Transferable Skills – Definitions | Types | Examples

transferable skills
(Last Updated On: September 9, 2019)

Transferable skills are skills that are relevant and helpful in different areas of life: socially, professionally, and in school. These are ‘carrying skills’.

People usually think about their transferable skills when applying for a job or thinking about a career change. Employers often look for people who can demonstrate a good set of transferable skills.

Transferable skills are a must when you change your career or transition from military to civilian life.

What is transferable skills?

Transferable skills, as the name implies, are skills that can be transferred from one field to another. These are often referred to as carrying skills as you carry them from job to job.

The term transferable skills collectively refers to a set of skills that are relevant and useful in different areas of life.

Due to their versatility, placement skills are of interest to any employer regardless of the industry.

Communication skills are often referred to as one of the most important transferable skills. Above all, the ability to communicate effectively with other people always comes in handy in both professional and personal contexts.

Lack of direct experience is not a hindrance to a new job

You might think that the lack of relevant, industry-specific experience will prevent you from getting a job, but this is not always the case. If you are changing careers, recently graduating, or looking for your first job, you will be pleased to know that employers often look for prospects. Therefore, it is important for you to sell your prospects by demonstrating the transferable skills you have already developed.

Employers generally look for competencies and qualities that they recognize to be present in effective workforce. These soft skills, such as being able to communicate effectively in a variety of situations, demonstrate initiative, creativity and integrity and have a good work attitude are valuable across all industries.

Agencies often use psychometric tests of some size in the interview and / or selection process – these national tests are designed to determine a candidate’s personality type, skills, abilities and skills, and to measure their likelihood rather than pure experience. We provide an interpersonal skills self-assessment that can help you understand your own strengths and weaknesses.

Your transferable skills

The best thing about transferable skills is that you may already own most of them. Even without knowing it.

All skills and abilities can be transferable – depending on where and when they are relocating.

When applying for a job, you should keep in mind, the type of letter you apply for or the type of transferable skills in your CV or resume should be related to the position you are applying for.

You may find it appropriate to list examples of transferable skills and to include them in the following list – there are literally thousands of words and phrases that can describe transferable skills, and we include only a few common issues.

Remember that employers are seeing your potential. Whenever there is a risk factor in hiring new people, think carefully about the kind of skills you want to emphasize and the skills you can demonstrate to minimize your risk of focusing on how to choose an example.

Listening

Are you a good listener?

Employers generally complain about their employees’ inability to hear effectively, and Richard Branson effectively makes hearing loss one of the most important skills we have in developing.

In many job roles you need to understand and process important or critical information because not listening effectively can lead to potentially costly mistakes, misunderstandings, and lost opportunities.

Most people think they are a better listener than others – see our page: Listening to misconceptions for more information. However, most of us can benefit from learning and practicing effective listening techniques. Spend some time thinking and learning about how to listen effectively. See our page on Active Listening. Can you give an example of when you have used hearing skills effectively?

Transferable skills worksheet
Transferable skills worksheet

Team work

Work effectively in a group or group to achieve your goals.
In many cases you will be expected to work as part of a team. Identifying your ability to work with others will help reassure employees that you will be ‘fit’ and make valuable contributions.

Think of examples of when you worked well with others in a formal or informal group to achieve results. Can you give an example of how you worked on decision making and problem solving as part of a group? Think about how you overcome problems and mention your own success. Use examples from previous work experience, such as education, or being a member of a social or sports team.

Leadership

Demonstrate initiative and leadership ability

You are probably not applying for a role that requires leadership skills, but you may well need to identify your ability to lead in certain situations.

You have a lot of skills to be an effective leader so think of examples as you help motivate others, take responsibility and lead effectively, in accomplishing your objectives and goals. You should also consider whether you can delegate effectively and if you are happy to ask for help when needed. Do you have a charismatic personality and you become more charismatic and what can you do to build relationships with others?

Related: Right Leadership Styles – Which Leadership Models are Motivating

Written communication

Write accurately, clearly, and concisely in different styles.
Many job roles require an element of writing skills. Your writing style may need to be frequently adapted, generate reports, press releases, marketing materials, letters or emails, and you may need to write to the web, subscribers, shareholders and colleagues.

Think of examples of when you write ideas and information effectively. In education you have produced essays, dissertations or project reports, perhaps you have contributed articles to local or social publications, or have examples of your writing skills from past work or volunteer experience.

Personal development

Know yourself and look for ways to grow.

Personal development is an attractive quality to employers. By proving that you are interested in learning and making progress, you will likely be seen as passionate and willing to accept new challenges.

Personal Development About assessing your own performance and recognizing your personal strengths and weaknesses It may seem intuitive to mention weaknesses to a potential employer, but talking about the steps you take to improve and learn new skills is a sign of good self-awareness.

Management

Yet another invaluable transferable skills. You do not have to be a manager to have management skills. Management skills cover a broad spectrum: from project management to people management to time management or action planning. Use this valuable transferable skill to your advantage.

Personnel management
Manage the project
Time management
Dispute Resolution
Finance
Budgeting
Logistics
Organizational skills
Collection
Action plan
Threat management

Information Technology

Use computers and technology effectively.

Many tasks require you to use word processing, spreadsheets and web-based software on a daily basis. But think beyond these basic IT skills. Are you confident about using a computer? How can you quickly learn to use new software and new technologies? Can you solve basic computer problems and can you understand the importance of data protection and privacy?

