So you’ve measured your transferable soft skills by doing your Headway DNA; maybe because you’re looking for a new role or because you’d like to prepare for your next dream role.
If you haven’t done your DNA yet, you can do it here.
Either way, being able to articulate where your current strengths lie is essential, and these include your transferable skills!
How you most effectively apply your existing knowledge to achieve a goal or solve a problem is at the heart of every job and requires the application of your transferable “soft skills”.
Employers want to know that you can do the job; that you are adaptable and can do multiple things and possibly fulfil multiple roles when needed1.
Being able to identify what your transferable skills are and how you use them are your Unique Selling Point.
Read more about soft/transferable skills in our previous blog Soft Skills are the new Hard Skills.
OK here are 3 steps to leverage your Headway DNA Report…
The Complexity Space section of your report explains how your mix of transferable skills add value to the organisation (or your prospective employer!).
Think about what examples in your working life underpin those behaviours. Be sure to check the behaviours described in “Your Next Complexity Space” page, because oftentimes some of those you might already be practicing - people “transition” from one Space to the next rather than “leaping”.
Your complexity space may include something like:
“As a domain expert, people will look to you for advice and will have expectations that it will be good and correct advice.”
and then your Next Complexity Space would say:
“Management could rely on you to provide well-considered, robust and reliable recommendations that save time and cost or improve service levels”
You would have specific examples that demonstrate how you do that in your job context. Use that, put it in your CV and Linkedin profile!
Have a look at your Journal document... What were your answers? How do they relate to the narrative of your Complexity Space?
Do you see any patterns or stories that jump out for you? Those are the things you should incorporate into your CV. Linking how you use your technical skills and domain expertise to your problem solving soft skills only adds to your credibility. Don’t get too wordy though - leave the details for the interview!
If you haven’t already captured your examples when you were answering the DNA questions, you can do it directly on your Journal document. Having these examples handy will make a huge difference when preparing for that interview.
Now, you not only have a baseline that clearly demonstrates your capability, you also have examples to validate them, and these help you come across as prepared and professional.
Have a look at the capabilities chart in the result section. Which ones are above your average? Hint: the ones over the little triangle.
On the example chart, “Deciding” and “Analysing” are above the average. If these were your results, these would be the capabilities to highlight.
Have a look at your Journal again, how did you answer those questions, what examples do you have that demonstrate your level?
How might those strengths be applied to the role you’re going for?
This is gold for both the cover letter and the interview.
How your unique skill mix is relevant to the organisation is so often an overlooked selling point by job seekers.
Notice how none of this is whether you’re “good” at a particular skill, but rather how you apply it in a context - basically the level of complexity that you’ve had to deal with.
Being a good fit to a role and being a good performer in that role are two very different things. You may want to check out our previous blog Must have Good Listening Skills for more on this.
There will be times in any job that you will need to step outside your usual responsibilities.
Maybe you’ll be asked to help out on a new project or to temporarily (or permanently!) take on a new role if a colleague leaves unexpectedly. You may be asked to take on a role that falls outside your area of expertise and all you have to fall back on are your transferable skills.
Your ability to tackle problems in new contexts is one of the most desirable skills sets for employers. And for you, these are a source of new career opportunities2.
For a manager, knowing that they can rely on you to solve a problem, even if its outside your expertise but within your capability, is a major feather in your cap!
Continuing to develop your soft skills means that you’ll be able to take on increasingly complex problems, adding to your superpowers over time.
This is where your Headway Roadmap helps. Here you get your personal recommendations for development. While your Roadmap is designed to give you guidance on how to improve your skills, this is also useful in a job interview scenario.
You can demonstrate to your hiring manager that you’re serious about your career development and have a concrete plan in place.
You can also use it to steer away from that “What are your weaknesses” question we all love to hate by focusing on what you’re actively doing to improve your professional-self.
Most importantly, the Roadmap helps you articulate that your value as an employee will grow over time and how.
Let us know how you went via @headwaydna on Linkedin.