35+ Transferable Skills Examples To List on Resumes

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: April 05, 2024
Transferable Skills

Our customers have been hired at: *Foot Note

Whether you are a high school or college student, a recent graduate, a seasoned professional, or looking to make a career change, understanding and developing transferable skills is essential in today’s evolving and competitive job market.

Most companies require specific technical skills to perform the job’s functions, such as medical imaging software for jobs in radiology or point-of-sale systems for retail jobs. More and more, potential employers are looking for job candidates who are agile and adaptable and have a broader range of skills, including transferable skills such as problem-solving and active listening. 

Here, we will examine transferable skills and why they are vital in the modern workplace. 

We’ll explore the following: 

 

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills, also known as portable skills, are abilities and traits that can be applied to any job or industry and are, therefore, highly valuable, especially if you don’t have work experience in a particular industry. They include hard skills like writing and Microsoft Office and soft skills like teamwork and communication. 

Why are transferable skills important?

Employers look for applicants with transferable skills as they demonstrate adaptability, resilience and versatility, which are significant in our rapidly changing job market. Transferable skills allow you to easily pivot between different roles and industries and are essential for career growth and advancement.

Example transferable skills for your resume

The following transferable skills list includes some of the most highly sought-after skills in today’s job market.

  1. Communication: Effectively conveying information, ideas and feedback.
  2. Leadership: Inspiring and guiding others towards a common goal.
  3. Problem-solving: Analyzing issues and finding creative solutions.
  4. Time management: Prioritizing tasks and meeting deadlines efficiently.
  5. Adaptability: Being flexible and open to change in dynamic environments.
  6. Teamwork: Collaborating with others to achieve shared objectives.
  7. Critical thinking: Evaluating information objectively to make informed decisions.
  8. Attention to detail: Ensuring accuracy and precision in work tasks.
  9. Organization: Structuring workflows and resources for optimal productivity.
  10. Customer service: Meeting the needs of clients or customers effectively.
  11. Project management: Planning, executing and overseeing projects from start to finish.
  12. Negotiation: Reaching mutually beneficial agreements through discussion and compromise.
  13. Creativity: Thinking inventively to develop new ideas or solutions.
  14. Data analysis: Interpreting data to draw meaningful insights for decision-making.
  15. Emotional intelligence: Understanding and managing one’s emotions and those of others.
  16. Networking: Building relationships with colleagues, clients, or industry contacts for mutual benefit.
  17. Research skills: Gathering information from various sources for informed decision-making.
  18. Conflict resolution: Resolving disagreements or disputes in a fair and constructive manner.
  19. Presentation skills: Delivering information effectively through verbal or visual means.
  20. Financial literacy: Understanding basic financial concepts relevant to business operations.

Make a resume with My Perfect Resume

Our Resume builder can help you write the perfect resume. Start Now!

Transferable skills by job title

Understanding and highlighting these versatile skills can significantly enhance your employability and career prospects. 

Transferable skills are essential for a competitive resume because they:

  • Enable you to work effectively with a broad range of people.
  • Demonstrate your ability to learn quickly. 
  • Make you well-rounded. 
  • Provide opportunities for you to learn and grow in your job.

We’ve compiled a list of top job titles and matched them with examples of transferable skills employers look for in those professions, below:

