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Transferable Skills  

Transferable skills are the ones that can be taken from job to job. Everyone has transferable skills, even if they don't realize it.
Last Updated: Apr 4, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Examples of Transferable Skills

Interpersonal Skills

- Resolving conflicts
- Being a good team player
- Motivating people
- Assisting others
- Responding to concerns

Organizational Skills

- Planning
- Meeting deadlines
- Being on time
- Setting and attaining goals

Communication Skills
- Advising people
- Giving instructions
- Articulating thoughts well
- Explaining things clearly
- Public speaking
- Teaching

Leadership Skills
- Making decisions
- Delegating tasks
- Holding meetings
- Teambuilding
- Planning

Personal Skills

- Patience
- Resilience
- Self-awareness
- Persistence
- Self-confidence

Good with Hands
Operating equipment
- Building/Making things
- Using tools
- Fixing things
Good with Numbers
Making a budget
- Calculating numbers
- Being precise
- Conducting transactions

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are key in the modern job market. These are the skills that are applicable to any job, regardless of your experience or qualifications. Transferable skills are always useful, but particularly if you are changing career path or have a large gap in your work history. So with that said, it's important for you to identify what your strongest transferable skills are, and how to market them.

People are often surprised by just how many transferable skills they have developed over the years. Many people are particularly worried after leaving the job market to raise children. They feel their skills have become outdated and employers will be put off by their lack of recent experience. Admittedly, this sometimes can be true, and a person with a large gap in their history does face certain challenges. However, you can also use this situation to your advantage. For instance, someone who has spent the past decade raising four kids most certainly knows how to create and maintain a financial budget. They probably also have developed skills in problem solving and conflict resolution. These are transferable skills, and these are the tools you can wield to get yourself back into the job market. 


Changing Career Path/Returning to Work

If you’ve been out of work for a while, you may believe that you don’t have many transferrable skills. Perhaps you’ve been raising children for the past decade. This is not necessarily a disadvantage. Even at home you develop transferrable skills, and you can use these in your application. For instance, a mother of three would definitely have developed skills in setting and managing a budget, and probably would’ve got plenty of experience in problem solving and settling disputes. These are things you could bring up as strengths when applying for a job.

If you’re struggling to find a job opportunity because you’ve been out of work for a long time, you may want to look into volunteer work in the short term. This can give you a foot in the door and make you far more appealing to potential employers when your dream job shows up on the market.

Another thing you keep in mind if you’re changing career and lacking experience/qualifications, is to try and talk up your enthusiasm and passion for the job. If you were previously in an administrative role and now applying for a job at a fabric store, it can help you to talk about how sewing has always been your great passion and even though you were fired, you’re eager to turn it into a positive because you now have the opportunity to pursue the career goals that you’ve always been excited about. Employers want someone who is going to be happy to turn up to work every day, and be enthusiastic to work hard.


How to Identify Your Skills

Need help identifying your transferable skills? Click here to download our transferable skills worksheet, print it, fill it out, and keep it as a useful reference when writing your resume, cover letter or preparing for an interview.



Feel like you need more detailed, personalized advice on transferable/soft skills, or perhaps some other aspect of your job hunt? Check out our Book-A-Librarian program!


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