35 Transferable Skills: Definition and Examples

Transferable skills can help you get a new job even without the right experience. With this article, you will be able to identify, develop and use your transferable skills in your new job.

All of us write about our skills briefly when applying for a job. As a matter of fact, mentioning our skills on a resume is very important: it helps the future employer to know whether we can fit into the job and perform well in that position.

This isn’t a new system and has been going on for centuries when Resumes and Curriculum Vitae or CV became important for employers to choose candidates.

However, employers and recruiters nowadays aren’t merely interested in your job skills. It’s clear that if you’re working somewhere, you’ll have some skills at the job. And, if you’re a fresher, you wouldn’t have any skills, except for any internships that you’ve done in the past.

Therefore, employers nowadays look for something known as ‘transferable skills.’

Transferable Skills

Secret that Employers Don’t Tell

The term ‘transferable skill’ might sound confusing to some of us. But, there’s nothing to worry about. As a matter of fact, all of us have enough transferable skills, including a fresher job applicant. The only thing that we neglect is mentioning these transferable skills on our Resume and CV, in most cases.

 So, here’s a well-kept secret that no employer or recruiter will tell you: they decide to accept or reject your application depending on the number of transferable skills that you mention on the Resume or CV.

 Of course, this doesn’t mean that your application will be thrown away in the nearest trashcan or deleted from the computer. Your application might also be considered.

However, the candidate that writes their transferable skills on the resume or CV will have a better chance of making it to the interview.

Therefore, if you wish to get a fair chance and get an interview call, I strongly recommend that you also add transferable skills to the Resume or CV.

Doing this will attract the employer, and you would get a good chance to compete with other jobseekers for the same position.

Understanding Transferable Skills

This brings us to the next and most important question: what are transferable skills? In this article, I will explain completely what transferable skills are. I will also write about 35 different transferable skills and explain why they’re important to employers and recruiters.

Therefore, I strongly recommend you to read this article till the end. It can help secure your dream job by helping to find your transferable skills for mentioning on a Resume or CV.

In simplest words, transferable skills are those skills that are relevant to your present job and can carry them to a future job. They’re also known as portable skills.

Transferable skills or portable skills are also those skills that don’t depend on any employer. Usually, we acquire these skills during childhood and adolescence as well as life experiences, hobbies, and lots more.

As a matter of fact, some psychologists claim that some transferable skills are also innate or inborn. This means, we are born with these skills and it only requires some practice to use them correctly.

In fact, psychologists believe that we’re born with a lot of transferable skills while education and work only help to develop them and put these skills to proper use, for our career growth and social life.

This means, you definitely have transferable skills, even as a fresher job seeker or with some experience.

Therefore, I will go further and describe the 35 top transferable skills that you could mention on your resume or CV while applying for a job. That could help you get the dream job with a top employer.

Top 35 Transferable Skills for Jobs

Here’s my curated list of 35 top transferable skills for jobs. Actually, there’re more than 100 such transferable skills, but some aren’t really important for employment.

Before you read, remember it’s not necessary or even important that you should have all these 35 transferable skills. Therefore, I recommend once again that you read this article fully because you can find what transferable skills you have.

Also Read: 5 Tips to Help Unemployed Parents to Get New Job Skills

1. Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence or EI is the greatest transferable skill in demand in 2022. This demand is expected to surge further. Emotional Intelligence means your ability to quickly sense the emotions of a person or group and respond accordingly with words and suitable actions.

2. Online Working Skills


As we’re all aware, we’re living in the so-called ‘new-normal’ in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, most of us are expected to work from home, since employers prefer keeping offices closed.

Or, they operate with minimal office staff. Therefore, if you can work online, this is a transferable skill that’s in high demand in the job market.

3. Remote Collaboration


If you’re applying for a senior position that includes guiding and supervising a team, remote collaboration is a transferable skill that’s almost a must-have nowadays.

This means you would know how to use various video-conferencing software and be able to gently guide a remote team to get the work done. It also involves the ability to work round-the-clock since some remote team members would be staying across different time zones.

4. Multitasking


Multitasking is the ability to do more than one task during the course of the day. This is a highly desirable transferable skill that’s necessary for every field of work.

Nowadays, employers prefer workers that are able to multitask since they can easily handle several responsibilities at the same time. This reduces the chances of losses due to other workers not coming for work for any reason and ensures that work continues smoothly.