  1. Teacher:
  • Communication: Effectively conveying information to students, parents and colleagues.
  • Cultural competence: Adjusting teaching methods to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • Leadership: Inspiring and guiding students towards academic success.
  • Problem-solving: Addressing challenges in the classroom and finding solutions to enhance learning.
  • Decision making: Making decisions that affect other people and being able to alter decisions as needed. 
  1. Registered nurse:
  • Interpersonal: Effectively communicating with patients, families and health care team members.
  • Critical thinking: Evaluating patient needs and making quick decisions in emergencies.
  • Emotional intelligence: Providing compassionate care and supporting patients through difficult times.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility in responding to changing patient conditions and health care protocols.
  • Teamwork: Collaborating with other health care professionals to deliver comprehensive patient care.
  1. Accountant:
  • Attention to detail: Ensuring accuracy in financial records and reports.
  • Analytical skills: Interpreting financial data and identifying trends or discrepancies.
  • Problem-solving: Resolving financial issues and optimizing financial processes.
  • Ethics: Reporting financial data accurately and honestly. 
  • Math: Accountants must be proficient in mathematics in order to perform their jobs.
  1. Administrative assistant:
  • Organizational skills: Managing schedules, appointments and office tasks efficiently.
  • Communication: Interacting with clients, colleagues and vendors professionally.
  • Time management: Prioritizing tasks and meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Attention to detail: Ensuring accuracy in data entry, document preparation and correspondence.
  • Multitasking: Handling multiple projects or tasks at the same time.
  1. Pharmacist:
  • Attention to detail: Dispensing medications accurately and ensuring patient safety.
  • Customer service: Providing personalized care and addressing patient concerns.
  • Analytical: Interpreting prescriptions and monitoring drug interactions.
  • Verbal communication: Explaining medication instructions and counseling patients on proper usage.
  • Financial literacy: Processing insurance claims and taking payments from customers.
  1. Cashier:
  • Conflict resolution: De-escalating various situations with customers and colleagues while remaining calm. 
  • Efficiency: Handling transactions quickly and accurately during peak hours.
  • Attention to detail: Ensuring accuracy in processing payments and maintaining inventory.
  • Customer service: Addressing customer inquiries and resolving issues in a friendly manner.
  • Cash handling: Ensuring accurate calculations of varying sums of money. 
  1. Retail manager:
  • Leadership: Managing and motivating a team to achieve sales targets and provide excellent customer service.
  • Problem-solving: Addressing operational challenges and finding solutions to improve store performance.
  • Communication: Effectively conveying expectations and feedback to staff and stakeholders.
  • Patience: Being able to handle varying customer demands and staff needs.
  • Composure: Remaining calm under pressure.
  1. Cook:
  • Creativity: Developing new recipes and innovative dishes to enhance menus.
  • Time management: Coordinating food preparation to ensure timely service.
  • Attention to detail: Maintaining quality standards in food presentation and taste.
  • Teamwork: Collaborating with kitchen staff to ensure smooth operations.
  • Adaptability: Adjusting to changing ingredients or menu requirements based on customer feedback.
  • Stress management: Ability to remain calm and focused in high-stress environments. 
  1. Customer service representative:
  • Communication: Interacting with customers through various channels to address inquiries and concerns.
  • Problem-solving: Resolving customer issues and finding solutions to meet their needs.
  • Emotional intelligence: Understanding and empathizing with customer emotions to provide effective support.
  • Adaptability: Handling diverse customer personalities and situations with professionalism.
  • Time management: Managing multiple customer interactions efficiently while maintaining service quality.
  1. Nanny:
  • Communication: Building rapport with children and parents to ensure effective care and communication.
  • Creativity: Engaging children in educational and fun activities to promote development.
  • Patience: Handling challenging behaviors and situations with calmness and understanding.
  • Organizational skills: Planning and managing daily routines and activities for children.
  • Flexibility: Adjusting caregiving approaches based on children’s needs and preferences.
  1. Carpenter:
  • Problem-solving: Identifying issues with construction projects and finding practical solutions.
  • Attention to detail: Ensuring precision and accuracy in measurements and craftsmanship.
  • Collaboration: Working well with a variety of people on a team. 
  • Time management: Efficiently organizing tasks to meet project deadlines.
  • Desire to learn: Keeping current on new technology and trends in the construction industry. 
  1. Project Manager:
  • Leadership: Guiding and motivating team members to achieve project goals.
  • Communication: Clearly articulating project objectives and expectations to stakeholders.
  • Time management: Planning and scheduling project tasks to ensure timely completion.
  • Problem-solving: Addressing challenges and obstacles that arise during project execution.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility in adjusting project plans based on changing circumstances.
  1. Software Engineer:
  • Problem-solving: Analyzing complex technical issues and developing innovative solutions.
  • Critical thinking: Evaluating software design and architecture to optimize performance.
  • Autonomy: Operating and making decisions independently. 
  • Continuous learning: Keeping up to date with new technologies and programming languages.
  • Troubleshooting: Trying different approaches to solve a variety of issues as they arise.
  1. Web Developer:
  • Creativity: Designing visually appealing and user-friendly websites.
  • Attention to detail: Ensuring accuracy in coding and testing website functionality.
  • Computer skills: Keeping up with evolving web development trends and technologies.
  • Relationship building: Establishing and maintaining relationships with colleagues and clients. 
  • Problem-solving: Troubleshooting and debugging issues in website development.
  1. Writer:
  • Creativity: Generating engaging and original content for various mediums.
  • Written communication: Expressing ideas and concepts clearly and effectively through writing.
  • Research: Conducting thorough research to gather information for writing projects.
  • Curiosity: Being interested in many different topics.
  • Persuasion: Being able to convince people to do or believe something. 

