Skills that get noticed (and can transfer across jobs with you)

"Employability Skills" are the language of the workplace and the good news is they are portable, and will transfer with you when you move between jobs.

Research conducted by the Foundation of Young Australians (FYA) predicts young people could have 17 different jobs over 5 careers in their lifetime. A different job doesn’t mean you need an entirely different skill set; your current skillset may fall into a cluster of jobs. 

Regardless of what stage you’re at in your career, it’s super important to understand how your skills can transfer from one job to another. In fact, FYA say that when you train for one job, you can acquire skills for 13 other jobs. 

Important skills for your career include:

  • your technical skills, also called hard skills
  • your employability skills, also called soft skills and
  • your unique personal attributes, in other words your personality traits

Let’s take a barista for example: they understand how to use the coffee machine to make a cappuccino (technical skill). They work in a team and communicate with customers (soft skills) and they are friendly and happy (personal attributes). See how these skills overlap?

While employers seek the right technical skills when hiring candidates, research suggests that soft skills are equally important if not more important. And then there’s your personal attributes, the qualities that are unique to you.

By developing a portfolio of your skills and capabilities including volunteering, work experience, and other life experiences, you are opening doors to countless other possibilities. And, really knowing and embracing your set of skills builds confidence and assists you to match your skills to a job. It also helps you to write a winning job application, and then to shine in an interview.

job skills

Learn more about Employability Skills

  • Communication

    Communication skills are about your ability to engage with other people in a variety of ways – this included verbal, written, and body language.

    Well-developed skills include:

    • Listening to others and understanding what they are meaning
    • Speaking clearly and directly to people
    • Being independent with your reading and writing
    • Showing empathy and understanding the needs of others
    • Speaking and writing in languages other than English
    • Being assertive & negotiating with people
    • Sharing information openly
    • Being able to speak persuasively
  • Creative & Critical Thinking

    Creative & Critical Thinking is about your ability to critically think about a situation and explore the possible solutions.

    Strong skills involve:

    • Solving problems as part of a team
    • Being creative and innovative with your ideas
    • Showing initiative & independence to identify problems & consider solutions
    • Developing practical solutions to problems
    • Use a range of problem-solving strategies
    • Resolving customer concerns or complaints
    • Using mathematics to solve financial or budget issues
    • Checking the suitability of solutions to problems
  • Self-Management

    Self-Management involves your ability to get tasks done without the supervision or guidance of others.

    Effective self-management requires:

    • Knowing and articulating your own goals and visions
    • Being able to monitor and evaluate your own work performance
    • Setting and managing deadlines
    • Taking responsibility for your behaviour, actions, and outcomes
    • Being confident with your ideas and visions
    • Knowing when to delegate tasks or ask for help
  • Initiative & Enterprise

    Initiative is about your ability to recognise things that can be done or changed, and enterprise is about thinking creatively to make improvements to the way things are.

    Strong skills include:

    • Being creative in your thinking, to generate a range of ideas and options
    • Identifying opportunities which are not obvious to others
    • Showing you can adapt to new situations
    • Initiating innovative solutions
    • Having a strategic, long term vision
    • Translating ideas into actions
  • Teamwork

    Teamwork is all about your ability to work with others, and develop respect and trust with the people you interact with.

    Skills include:

    • Ability to work independently as an individual, and as a member of a team
    • Understanding your role within the team, and how you can contribute
    • Identifying the strengths of other team members
    • Coaching and mentoring other people, and giving feedback about their work
    • Working with people across different ages, genders, races, religions or political backgrounds
  • Planning & Organisation

    Your ability to Plan and Organise your personal and professional life

    Skills include:

    • Managing your own time and priorities
    • Taking initiative, and making decisions
    • Being able to explore options, evaluate effectiveness, consider alternatives, and make decisions
    • Collecting and organising information
    • Understanding business operations and the relationships between organizations’
    • Coordinating and delegating tasks for yourself and with other staff
    • Creating project goals which are achievable
  • Leadership

    Leadership is all about your ability to inspire, lead and motivate others.

    The characteristics of an effective leader include:

    • Contributing to the leaning and development of others in your workplace
    • Empowering others to be involved and achieve goals
    • Being open to exploring new ways to do things, ideas, and techniques
    • Working collaboratively with others, and valuing everyone’s contribution
    • Being able to take on positions of authority and supervise others
    • Communicating effectively with others
  • Digital Capabilities

    Digital Capabilities are your abilities to use general technology such as computers & digital accessories, and to learn new technologies.

    Effective skills include:

    • Having a range of basic computer and IT skills
    • Being willing to learn new technologies & computer skills
    • Having the physical capacity to use the technology needed for your job (ie: manual dexterity)
    • Using IT to organise information and data
    • Understanding the OHSW knowledge that relates to the technology you use
    • Knowledge of technology specific to your job
    • Being able to use a range of different software packages and hardware devices
  • Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) is your ability to understand and monitor emotional responses and adapt effectively.

    Effective emotional intelligence requires:

    • Recognising an emotional trigger and identify coping strategies
    • Understanding your own emotional triggers and responses
    • Taking responsibility for your own behaviour, actions, and outcomes
    • Recognising emotions in others and respond accordingly
  • Cultural Intelligence

    Cultural Intelligence is about your ability to understand and interact with people from diverse backgrounds.

    Qualities of Cultural Intelligence include:

    • Understanding personal and cultural differences
    • Recognising culture to include nationality, ethnicity, generational, religion, sexual orientation, workplaces, as well as many other areas.
    • Having a willingness to learn about other cultures
    • Adapting your approaches to include new and different points of view
    • Effectively adapting to different cultural situations
  • Resilience

    Resilience involves your ability to ‘bounce back’ or 'carry on' when challenges arise.

    Resilience can be demonstrated through:

    • Continuing to work towards goals, despite disappointments or setbacks
    • Seeking guidance and support from others
    • Listening carefully to constructive criticism, and responding positively
    • Being able to see a positive future & opportunities for growth and improvement
Skills Quick Tips (1)

Resources to help you identify your unique skills

Kick-Start Your Career - Online Webinar Series

Our “Kick-Start your Career” Series has more information available about all aspects of career planning and job preparation.

You can watch our recorded presentation “Do you have the skills employers want?” for more specific tips about the skills that employers find valuable, how they look for those skills within applications, and how you can identify your own unique set of skills so that you can match those to the jobs you are applying seeking.

View Kick-Start Your Career Series


Get help with your career planning or job preparation

Current and recently graduated students can book an appointment using the links below, or by calling TAFE SA Customer Support on 1800 882 661. Support is available for recently graduated students for 12 months after completing your training with TAFE SA. 

Note: All resume support appointments are encouraged to be booked as online virtual appointments using Microsoft Teams.  This will allow us to share our screens and look at your resume together in real-time. 

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