5. Convincing Power


Convincing power means your ability make customers want to buy a product or service. It also means, telling your juniors why something is important and getting it done efficiently as well as on time.

Many people know their own work skills but can’t communicate what has to be done, to others. And when they do, they can’t really convince someone that it’s important. Therefore, if you have convincing power, you’ve one of the best transferable skills in the world.

6. Working Under Pressure


Millions of employees worldwide aren’t able to handle work pressure. Actually, work pressure is normal and in fact, it helps us complete large tasks on time. Yet, millions of people view it as something unwanted or undesirable and leave their jobs.

However, if you have the ability to work under pressure, you can find some excellent jobs with this transferable skill. Only people that have enough experience and good work skills can work under pressure because they know what’s to be done.

Also Read: 25 Most Stressful Jobs in America

7. Work from Home


This might come as a surprise to many. Or, you might believe this is some joke. Yet, I’m serious when I say that working from home is a major transferable skill nowadays. It’s different from online working or remote collaboration for many reasons.

Anyone can work online or collaborate with a remote team. However, working from home requires intense concentration and an ability to ignore all kinds of minor distractions that’re common at home. It means, keeping the focus on the work at hand and remaining efficient.

Also Read: 25 Legit Online Work From Home Jobs For Moms

8. Working with Flexible Hours


Again, countless people falsely believe they would be happy with flexible work hours. During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, this myth was shattered.

Most people that wanted to work with flexible hours, found they couldn’t cope with it due to demands on their time at home or for other personal tasks.

Working with flexible hours requires an intense degree of discipline and control. It means, creating a proper schedule to work and ensuring that all tasks are completed within that time.

9. Work Discipline


While it’s fine to work from home, with flexible hours, one of the greatest transferable skills that all employers require is work discipline.

Because there would surely be a time when you would once again have to report to work at the office or a factory or some other location. This means you’ve to report for work on time and ensure that all tasks for the day are completed to the best of your abilities.

10. Online Training Skills


For those in senior and supervisory positions, online training skills truly matter to all employers nowadays. This means you should be able to train juniors and even peers online about various skills that’re important for daily work and to increase the productivity of the organization.

If you’ve participated in online training and can give a few courses to your juniors and peers, highlight this skill on the Resume or CV. Though there’re lots of online training programs available now, employers generally prefer someone from the organization who gives training for others.

11. Online Interview Skills


Also, for persons in senior and supervisory positions, online interview skills can help you get a superb job too. During the new normal, most employers interview jobseekers online.

In such cases, it’s hard to read the body language of the candidate and notice other details, since they’re before a camera and not in person.

However, if you can read the body language of a jobseeker and clearly find whether a person is good enough to hire, employers would definitely consider you. They need someone at the senior level that can efficiently conduct online interviews.

Also Read: 30 Proven Zoom Interview Tips To Get Your Dream Job

12. Conflict Resolution


Conflict resolution means the skill to sort out differences between two persons or groups at work and get a favorable outcome. This is a very useful skill, especially at larger organizations, where you could have several unhappy employees.

It also involves resolving any issues with external parties such as customers and suppliers, banks and financial institutions, or just anyone that’s important to the employer.

Conflict resolution requires that you avoid taking sides and be neutral enough to find an acceptable solution that eventually benefits the employer and their interests.

13. Time Management


Time management is something that we learn from childhood. That’s because schools function according to a set timetable or schedule. However, a lot of us lose this skill during college days, since we have the option of attending only a few classes, as necessary.

Time management means not merely managing your own time. It also involves creating realistic schedules for the team as well as the organization to achieve a specific target. And, planning how much time would each team member allot for a specific project, provisions for delays and efficiency, among others.

14. Written Communications


Written communications are a vital skill that’s transferable. That’s because communications are the core of any business. Unless we communicate properly with stakeholders, clients, suppliers, and others that have an interest in the business, it’s impossible to see profits.

Written communications nowadays have an altogether different meaning. It doesn’t merely involve writing letters or emails. Instead, it could mean a lot of other things such as writing content for the company website, creating reports of various kinds, and communicating with the team and seniors.

It’s well known that people that have clear communication skills are successful in life.

15. Verbal Communications


Verbal communications are also known as spoken communications or oral communications. Along with written communications, they form the backbone of any business serious about staying in business.

