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Center for Career and Calling

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.

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?