Transferable Skills

One of the most important things you can learn in your career-search journey is how to articulate your worth to a prospective employer. Chances are you have sought-after skills you’ve never thought about. Understanding your transferable skills will assist you in preparing your résumé and your LinkedIn profile, help you in your interviews, and make you a stronger candidate overall.

A student building an art piece

Attention to detail might be a skill you already possess.

Transferable skills are skills you’ve developed in one setting that will be useful wherever you go, whatever you do.  Transferable skills can come from any number of experiences:

  • Summer jobs
  • Classes
  • Hobbies
  • Youth group activities
  • Student government
  • Class projects
  • Athletic activities
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work

Here are some of the transferable skills that can be even more important to employers than job experience, giving you a strategic edge over other candidates:

  • Ability to learn quickly. Are you able to do new things and carry out new responsibilities easily by watching others or by following instructions?
  • Adaptability. Are you able to learn a new task and work in different areas with different co-workers?
  • Amiability. Are you pleasant and engaging, easy for others to talk to and be with?
  • Analytical skills. Can you break down a problem in order to determine what is going on?
  • Attention to detail. Are you skilled at ensuring that things are done accurately, correctly, and precisely?
  • Communication skills. Do you speak and write well? Are you good at expressing your ideas, or explaining complex concepts or procedures?
  • Confidence. Do you believe in and feel good about yourself and your abilities?
  • Creativity. Can you use your imagination to come up with new ideas or solve problems? Can you think “outside the box”?
  • Customer service skills. Are you able to be friendly, patient, and polite with customers, even difficult ones, and to serve them well?
  • Decision-making skills. Are you good at making skilled judgment calls in difficult situations?
  • Dependability. Can you be counted on to do what you said?
  • Efficiency. Are you able to perform tasks in the quickest and simplest ways they can be performed?
  • Flexibility. Can you carry out many different responsibilities, sometimes with very little advance notice?
  • Goal-setting and goal-keeping skills. Are you good at setting goals for yourself and following through with them?
  • Helpfulness. Do you enjoy helping people solve their problems?
  • Listening skills. Are you able to listen well and pay attention to what others are saying?
  • Organization skills. Can you maintain order in your work environment?
  • Project management. Are you good at scoping projects and keeping track of all the pieces, details, and deadlines?
  • Punctuality. Are you always on time? Do you respect the old adage that if you’re not five minutes early you’re late? Do you meet deadlines?
  • Resourcefulness. Are you good at thinking of new, creative, and different ways to do things?
  • Supervisory skills. Are you able to supervise others well?
  • Teachability. Are you able to follow instructions well, and ask questions when you don’t fully understand instructions?
  • Time management skills. Are you good at juggling priorities and making the most of your time? Are you good at thinking ahead and making plans?
  • Trustworthiness. Can you be trusted to get the job done, to look after things even when no one is watching, to keep confidential matters confidential?
  • Troubleshooting skills. Are you able to figure out what the problem is, why there is a problem, and how to solve it?


Karen Altus

Why I Work at SPU

Karen Altus, Interim Associate Director

“On a good day I get to interact with bright students who are taking steps to get experience and find work. On a great day I support students struggling to understand their calling, and watch as they cultivate a life direction that boosts their self-confidence and motivates them to make a difference in the world.”

Resume Help

Need Help With Your Résumé?

Our career counselors are available to critique your résumé or even assist you in creating one. Contact us to make an appointment, or drop in for a 15-minute walk-in appointment 3–5 p.m. Monday–Friday. 

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