Verbal communications are how you can inform a team or seniors about work-related things such as targets, problems, requirements, and other stuff. Verbal communications are also an integral part of customer service.

Though a lot of companies nowadays use Artificial Intelligence or AI to communicate with customers, it can’t replace human intelligence. Therefore, companies hire call center agents or telephone operators to handle a call or queries.

16. Non-Verbal Communications


Non-verbal communications are usually the type that deals with body language. Instead of speaking or writing, the person conveys a message through gestures, and facial or eye expressions. This helps build relationships, both in personal life and career.

Non-verbal communications are important for customer service jobs and sales or marketing. That’s because this skill is useful in bonding with people. Topmost managers in all fields also use non-verbal communications with their team members.

17. Active Listening Skills


There’re two types of listening skills- active and passive. I will discuss both of them in this content. Active listening skills are somewhat self-explanatory. It simply means, you’re a good listener. Such skills are portable and generally, they’re innate or inborn.

If we observe closely, good listeners usually top at their studies at school and college. That’s because they’re attentive during these classes. They listen to what’s said and digest the words before responding. They don’t reply instantly or on impulse. Instead, they respond, after proper thought only.

18. Passive Listening Skills


Passive listening skills are something nobody will teach you. That’s the skill of picking up information and knowledge by listening to something while we’re busy. If you notice, we listen to music or radio while driving or cooking or doing any activity.

It doesn’t affect our work. Instead, it can add some pleasure to the tasks at hand. Similarly, passive listening skills help you to comprehend what’s going around at the workplace or in the market, or some relevant place. It helps you to understand a situation and respond accordingly.

Passive listening skills doesn’t mean you have to snoop or spy on people with your ears. Instead, it simply means keeping your ears open while doing your work. Technicians and engineers generally listen to sounds of machines to detect flaws.

19. Visual Skills


Visual skills are necessary for designers, photographers, artists, interior decorators, architects and lots of such professions. That’s because they have to see a location and decide what would suit the place the best, depending on available space and budget.

This helps them visualize and develop the best solutions for their customers. Surgeons, doctors and, paramedics, police and fire personnel also require visual skills. This helps them detect emergencies and abnormalities in anything, especially patients, crime scenes and disasters, among others.

20. Creativity


Creativity is a valuable portable skill. Most people mistake that creativity is a skill necessary only for designers, interior décor makers and those in arts and crafts or music. In fact, if you’re creative, you can also work at senior positions in marketing and sales.

That’s because these departments require a lot of online and offline ads. Therefore, if you’re creative, you can also suggest ads that people would love to watch. Creativity is also a skill for actors, models and those associated with the cine and ad industries.

21. Out-of-the-Box Thinking


In simple words, this means leaving your old ideas behind and thinking of doing something new. This is also a superb transferable skill. Because only a few people can actually think outside their set of given ideas or self-assumptions.

When you think outside the box, you can create new products and services for your employer. You could also find newer ways to market and sell these products and services. This means, you can easily overcome competitors that stick to older ways.

People love to try new things and when you use out-of-the-box thinking, it does attract customers. This skill is also useful for managerial positions and customer care staff.

22. Troubleshooting


Troubleshooting basically means finding solutions to various situations. This includes finding good solutions that help people or even to repair machinery. Troubleshooting means you would have a quick sense of analyzing a problem and resolving it at the earliest.

For example, you can troubleshoot a problematic customer at the front desk at a hotel by giving an option that satisfies them. Or, you could check a computer and find the flaws to fix it immediately.

These skills are important in every job, regardless of whether it involves troubleshooting with people or machines and other stuff.

23. Traveling Skills


Traveling for work definitely requires a lot of skills. That’s because you might have to arrive at a destination and get down to work immediately, without rest. This can be very hard for people that haven’t slept or had proper rest during their journey.

It involves working under pressure too and without exception, working away from the head office and home. These things can cause stress to anyone.

However, if you know how to travel for work during the previous or current job, include these on your Resume. Generally, some organizations require you to travel at short notice only.

24. Technical Skills


Technical skills don’t really mean that you should hold a degree in some trade. In fact, all of us have technical skills. It means, we’re able to fix something ourselves without waiting for a technician. This skill is very useful for office and factory workers.

