How To Identify Transferable Skills

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We’ve all heard of transferable skills by now. But what are they? How do you identify YOUR transferable skills? And once you’ve identified them, how do you describe them in ways an employer in a different field or company can grasp?

Put simply, transferable skills are skills that can be applied in different situations or environments. We all have them, but sometimes they can be hard to identify and describe.

Before getting into how to identify and talk about yours, let’s take a look at some classic examples of transferable skills and why they’re important.

TeachingCritical ThinkingProblem SolvingCoordinating
Relationship BuildingTeamworkListeningCustomer Service
ManagementOrganizationPublic SpeakingMentoring

As you can see from the table above, there’s lots of transferable skills, and you probably have a decent amount of these.

Let’s pause right quick. You might notice that these are generally what we’d also call “Soft Skills.” Soft skills are mostly interpersonal, while hard/technical skills are mostly industry or job specific. 

Part of why soft skills are so valued by employers is because they’re relatively difficult to teach. How many week(s) long trainings have you sat through at work where communication or collaboration was a big topic? And how many communication- or collaboration-related problems did you encounter at work after said training? Exactly.

Highlighting your transferable skills well will make you a much more attractive candidate because hiring managers know the value of soft skills: they’re absolutely necessary for success in the workplace.

So let’s take a look at how you can practice identifying and describing your transferable skills.


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