Applying for a temporary job can be difficult, especially if you’re making a transition from your current career path. How do you set yourself apart from other candidates and show the employer that you are a good fit for the role when, on paper, you might not appear to have all of the required experience?
The answer is transferable skills; the skills and experience that you have picked up in previous roles which can also be applied to future jobs.
While these can be an asset to any CV, for temporary recruitment they are vital.
Why are they so important?
When it comes to recruitment, whether temporary or not, every hiring manager is looking for the same thing in every candidate; do they have the skills required to take on the role?
While it can be tempting to use your CV as a running commentary of all your past roles and the specific skills that you have learnt in each one, it’s important to remember to edit it to show how exactly these skills will fit into the role you’re applying for.
The average time that a hirer spends scanning a CV is 6 seconds, so it’s vital that any key information that shows how you suit the role is quickly and easily found.
Abby, our Suffolk based Assistant Operations Manager, shares an example of how not catering your CV to the role you’re applying for can really affect your chances of having a successful application.
“I once received a CV from a candidate who had no admin experience but had worked as a senior waiter in a restaurant for a long time. Instead of considering transferable skills and trying to sell himself when applying for a business support role, he put ‘dessert preparation’ as a key skill.”
Even though we have no doubt that the candidate probably did make very good desserts, it’s pretty unlikely that this would have been very helpful when it came to an administration role.
Instead, it would have been a lot more useful if he had focussed on other skills that he had likely picked up through his role, such as taking table bookings (diary management & organisation skills), resolving customer queries and complaints (customer service skills & conflict resolution) or money handling/taking payments (financial experience and responsibility), which are more easily applied to a Business Support role.
How do you find them?
To find out what your most valuable transferable skills are, you will need to take a step back and properly dissect every part of your job role. These types of skills are often overlooked and you may be surprised by how much extra experience you have without even realising.
Our Ipswich Consultant, Charlotte, explains how breaking down all aspects of a role helped when she recently met with an experienced nurse who was applying for an admin role but struggling to secure interviews.
“Her CV was very focused on her hands on nursing experience but when we actually talked through her job role it came to light that, in fact, nurses undertake numerous administration tasks as part of their daily routine. She amended her CV to reflect the reports, data entry and paperwork she completed and secured an interview through us.”
What to look for
Even though every person and every job is different, there are some common transferable skills which can often be applied across a number of roles. Some of the main ones to look out for are:
• Administration skills
• Leadership skills
• Communication skills (written and verbal)
• Analytic skills
• Problem solving skills
• IT skills
• Organisation skills
• Time Management skills
If you’re struggling to find a temporary job to suit your skills and needs, register now and speak to one of our consultants. We recruit to all temporary jobs within Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils, in a variety of sectors, ranging from Business Support and Admin to Social Care and IT, and would be happy to help.