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What Transferable Skills Are Employers Looking For?

Written by: Gabriella Howard at Opus People Solutions
Published on: 6 Jun 2022

In a competitive job market, it’s important for your application to stand out. In a post COVID-19 world, what transferable soft skills will be most valuable?

Here are four transferable skills employers will be looking for moving forwards:


COVID 19 has had a significant impact on businesses all over the country, inevitably with more changes to come as organisations adapt to the new ways of working. With the regularly changing guidelines, businesses had to make quick decisions from one week to the next, which is why it is important to have the ability to adapt.

As a result, employers are looking for team players that can contribute to the company in challenging circumstances but also work independently when required. It will be important to be aware of the changes in your environment and show a willingness to accept and learn from change.

Over the past two years many employees have had to adjust their work style and day-to-day routines to accommodate changing work environments and business needs. With many organisations looking to continue and develop some of these ways of working moving forwards, you’ll need to show future employers an ability to adapt and take on any new changes or challenges you may be faced with.

Digital Skills

Basic computer literacy is usually a desired skill for many roles. However, now it is even more essential to have good digital and technical skills in the workplace. Recent events have meant the workplace has become progressively more digital and tech focused as many employees are having to work from home or communicate virtually. Therefore, employers will be looking for candidates who already have or are willing to develop their digital abilities and adapt to a more digital way of work.

There’s no need to worry if you aren’t the most tech savvy person because these are skills you can learn, improve and even get certified on while undertaking your job search. There are several professional certifications available online which can cover the basics of most programs such as Microsoft Office. However, there are also plenty of online learning guides and YouTube videos that can help you to brush up on your digital skills without spending any money.

Communication and Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are becoming a more common trait searched for by employers, but this doesn’t necessarily mean just for management roles. In an increasingly virtual work environment, employers are looking for individuals that can demonstrate leadership skills at all levels and communicate effectively across a variety of channels– leading by example, making difficult decisions when needed and working towards the company’s goals/mission. With fewer face-to-face interactions, working from home and the ongoing pandemic, effective communication can sometimes be more difficult and so there are more opportunities for people at all levels to take the lead.

You can demonstrate good leadership skills to an employer by providing examples of times you think you have used this skill – taking on responsibility, having to make a tough decision or leading others.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to use and manage your own emotions in order to understand and empathise other people’s feelings. It also involves good communication to create positive social interactions and overcome challenges. Therefore, during challenging times like the present and a post COVID-19 world, this is a skill of high importance for employers.

Like leadership, this is a mind-set-based skill, meaning it doesn’t need a qualification to be proven. As a candidate, you’ll want to convince employers you can make a positive impact in the workplace. It will be your job to demonstrate emotional intelligence and show consideration of others; whether that’s by adapting workloads in response to the struggles of those around you, reassuring and supporting others during difficult times or keeping open communication.

It’s important to remember that as well as the skills directly associated to the job you’re applying for, employers are also looking for the soft skills that you can bring to their team. These skills can be applied across a variety of roles, so before applying for a job have a think about your current qualities and the transferable skills you may have that can support your application.

This article was written by Gabriella Howard at Opus People Solutions 

WMTemps is a new recruitment service developed by West Midlands Employers and powered by Opus People Solutions.

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