What Are Transferable Skills and How Do You Add Them to Your Resume?

If you are looking at changing your career, chances are that your expertise and skills are transferable to other jobs and industries and will be highly valued by different employers. Identifying your transferable skills will help you with your job search and determine your suitability for various occupations.

Transferable skills are the skills, abilities and knowledge you have acquired and demonstrated through your work, home life and volunteer or social activities that are applicable across different jobs or industries. Below is a list of some of the more common transferable skills that you may have acquired during your life.

Organisational and Administrative Skills:

  • Time Management: managing your own time to get the job done, which is useful in fast-paced work environments.
  • Research and Analytics: researching and collecting data, analysing, reporting on your findings and making recommendations.
  • Administration and Clerical: efficiently handling tasks like filing, paperwork and communications including phone or email, plus managing calendars and appointments.
  • Financial Management: developing and managing budgets, keeping financial records, fundraising or project managing.
  • Sales and Marketing: creating and implementing marketing ideas and strategies to sell a product or service.
  • Creative Thinking: generating new ideas and coming up with innovative solutions to problems.
  • Planning: managing yourself, others and available resources with a goal in mind, and creating plans for projects or events.
  • Technology or Digital Literacy: being able to use and quickly adapt to new technology, programs or tools.

Communication Skills:

  • Listening: the ability to take on what’s being communicated to you, and also interpreting and understanding it
  • Writing: involves creative writing and basic written word including reports, emails, letters, sales materials and articles.
  • Face-to-Face: communicating in person, including facilitating meetings, interviewing, persuading, negotiating, expressing ideas plus speaking in public or to groups.

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Cooperation: being able to collaborate, work well with others and effectively contribute to projects or tasks.
  • Empathy: putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to try and understand or relate to them.
  • Patience: the ability to handle situations and repeat processes when necessary.
  • Flexibility: ability to adapt to a new situation or change your approach when needed.

Leadership Skills:

  • Prioritisation and Delegation: deciding what needs to be done first and determining which jobs are necessary and who can best handle them.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: looking at problems, analysing them and coming up with solutions.
  • Coaching, Mentoring and Feedback: supporting and encouraging people to achieve goals, plus providing feedback and information on performance.

These transferable skills listed are some of the more common ones and can be applied across various employment sectors. When searching and applying for a job, review the role description carefully and identify which of your transferable skills are the most relevant to the position, linking the key words in the job advertisement and position description to details in your resume and cover letter. Highlighting your transferable skills throughout your resume, cover letter and during the interview process is necessary to give yourself the best chance at success, not only when applying for positions in your current field, but most importantly when you are changing careers. For career changers, a focus on relevant experience as well as transferable skills from other employment that carry over to the advertised role will help to bridge the gap and demonstrate to the employer your softer skills as well as your passion and enthusiasm for your new industry.

For further questions on highlighting your transferable skills and attributes in your application documents, send us an email, Facebook message or website enquiry for more details!

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