employees need.

4. Information Management Skills

Woman uses her data and information management skills at work

Traditionally, businesses kept a few records such as sales, purchases, and salaries in-house. In most cases, this data was no more than a few gigabytes. However, the emergence of social media, adoption of e-commerce by consumers, and the large number of data points generated by businesses and corporations has upended the traditional model of managing information. As a result, most employers need employees who can sort and present data objects in an understandable manner.

Information management also involves evaluating and synthesizing information against industry standards. Industries where you can apply this skill set include finance, education, manufacturing, and print media.

5. Project Management

Project managers are in high demand in many industries. Your work as a project manager will involve planning projects, assessing potential risks associated with the project, allocating project finances appropriately, and overseeing the execution of the project on time.

You can use this transferable skill in industries such as education, energy, consulting, and even the military.

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The job sector is becoming increasingly competitive with every passing day. With this in mind, job seekers need to broaden their horizons when searching for a job.

Leverage the power of transferable skills acquired in previous jobs to get ahead of the competition. Just remember, don't include transferable skills on your resume. Wait until the job interview to mention them, and you'll surely stand out from the competition.


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This post was originally published at an earlier date.