What skills do I have and what skills do I need?

Meg Timbrell
Content & Social Media Manager
2 min read

Transferable skills. Technical skills. Hard skills. Soft skills. There is no set way of defining skills, which just makes everything all the more confusing.

For more information about soft skills, hard skills, and transferable skills, click here.

Throughout this article, we're going to uncover exactly what we mean by transferable skills and technical skills, helping you figure out one from the other, and find out what skills you need for particular job roles.

Technical skills

Technical skills usually require experience and/or training. They are often referred to as 'hard skills'. These skills can be measured easily, often by a certificate/qualification.

Let's look at the role of 'Marketing Director' here on our site. We can see from the 'Top Skills' section that there are 7 key technical skills that are required for this role, including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Business to business
  • Marketing communications
  • Marketing management
  • Marketing strategies
  • Business development
  • Digital marketing

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are those gained from experience during education, work, volunteering or hobbies. These skills can be transferred between a variety of career paths. They can be harder to measure than technical skills due to their nature. Try putting a measurement on creativity!

Let's have a look at the transferable skills required for the role of marketing director again:

We can see from the 'Top Skills' section that there are 11 key transferable skills that are required for this role, including:

  • Communications
  • Creativity
  • Detail oriented
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Planning
  • Presentations
  • Research
  • Sales
  • Social media

But how do I know what skills I have? And which ones do I mention on my CV?

Don't panic, but this is going to require some self-reflection. Take some time on your own to think back about any experiences that could prove skills. This could be from anything from being a prefect at school to a bartender, to being a manager at a large company.

Examples of how to translate these experiences into skills include...

School prefect:

  • Responsibility taking on important tasks such as break-time monitoring/lunch duty.
  • Teamwork from working with other members of the prefect body.
  • Problem solving skills gained from tackling issues within the school e.g. bullying, playground disputes.

Bartender:

  • Calm under pressure from multi-tasking and serving multiple customers at once.
  • Customer service from taking orders from customers, answering any queries.
  • Physical fitness from spending all day standing on your feet.

Manager:

  • People management from allocating tasks to a team on a daily basis.
  • Time management from having a busy schedule and prioritising tasks.
  • Leadership from running and managing meetings.

The more specific you can be about these types of experiences the better.

If you're really struggling to figure out what skills you have, chat to a family member or friend and get them to list any of your positive qualities that could be translated into transferable skills. E.g. "confident and chatty" could be translated into "people skills".

Another great feature of your skills profile on Sort is the ability to see suggested skills, which are personalised to your Sort settings, based on your interests and suggested job roles/opportunities.

Just click the skills you have to add them to your skills profile, or click the ones you want to gain. As soon as you click 'I want' for particular skills, you'll automatically be recommended related opportunities such as courses, apprenticeships, internships and much more. Just click 'Find matched courses & training'.

Want your voice heard? Send an email to megan.timbrell@sortyourfuture.com and pitch us an idea/story!

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