How to identify your transferable skills

Before using your transferable skills in your resume and cover letter, you need to identify what they are. Reflect on past experiences where you excelled in certain tasks or projects and analyze the skills instrumental in your success. For example, if you have experience working in customer service roles, you may have developed strong communication and problem-solving skills through handling customer inquiries and resolving issues efficiently. Similarly, if you have held leadership positions in student organizations or volunteer groups, you likely possess skills in team management, decision-making and conflict resolution.

You can also identify your transferable skills by getting feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or mentors who can provide insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. By gathering feedback from others, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the skills that set you apart and are valued in the job market. Additionally, consider taking online assessments or career quizzes to help you identify your key strengths and transferable skills.

Emphasizing transferable skills in your resume

Tailor your resume to your target role by reading the description closely and highlighting the skills that match your proficiencies. If you don’t have experience in the field and lack the required technical skills, then focus on your transferable skills. 

For example, if you are a human resources manager applying for a position as a business operations manager, you might highlight your leadership, management, verbal and written communication, strategy and research, budgeting, knowledge of business processes, and interpersonal skills. 

When updating or writing your resume, display your transferable skills in each section and make them stand out by showing how you have used them.

Here is a breakdown of how to emphasize transferable skills in each section of your resume:

1. Professional summary or objective statement

Your summary or objective statement is your opportunity to tell hiring managers why you are a viable candidate for the job you want. Introduce yourself and focus on transferable skills that are relevant to the position.

For example, if you are a seasoned home health aide and you are applying for a job as a nursing assistant, you might write a resume objective that stresses your related work experience and relationship-building, teamwork, empathy, and conscientious summarize your job qualifications and goals in a resume like so: 

Dedicated and compassionate home health aide with extensive experience providing personalized care to patients in their homes. Skilled in assisting with daily living activities, medication management and monitoring vital signs. Seeking to leverage my strong caregiver background and skills in patient care to excel as a nursing assistant. Proven ability to establish rapport with patients, collaborate with health care teams, and ensure the highest level of comfort and well-being for those under my care. I aim to contribute my expertise and passion for helping others support the nursing team at Jefferson Hospital in delivering exceptional patient-centered care.

2. Skills section

Create a dedicated skills section on your resume where you list out your transferable skills in bullet points. Include both hard skills (e.g., software proficiency, language fluency) and soft skills (e.g., negotiation, resilience) that apply to the job requirements.

3. Work Experience Section

When describing your work experience, use specific examples to demonstrate how you have applied your transferable skills in previous roles. Highlight achievements that showcase your ability to successfully transfer skills from one job to another, such as leading cross-functional teams or implementing process improvements.

For example, a personal trainer applying for a job as a wellness director might add the following to their work experience section:

  • Increased client retention rate by 20% through personalized training programs and effective communication, improving client satisfaction and loyalty to the fitness center.
  • Led a team of trainers to achieve a 15% increase in overall gym membership sales by implementing targeted marketing strategies and providing exceptional customer service, showcasing leadership and sales skills.
  • Developed and implemented a wellness program that resulted in a 10% decrease in employee absenteeism and a 15% increase in employee morale, demonstrating strong program development and employee engagement skills.

4. Education section

In the education section of your resume, mention any coursework, projects, or extracurricular activities that have helped you develop transferable skills relevant to your target job. Emphasize relevant certifications or training programs that have enhanced your skill set and prepared you for diverse roles.

For example:

Education

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

XYZ University, Brattleboro, VT

Expected Graduation: May 2025

Relevant Coursework:

  • Business Communication: Developed strong written and verbal communication skills through presentations, reports and group projects.
  • Marketing Principles: Acquired skills in market research, strategic planning and customer relationship management.
  • Organizational Behavior: Enhanced teamwork, leadership and conflict resolution skills through group discussions and case studies.

The above sample resume education section not only highlights the student’s academic achievements but also emphasizes the transferable skills gained through coursework that apply to various professional settings.

