Transferable Skills To Add to Your CV This Year

Transferable skills can help you jump from one career to another. How can you list these skills on your CV?



Table of Contents

  1. Transferable Skills
  2. What Are Transferable Skills?
  3. The Difference Between Transferable Skills and Soft Skills
  4. Best Ways To Describe Your Transferable Skills on a CV
  5. FAQ: Transferable Skills

Transferable Skills

If you’re currently looking to change careers, you may hear a lot about “transferable skills.” What are transferable skills, why do they matter and how can you capitalize on them for your CV? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are simply skills that are easy to transfer from one job to another. They’re skills that will benefit you in a variety of contexts, not just the ones that you initially learned them in. Here’s a list of transferable skills that you might already possess:

  • Communication skills
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Active listening
  • Adaptability
  • Project management
  • Punctuality
  • Social media management
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Calculating budgets
  • Advanced writing skills

As you can see, these job skills are all skills that are very valuable when applying to a variety of industries in a number of different situations. You may have learned specific skills in a particular context, but you can take those skills to many different job roles. These skills are often used in a situation where you need new skills — for example, when you go through a career change.

The Difference Between Transferable Skills and Soft Skills

When looking at the above list, you might notice that a significant number of them are soft skills. What’s the difference between a transferable skill and a soft skill?

A transferable skill is any skill you can take with you to a new job, whereas a soft skill is a skill that details how you interact with other people and with the world at large. All soft skills are transferable skills; collaboration, for example, is a transferable skill, because being able to collaborate successfully with people is a useful ability in nearly every job.

However, not all transferable skills are soft skills, because even hard skills can be transferable. If you learned technical writing skills at a previous job, that’s a hard skill, but it’s also a skill you can take with you to any other job that requires technical writing. If you can think of a way to use a skill at another job, it’s considered a transferable skill.

Best Ways To Describe Your Transferable Skills on a CV

When you’re preparing to list your transferable skills, here are a few best practices to make sure potential employers understand your skills:

  • Don’t refer to skills as “transferable skills.” Just refer to them as skills.
  • Showcase how these skills can transfer to your new job by providing examples of achievements from previous work. For example, if you’re looking into banking, you could showcase a previous achievement in a customer service role where your cash transaction records were always accurate, indicating that you never had any issues with cash handling.
  • Look at the job listing to see what skills the hiring manager is looking for.
  • Only list your most important skills that connect with the new job listing.

Remember, it doesn’t matter where your transferable skills come from. Whether you’re great at delegating tasks because you learned it at a previous job or because of your education, won’t matter. It simply matters because you possess the skill of delegating tasks. Be sure to showcase such skills on your CV.

FAQ: Transferable Skills

Q: What industries have the most transferable skills?

All industries, even industries that have very specialised skills, will have a need for transferable skills. If you’re good at meeting deadlines and motivating other workers at your current job, those are examples of transferable skills. You just need to discover how your current skills can help you in a new job. Looking at the job description and scanning for keywords that match with skills you currently have can help tremendously.

Q: How many transferable skills are there?

There are basically an unlimited number of transferable skills. Anytime you learn how to do something at a job, you’re learning a skill. If you can then take that skill to another job, it’s considered transferable. Take a few moments to think about your current job position and the technical skills you demonstrate on a daily basis. Many will be transferable if applicable to the next job. Your competencies in JavaScript and CSS are transferable skills as long as the job postings you’re applying to are looking for competency in JavaScript and CSS.

Q: How can I learn more transferable skills?

One great way to learn transferable skills is through certification and training. Writing that you “know HTML” doesn’t give hiring managers much insight about your expertise, but if you showcase a certification with Exam 70-480, a Microsoft programming exam, your hiring manager can easily see that you are proficient. Plus, some certification courses include training; FreeCodeCamp can teach you HTML and give you a certification, all in one. Search the internet for “[skill] certification” to see what courses may be available
Additionally, it’s a good idea to think about how you can use all the skills you’re developing through work experience even if you move to another industry. Put your time and energy into learning transferable skills. When you get assigned to team projects, take that time to learn how other people work, not just how to do a specific team project for today.


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