Transferable Skills

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What are transferable skills

Transferable skills are acquired during any activity in your life: classes, jobs, projects, parenting, hobbies, sports. These functional are required in many different problem-solving and task oriented situations. Your goal is to emphasize these skills in a way that makes them applicable to the job for which you are applying.

Transferable skills go beyond what you learn in a formal context.  Everything you do has the potential to help you gain and develop transferable skills.  Examples include:

  • Presentation - Clear communication to others, visual representation of concepts, passing knowledge over to others clearly.
  • Computer / Social Networking – Adept with technology, communicative, involved.
  • Administration / Organisation – Prioritisation, maintaining control, strong time management.
  • Literacy / Writing – Make points clearly, argue with reason, persuade and convince, communicate information to a range of people.
  • Evaluation / Critical Thinking – Provide solutions, take a broad perspective, confidently engage with concepts.
  • Information Gathering / Research – Quickly uncover what’s important, know where to go and how to find information, able to assess a broad selection of ideas.
  • Numeracy / Economic / Monetary – Mathematical solutions, data processing, interpret/produce/explain statistics.
  • People / Groups / Teamwork – Communication, empathy, dealing with others, open both to debate and collaborate.
  • Customer Service – Helping others, calm under pressure, public facing, listening to others.
  • Management / Past Responsibility – Delegate, set up projects, deal with difficult situations.
  • Communication / Verbal / Explanation – Discuss clearly, deal with wide range of people, put concepts across competently.

Why they are important on a resume

These are the skills most highly sought after by employers and are your most marketable assets. more...

How to identify them

Begin compiling a list and completing this worksheet. You have gained transferable skills from various areas of life.

Skills gained in college

Tim Mathieson comes up with a great list of 10 transferable skills you learned during your college education. Review that list, and come up with more of your own.

Quintessential Careers has more ideas about Emphasizing your Classroom Transferable and Marketable Skills

Skills gained on the job and activities outside of the classroom

O*NET Online provides a keyword search tool that lists job skills based on career field. Search the list for those of your skills you can transfer to the job you're seeking, and check out this list of all-purpose skills.

Get more help identfying more by completing the Transferable Skills survey from the Universirty of Minnesota-Duluth.

How to include them on a resume

To know what skills to emphasize and how to talk about them, do some research on the employer and complete a position description analysis. Your relevant transferable and Job-specific skills will be what you emphasize when you write the accomplishment statements on your resume.

A more thorough discussion of how to strategically portray your transferable job skills.

I'm still struggling with understanding what Transferable Skills are.

This site has some great articles that explain Transferable Skills for Job-Seekers in more detail.