5. Optional sections

Include additional sections on your resume, such as volunteer experience or professional development, to further showcase your transferable skills. Describe how these experiences have helped you develop valuable skills in various contexts and emphasize achievements whenever possible. 

For example, a former security guard applying for their first role as a police officer might include a volunteer section like the following:

Community Patrol Volunteer

Local Neighborhood Watch Program

Sioux Falls, SD

September 2023 – January 2024

  • Patrolled designated areas to ensure the safety and security of residents.
  • Assisted in reporting suspicious activities and potential security threats to local law enforcement.
  • Participated in community outreach events to promote crime prevention and safety awareness.
  • Collaborated with fellow volunteers to coordinate neighborhood watch meetings and training sessions.

Resume examples that highlight transferable skills

Cashier Resume Example

Retail Manager Resume Example

Web Developer Resume Example

Craft an impressive resume that spotlights your transferable skills in four steps:

  1. Review resume examples for ideas using transferable skills in your resume.
  2. Choose an expertly designed resume template
  3. Plug your template into our Resume Builder.
  4. Follow the prompts, and before you know it, you’ll have a professional, ATS-friendly resume that gets interviews. 

How to show transferable skills in your cover letter

We advise writing a tailored cover letter for every job you apply to to stand out from other job applicants. Your cover letter should complement and expound on your resume, so if you highlight transferable skills, you should emphasize them in your cover letter. Leveraging transferable skills effectively can significantly enhance your candidacy for a job. 

Begin by identifying the key transferable skills required for the position and highlighting those that align with your experiences. For example, if the job requires initiative, you could describe experiences where you proactively took the lead, improved a process, or went above and beyond. Be specific, focus on your measurable accomplishments and use action words such as initiated, led, or implemented to illuminate your transferable skills.

Here’s a great example of how to show transferable skills in a cover letter:

Networking Cover Letter Example with transferable skills

Browse our extensive library of cover letter examples for more ideas on using transferable skills in your cover letters.

How to leverage transferable skills in a job interview

Leveraging your transferable skills in a job interview can greatly enhance your candidacy. To do so effectively, you must thoroughly research the company and the specific job requirements to understand how your skills align with the role. Before the interview, identify key examples from your past experiences where you have successfully applied transferable skills and prepare to discuss what you achieved with them and how they are relevant to the position you are applying for.

How to develop transferable skills

We are all born with some transferable skills, but we should enhance them and develop more to grow professionally and stay relevant in today’s dynamic job market. 

Here are some tips for developing transferable skills:

  1. Take courses, workshops and seminars to learn new skills and knowledge that can be applied across various roles and industries. By staying curious and open to learning, you can expand your skill set and stay ahead in your career.
  2. Get practical experience through internships, volunteer work, community service, personal projects, or part-time jobs. Hands-on experience allows you to apply your transferable skills in real-world scenarios, honing your problem-solving, communication and teamwork abilities. By actively seeking opportunities to gain practical experience, you can build a strong foundation of transferable skills that will set you apart in the job market.
  3. Network and build relationships with professionals in your field. By connecting with others in your industry, you can learn from their experiences, gain valuable insights, and further develop transferable skills for long-term success in your career.

Key takeaways

If nothing else, remember these main points from this article: 

  • Transferable skills are hard and soft skills you can apply to any job. 
  • Transferable skills are especially important if you have no experience in the field you are applying to. 
  • Hiring managers look for job applicants with a well-rounded mix of technical and transferable skills. 
  • Self-assessments, online tools and feedback from others are great ways to identify your transferable skills. 
  • Add your transferable skills to every section of your resume for the biggest impact. 
  • Always write a cover letter with your resume and expound on your transferable skills throughout it.
  • You can leverage transferable skills in job interviews by preparing specific examples of how you have used them to help former employers achieve goals. 
  • You can always enhance your transferable skills and add to them by taking classes, exploring them through practical experience and networking with other professionals in your field. 

FAQ

How we reviewed this article

Since 2013, we have helped more than 15 million job seekers. We want to make your career journey accessible and manageable through our services and Career Center’s how-to guides and tips. In our commitment to bring you a transparent process, we present our Editorial Process.

Sources

Rate this article

Average Rating

4.9/5 stars with 396 reviews

Related Content