Finding and Emphasising Your Transferable
A transferable skill is a skill learnt in
one situation that can then be applied in another.
For example, your magnificent 400 page PhD
thesis on "The Mating Habits of the Peruvian Spittlebug" taught
you a lot about spittlebugs, insect biology, and probably
Peru, but you also acquired enduring skills and knowledge
that (thankfully) are of use in the real world. These are
the skills you acquire "by accident" during the course of
the research project, because although they are not formally
taught, you just won't survive without them.
Start thinking along the lines of persistance,
ability to communicate effectively both orally and in the
written form, analytical ability, leadership skills and capability
to motivate others, interviewing skills, persuasiveness, ability
to plan ahead and organise yourself, equipment, time and other
people, logic and rational thinking, teaching skills, budgeting
ability, able to conceive of and meet long-term and short-term
goals etc etc. These are the skills employers are after, and
in conjunction with technical ability and experience, they
are a powerful package!
In addition to what you have learnt during
your research and thesis writing, you may have developed other
skills through community service or involvement in campus
activities. How about expertise in public speaking, familiarity
with committee structure and functioning, interaction with
the media, working with children or young people, ability
to interact with many different groups of people, act as an
advocate or representative, be at ease in different social
situations, confidence in domestic and overseas travel procedures
and able to function effective on a very limited personal
budget? We hope this gives you some inspiration. Check out
the Next Wave site for more information on transferable skills.