We are living in a world where technical skills are essential. Even when your work is not centered around technology, you are rarely expected to have a working knowledge of office suites.

Your computer and technical skills are easily transferable from one job to the next, and the more you are able to offer, the greater your employment.

Remember, technology changes at high speed, and so do the way we all work. That’s why it’s important to continue to have technologies that give you the upper hand in your professional field.

Office Suite (MS Office, G-Suite, Eye Work)
Database management
Social media
Web (HTML, CSS, CMS, SEO, etc.)
Problem solve
Equipment installation and configuration
Graphics
Maintenance of equipment
Analytic justice
Typing

Transferable skills
Transferable skills

Communication

The most important of them all is transferable skills. Successful communication is important regardless of the situation. And whether you want to communicate your ideas to the world or have a conversation with a colleague is not a consideration.

Communication is a two-way process – it’s about self-expression and listening to others.

If you can’t get your word out or focus on what you’re being told then you definitely need to improve your communication skills.

Verbal communication
Written communication
Interpersonal communication
Written communication
Hearing
Gifts
Public Speaking
Establish relationships
Short talk
Establish relationships
Discussion
Got it
Discussion

Verbal communication

Speak clearly and dynamically in different situations.
Employers often require staff with strong verbal communication skills. Are you able to communicate information and ideas clearly and effectively in different situations?

Think about your verbal communication skills and how you address both the others’ face and group situations. Give examples of presentations or conversations you have given in previous employment, education or as part of a social group. Demonstrate how you can interact face-to-face with different people. Can you be bold? Are you gentle Can you approach strategy and diplomacy when needed? Can you talk in such a way to inspire or inspire others? Can you communicate complex ideas in a logical, ordered, and concise manner? Can you demonstrate your ability to negotiate effectively? Can you keep cool on heated exchanges?

Inspiring Others

Arguably, the master is the most difficult of the transferable skills.

Leadership and management skills are often shrinking, but they are not the same.

About management skills. Leadership is about inspiration.

Leaders inspire and set a model to follow. They are great communicators and their soft skills are beyond compare.

People follow true leaders not because of seniority level, but because of the depth they think it is the right thing to do.

Motivation
Coaching
Representative
Cooperation
Creativity
Give Feedback
Promise
Strategic thinking
Critical thinking
Communication
Influencing

Self motivation, agency and time management

Manage and prioritize your workload and time effectively

In addition to being able to work effectively in a group situation, you may need to work alone and take responsibility for your time and work.

It is important that you have effective time management and personal organizational skills displayed to potential employers. In your cover letter, CV, resume or during an interview, cite examples that show how you have invested resources and resources to achieve your goals. Think about how you use time management skills on a daily basis. You can demonstrate effective prioritization of tasks, how can you avoid interruptions and meet deadlines? It can also be useful to think of times when you were active without responding to situations and workloads.

How do you handle personal stress levels, especially when meeting deadlines or trying to balance numerous tasks? Any job can be stressful, and although a certain amount of stress can be beneficial, it can be dangerous for you and costly for the organization.

Research and analytical skills

Why does business exist? Because they help people solve problems. The more effective they are at solving problems, the better they think. Now, problem solving skills are part of a larger set of analytical skills.

Among all transferable skills, employers pay the highest value for analytical skills. In fact, it’s hard to find a job offer that they don’t need. Why?

Because those who analyze, think and help solve problems, are the ones who help businesses to grow successfully.

Transferable skills checklist
Transferable skills checklist

Collect, interpret, and analyze data

It may be worthwhile to demonstrate your research, analysis and critically the ability to evaluate data. There may be a variety of critical information that you need to work with and understand, for example sales statistics, new product and supplier specifications, technical reports and financial information.

Although certain skills related to business vocabulary and numbers may be required, there are some more generic skills. You can make good use of this national skill while teaching.

Analytical skills

brainstorming
Communication
Creativity
Explaining data and metrics
Data Mining
Diagnostics
Forecast
Organization
Problem solve
Report
Research
Theory
Problem solve

Efficiency of numbers

Work on numbers accurately and effectively

If you are not applying for a job or pursuing a career in mathematics or statistics, it is likely that some basic concepts of numbers will be useful. Most jobs require some number of skills. Numbers are a field that is often cited as a lack of employers – especially among graduates.

You will be able to demonstrate that you can work with statistics, calculate, understand graphs, charts and simple statistics, and identify important numerical data and trends. See our Number Skills section for assistance.

What are your transferable skills?
What are your transferable skills?

Take away

The good news is that you already have transferable skills – you have acquired these national skills and skills throughout your life, at school, and perhaps at university, at home and in your social life and work experience.

It is often important to identify and exemplify examples of the transferable skills you have developed – it will go a long way in convincing potential employers that you are right for the job.

Most people will have at least three separate careers during their career and many skills used in one will be transferable to the other.

Basic skills are:

Communication

Written communication
Interpersonal communication
Discussion
Got it
Discussion

Analytical skills

Communication
Creativity
Problem solve
Report
Research

Management

Man management
Time management
Dispute Resolution
Action plan
Organizational skills

Leadership

Motivation
Coaching
Representative
Cooperation
Promise

Computer and technical skills

Office suite
Villagers
Web
Equipment installation and configuration
Typing

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