Identifying Transferable Skills

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 by Heather DuhigNo comments

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Identifying Transferable Skills


Transferable skills are essential when considering a career change or entry level roles. We are going to discuss how to highlight what they are, and how to market these on your CV or cover letter to aid your job search.

Transferable skills are a specific set of skills that do not relate to only one role or sector; they are generalised skills and abilities that can be transferred across different jobs, departments or sectors. These are valuable skills for employers, and give candidates who lack experience an opportunity to provide insight into their ability to effectively work in a role.

How to find your transferable skills?

The best way to discover the transferable skills you have is to start by listing all your previous jobs. This can also include experience outside of work such as volunteering, clubs or groups you attend and hobbies. Once you have a list, write down both the specific (hard) and transferable (soft) skills you needed for each role. This will help you in highlighting the reoccurring or more prominent soft skills you have acquired. If your skills are spread across a number of different jobs, consider editing your CV to a skills-based format to allow employers to clearly view your experience.

Once you have a comprehensive list of soft skills, you will want to ensure you have examples of each and make sure the most important ones for the job you are applying for are clear. A good way of recording your skills is to use the STAR method:

Situation: Describe the situation or task you needed to overcome

Task: What was the goal you were working toward?

Action: What actions did you take to address the situation?

Result: What was the outcome?


So, what are some transferable skills worth putting on your CV or cover letter?

There are many transferable skills, but how useful they are will depend on the specific job. Below we have outlined some of the most versatile soft skills, to find the ones most relevant to the job you want to apply for it would be worth reviewing those specific job specifications.


Leadership skills are valuable across different industries and jobs; Although leadership is typically seen as a skill for management positions, it can be transferred into many roles in some way or another. Leadership can include traits such as strong communication, relationship building and being trustworthy.


Strong communication skills are an asset in many different roles, at all different levels. Communication can include speaking, writing, active listening, adapting to audiences and nonverbal cues. Not only do these skills highlight your ability to work well in teams, it also shows employers you are able to adapt and transfer these skills according to the situation you are in.


Working well as part of a team is relevant to almost every job in which you work with others. Not only does it show you can use communication to build relationships, but also to work towards a common goal with other employees. From entry level roles to management positions, having the ability to work well in a team is an essential skill almost every business will require.  


It may seem obvious that companies would like someone with organisational skills, but being able to highlight in your CV or cover letter examples of this will help you towards getting a job in a variety of sectors. Personal organisation often gives the perception of someone with great time management, ability to balance a busy work schedule, and achieve goals within set time frames. These are all skills that can be used across many different jobs, but all indicate an ability to be successful.


Making a career move or landing an entry level role isn’t always easy and may take some time. We wish you the best of luck and hope this post helps to show employers exactly how valuable you are.



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