Transferable Skills

Learning Outcome

  • List transferable skills that will be valuable for any career path

Transferable (soft) skills may be used in multiple professions. In looking at this page for transferable skills, which are largely soft skills, start to think about the ones that apply to you and that you might refer to in your employment documents or employment conversations.

They include, but are by no means limited to, skills listed below:

Dependable and punctual (showing up on time, ready to work, not being a liability) Self-motivated Enthusiastic
Willing to learn (lifelong learner) Committed A good problem solver
Adaptable (willing to change and take on new challenges) Strong in customer service skills A team player
Good in essential work skills (following instructions, possessing critical thinking skills, knowing limits) Positive attitude Strong communication skills
Able to accept constructive criticism Ethical Safety-conscious
Strong in time management Honest

These skills are transferable because they are positive attributes that are invaluable in practically any kind of work. They also do not require much training from an employer—you have them already and take them with you wherever you go. Soft skills are a big part of your “total me” package. This is not to suggest that either you’re born with these skills or you’re not. Each of the skills listed above is different, and you will be stronger in some than in others. In addition, soft skills can be worked on and improved, and there are lots of resources to help develop them. Think of each soft skill like playing a sport—tennis, for example. Some people are inherently athletic and will pick up a racket and play well from their first time on a court. Other people will need lessons and lots of practice, but eventually, they can build up to a solid game—and have fun playing as well.

So, identify the soft skills that show you off the best, and identify the ones that prospective employers are looking for. By comparing both sets, you can more directly gear your job search to your strongest professional qualities.

Practice Question

10 Top Skills You Need to Get a Job When You Graduate

The following video summarizes the ten top skills that the Target corporation believes will get you a job when you graduate. As you watch this video, begin to think about which of these skills you might have and how you will demonstrate them to a potential employer in your application documents and interviews.

Note that the video has no narration. You can view the transcript for “10 top skills that will get you a job when you graduate” here (opens in new window).

How to Find a New Job–Transferable Job Skills

The following video covers similar information to the 10 Top Skills video above. Discover how to find a new job more easily by learning how to identify and describe your transferable job skills.

Remember, no one person is perfect for any job. Everyone has areas to emphasize and to de-emphasize.

Learn More

For more extensive exploration of your skills check out the following sources: