Top 5 Transferable Skills

Posted June 11, 2019, by Elesha

Transferable skills are a huge asset.  We’ve listed 5 key transferrable skills you’ll want to highlight when applying for that next role or promotion; many employers value them as highly as technical knowledge. If you’re looking to switch careers or returning to work after a career break and unsure about what you can bring to a new position, this is a must read!

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills, also known as soft skills, are those you can take with you and apply across a broad range of jobs.  In the simplest sense, transferable skills are any non-technical skills. Honing these skills can help link your past experience with your future career goals.

Unlike technical/tangible skills – like how to write software code or use MYOB – transferable skills are more about who you are and how you act; these skills can be acquired through professional and personal experience.

Highlighting transferable skills on your CV is especially important if you are planning to reinvent your career and get started in a brand new industry. You need to be able to take inventory of your existing skills and work out how to translate them for another role, particularly if you’re planning to make quite a significant career change.

The Top 5 Transferable Skills

You love solving problems

Great problem solvers observe the current processes or products and have a real knack for identifying what could be improved and how. They love tackling a problem; seeing it as a chance to learn, grow and are usually out of the box thinkers.

Key traits of a problem solver include –

  • The ability to deeply analyse a problem from all angles
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Logical thinking
  • Persuasion

Every business has undiscovered opportunities but sometimes these opportunities look like problems, to begin with. Employers want problem-solvers on their team to come up with ways to work through roadblocks and turn them into opportunities for innovation. 

You’re super organised

Organisation! It’s one of the classic transferable skills that will benefit any role and industry. If you’re confident managing your time, thinking ahead and are capable of tracking and managing multiple projects at once you’ll make a real asset to any team.

Key traits of an organised employee include –

  • Great time management skills
  • Planning
  • Tidy and organised physical space
  • Clear communication
  • Consistency with systems
  • Prioritisation

Those with good organisational skills are calmer and more prepared thanks to their systematic planning.

You’re a team player

A great team player is a backbone for any team and one of the transferable skills many employers will look for.

Key traits of a team player include –

  • Clear communication
  • Upbeat, positive attitude
  • Reliable
  • Goes the extra mile
  • Self-motivated
  • Encourages and supports other team members

Employers want to see their staff work well together towards common goals. Real team players share credit and accept responsibility, build rapport within the team and across the wider business and are open to hearing their colleagues ideas and solutions.

You’re dependable

Never underestimate the value of dependability. No matter your role or industry, every employer loves a dependable team member. They’re the ones that can be relied upon for their capability to do the job well and consistently deliver excellent results.

Key traits of a dependable employee include –

  • Commitment
  • Consistency
  • Strong work ethic
  • Self-motivation
  • Team player
  • Organised

They show up on time, do what they say they’ll do and build great working relationships because they’re known for their steady work ethic and consistent performance.

You know how to lead

Even if you’re not applying for a leadership role, you can still highlight your capability to lead in certain situations as one of your transferable skills. Think about how you’ve led a project and helped motivate other team members to reach a goal or rally around a cause.

Key leadership traits include –

  • The ability to motivate others
  • Negotiation
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organisation
  • Management skills
  • Critical thinking and problem solving

Not all leaders work in senior management, this is one of the transferable skills that you can work to hone at any stage of your career.

What Are Your Transferable Skills?

We’ve listed 5 of the top transferable skills here but there are many more you can include on your CV, including this list of 21 soft skills. Use these lists as a jumping off point to craft your own personal list of transferable skills.

If you’re making a big career change, take a look through job adverts for the kind of roles in the new industry you want to move to. List out all the skills you find in the job description and use this as a guide for identifying your transferable skills and how you may be able to fit yourself into the role description. 


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