Transferable Skills

Many people who want to change a career buy into the myth that it is near impossible to change sectors if they have been in a certain industry for a long time.  This is simply not true.

In our tight job market employers are looking for a candidate that will give them more for their money so people with a wider skill set who can work across a number of areas are of particular interest.

This is a key advantage for job seekers who are looking at changing careers.  It also provides an advantage to the job seekers that has held a variety of roles in their past and is looking to do something different.

Everyone has transferable skills of great use to employers in different industry sectors that are facing talent shortages and skill gaps.

So, what are transferable skills?

  1. Transferable skills are skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across different areas of life:  socially and professionally. Think of them as “portable skills”.
  2. Transferable skills are part of what makes you different and marketable – your brand – is your skills.
  3. Transferable skills strengthen your core function skills and make you a desirable employee across industries and functions.
  4. All skills can be transferable – depending on where they are being transferred to and from.

As a job seeker looking for a new job/career, take time to identify your transferrable skills as you determine your next career and most importantly when you design your resume and interview!

So how do you do this?  It’s as easy as 1,2,3

1.     Think about the following:

  • Things you love to do
  • Aspects you are really good at
  • Personal Qualities
  • Specific work experiences
  • Things you are passionate about
  • Then highlight the items that are transferrable

2.     Write down all of the skills/job responsibilities you have had at your previous jobs.  Identify the ones you are good at and enjoy doing.

3.     Need help identifying them?  Ask a colleague, friend, past employer, family member, etc, to help you identify these skills.


Now you are ready to put your resume together!

Highlight your transferable skills at the top of your resume.  Consider replacing an objective (which can many times be very vague) with a listing of some of your key transferable skills.

Be sure to pull transferable skill words that align with the job description or the company website of the company you are applying

Be ready to highlight specific examples as to how you have used and developed these transferable skills as you prepare for your interviews.

Examples include: 

  • Effective communication skills/listening skills
  • Leadership/Initiative
  • Strong work ethic/Time Management
  • Goal Driven
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solver/Decision Maker