You could use this skill to solve small problems with computers and machinery. However, if there’re major problems, you would have to await a technician. Fixing a small glitch immediately with your technical skills can help the employer save several man-hours.

25. Software Skills


Software skills, as we all would know, deal with various software that works on computers and mobiles. These are very specialized transferable skills that one can acquire only through a proper degree.

However, your software development or management skills don’t really depend on an employer. You can port them to another employer and use them for developing or testing or maintaining software.

26. Budgeting Skills


If you’re good at making budgets at your workplace and ensuring that all work and projects are completed within that amount of money, you’re in for a good surprise. Employers simply love people that can make realistic budgets and ensure that all work is done within the allotted money.

It saves them time, money and effort of a lot of staff. It also helps the employer earn better profits. Usually, all department heads are given a budget or have to work within a budget. If you have budgeting skills, these can prove essential for a good, senior job.

27. Analytical Skills


Analytical skills mean you can look deeply in a situation or problem or some plan of action and find pros and cons. Usually, every employer requires someone to analyze their plans and problems, since they can help find better solutions while avoiding repeats.

Analytical skills are also necessary for jobs such as data scientist, because you would be going over a lot of information to find out specific details.

28. Financial Skills


Financial skills pertain to the proper management of money at the organization. It involves keeping a check on accounts and ensuring that budgets are maintained well. It also involves analyzing sources of income and gateways of outflows of cash.

Usually, this job would involve millions of Dollars. One mistake can cost the employer a lot of money. Financial skills involve looking at expenses and finding realistic ways to curb those, finding ways and means to increase revenues of the organization and eliminating useless expenses.

29. Debating


Basically, debating means your ability to talk freely and present your point of view before a group or audience. This skill is very useful for lawyers and attorneys that have to debate a case before a court.

It is also useful when trying to get new licenses or taking questions from customers and resolving their doubts. Debating skills are rare and hence, those who possess them can find superb jobs in USA.

30. Presentation Skills


PowerPoint and other software are available for making presentations about a product, service, company projections and lots of others. However, not everyone is able to use such software and make presentations that’re simple and easy to understand.

Obviously, nobody is interested in listening to a long presentation that’s complex to understand. If you can use the software and make presentations before a group of people, these skills will prove handy. Financial consultants, insurance agents and lots of other professions require presentation skills.

31. Negotiation Skills


Negotiating a good deal for supplies of raw material or selling finished goods, settling a dispute and other such issues is a wonderful skill too. When you can negotiate with people, you’re giving the employer an opportunity to save or even earn a lot of money.

You might be able to get raw materials cheaper than competitors. Or find a bulk buyer. Or, negotiate and settle a dispute before it reaches a court and becomes public knowledge.

32. Business Etiquette


Business etiquette means your abilities to work properly with juniors and seniors by using the correct form of professional behavior. It also covers the larger picture of addressing customers and stakeholders or even writing emails and letters.

Business etiquette is important for making presentations and communicating with others. Unless you have proper business etiquette, success in any career is impossible.

33. Safety Skills


Safety skills are of utmost importance. They help save lives, protect people from injuries, save material and time. It helps avoid accidents. Safety skills are necessary for persons working at factories and industrial units, construction sites, hospitals and lots of other places.

It involves taking care of oneself and avoiding harm to people and property. This skill doesn’t depend on an employer because they are useful everywhere, including for personal life. If you have safety skills, mention that on your Resume.

34. Organizational Skills


Event management, getting a team to work on a major project, organizing a sales and marketing team all require superb skills. These are generally known as organizational skills.

They include a lot of things including emotional intelligence, verbal and non-verbal communications, visual communications and others.

That’s why successful people generally have superb organizational skills. They can get a lot of people to work towards a common goal, regardless of whether it’s celebrating at a party or working on a major engineering project.

35. Management Skills


Management skills come into play when you have to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of people that’re working alongside. These skills mean, you will allot work only to those people having the best experience in the field while others can focus on secondary work related to the same project.

It means that you can manage finances and budgets properly within a deadline and get the work done on time. Management skills are necessary for almost every supervisory position. In fact, a person becomes a “manager” only when they possess superb management skills.

Closing Thoughts

There’re a total of 100 portable skills or transferable skills. However, the ones I mention are the most important. You can mention one or more of your transferable skills from this list, on your Resume or CV while applying for a job. You can also state them in your cover letter.

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