July 4, 2020, by Katie Andrews

Advice for job seekers series: Discover your ‘transferable skills’

There’s no question that the current pandemic and the responses to it have been devastating for many; not only in human health terms but economically too.  Many people have found themselves unexpectedly looking for work in a jobs market that has markedly changed in a relatively short time.

For those looking for work for the first time in many years, it may be a whole new ball game.  Understanding how the recruitment and selection process may have changed is key to being prepared for seeking and applying for new roles.

In a series of daily blogs, Dr Terri Simpkin, Associate Professor at the Nottingham University Business School, and former Human Resources Director, provides some insight and tips on navigating modern job search practices.

It’s recruitment, but not as you knew it.

In the not too distant past, job hunting was often characterised by pounding the pavement dropping off CVs, letters of introduction or personal resumes to businesses that might be looking to hire new employees.

Not anymore.

Even prior to lockdown, it was highly unlikely that organisations, particularly chains or larger firms, would accept unsolicited applications ‘in store’ or via branches.  The recruitment and selection process has largely been centralised or outsourced and at least in part, automated and managed online.

This means your approach to finding a new job might need to be updated to suit the ways in which organisations manage their hiring practices and to improve your chances of finding and getting the job you want.*

*(The move to online recruitment and selection methods assumes that applicants have access to hardware such as a laptop, desktop computer or a smart device as well as reliable internet access to engage with the application process.  This may be a disadvantage, so be prepared to seek assistance from friends, family or community groups that may be able to help.)

Advice for job seekers: Discover your ‘transferrable skills’

Sadly, many people may find themselves unable to find work in the same industry or sector to their most recent work.  It’s important to identify where capabilities and experience can be readily employed in other roles.  For example, the hospitality and tourism sectors have been hit hard by lockdown and jobs may be hard to find in this sector.  However, the skills developed in customer service, catering, housekeeping and events management can be applied to other industries.  Indeed, experience in hospitality roles are often seen as advantageous to organisations such as those in the retail, call centre, health care and facilities management sectors. Be creative and think more broadly about how skills can be applied to the benefit of a new employer.

Quick Tip – Look at selection criteria or descriptions of roles in other industries or sectors and re-imagine how your skills can be transferred to those roles.  Also, get help.  Talk to friends, family or people you may know in other industries and get a different perspective on your past work and current capabilities.  Sometimes, we’re too close to our own experience to see how it could be of value elsewhere.

Posted in Social SciencesUncategorized