What are transferable skills (with Examples)

1 minute read | 14 September 2022

Transferable skills are the set of skills you use in every job regardless of the industry, field, or title. Most of these are what we call soft skills like communication and organisation. Think of it as accumulative knowledge that you gain from everything you do in life and that you can use in any professional setting. Because we are you Career Partner for life, we are here to help guide you through your career and provide as much recruitment knowledge as we can.

Transferable Skills.

All transferable skills are valued. However, depending on your position some might be more valuable than others. Employers are aware that employees with an extensive set of transferable skills can wear different hats when needed. For example, someone with analytical skills can likely examine a problem from all perspectives and help break down the options that exist for solving it. On top of this, employers understand that people with transferable skills have the tools to go beyond their job description, automatically becoming an asset to the company.

These are also important in other situations. If you are changing careers, transferable skills will play a crucial role in helping you make the switch. When you’re shifting from one career field to a different one, calling attention to your transferable skills helps demonstrate how you will be able to work efficiently. By taking the skills you already have and applying them to new challenges and environments will demonstrate that you’re adaptable and versatile.

The good news is you probably already have a set of transferable skills that you’ve developed throughout your life. It is very important that you can list these and give examples – this will make you stand out from other candidates when applying for a job or a promotion. Most job descriptions list a set of skills the employer wants from applicants and even if you don’t have all of them, showing you have a few will make you stand out.


1. Problem Solving
Problem-solving is one of the top skills to have. Independently of your role, employers value when an employee can identify a problem, its cause and find a way to implement a solution. Analytical reasoning comes hand in hand with this. It essentially entails understanding a larger problem and breaking it down into smaller issues to identify a solution using logical reasoning. Showing examples of this on your job interview will make you stand out from all the candidates.

2. Critical Thinking
Similar to problem-solving, critical thinking is the evaluation and interpretation process to make a judgement about a specific problem or situation. This helps make a difference between options and facts, to help make an informed decision.

  • Research and analytical skills: Being able to gather, interpret and analyse information is more important than you assume. Conducting research is a top transferable skill that can be put to use in many different roles.

3. Leadership
Although leadership encompasses other transferable skills such as relationship building, communication and problem-solving, it is still a very important and valuable skill to have. It will make you stand out if you have experience in a leadership position. This skill is not only the ability to manage and supervise a team but also, for example, take the lead on a project.

4. Adaptability
This is one of the skills you probably haven’t though of. In a nutshell, this entails demonstrating that you’re able to adapt to change and that you’re able to go with the flow and maintain a positive attitude. This can be with a range of different things, it might be adjusting due dates, your workflow, or a sudden change of plans.

5. Teamwork
Employers don’t value employees that don’t help the team accomplish its goals. They will always value team players who make positive contributions to help the group succeed. This is a very valuable skill because it’s the core to make a business succeed. In order for you to show you are a team player, it is essential that you remember that being put in a team and being part of the team are two separate things, so in your next interview or salary raise meeting, show examples of a time when you were a positive team player.
  • Similar to this is Relationship Building: the importance of this depends on your role, but relationships are an essential part of every business. This includes both internal relationships with your team members and colleagues from other departments and also relationships with clients.

6. Communication
This is a transferable skill relevant in any setting as you will have to communicate in every single job. This entails your ability to share ideas and information in a concise and clear manner. This doesn’t only apply to presentations or having meetings with your managers, but it also includes how you approach your team members and possibly clients.

7. Writing
Writing is a way of communication. Although writing may not be the primary source of communication, or not as much as verbal communication, it is very significant in most jobs. Employers will always value an employee with effective written communication skills specially in jobs that require a high number of emails and reports.

8. Creativity
Although creativity is often attached to design and artistic roles, it is actually a very important skill because it affects how you approach your tasks and problem solving. Being an out of the box thinker, will help you see things in a different light and help you develop new solutions that your not so creative colleagues might not have thought of.

9. Attention to Detail
This is also another very valuable skill although it depends more on the type of role you are in. If you are detail-oriented, your employee will count on you to pay attention to all the details and catch errors. Paying attention to all the finer details means you go through projects with a fine-tooth comb and notice everything (no matter how small) and are able to correct any mistakes. This is also strongly associated with being intentional about your work. In some specific jobs this will be a requirement, like for example, copywriting. Nonetheless, it is a good transferable skill to have.

10. Computer Skills
You do not need to be a computer engineer, but you should have a good understanding of the most used softwares and programmes companies use. These include outlook or Gmail, Microsoft word, excel and teams for example. By knowing how to use these platforms, you will save your employer from training you, both in terms of time and financial.

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