What are transferable skills?

What are transferable skills?

Hoping to land a job or internship but not sure you have the right skills for the role? You'd be surprised! When you consider the skills you have gained from school, hobbies, sports and jobs in unrelated fields, you have a lot more to work with than you think. Here's some information about transferable skills you might want to know:

What are transferable skills?

No matter what opportunity you are applying for, every employer or admissions officer has a general set of abilities that they are looking for. Similarly, there is a general set of skills you gain from every experience that can apply to any job that you may pursue in the future. Some examples include:

  • Skills from school: learn to work with a team during group projects, learned time management while balancing homework and extracurriculars, gained proficiency using excel, word and other computer programs
  • Skills from volunteering: communication skills while interacting with others, organization skills, management skills when organizing a fundraiser
  • Skills from working at an ice cream shop that apply to an office job (or any job): communication skills, customer service experience, managing inventory, handling money

Why do they matter?

They make you look experienced even if you're not. Transferable skills show that you are the right person for a position, even if you are applying to an opportunity in an area that you lack hands- on experience in.

They show your unique qualities. Your background is individual from anyone else's and it shows the specific qualities that make you right for the position, over the other candidates.

You're constantly collecting them. Every new experience provides you with a new set of skills that will help you in the future.

How can I properly display all of my transferable skills?

Show off your transferable skills with a portfolio or resume with a full list of your background experiences. Make sure to highlight the experiences that allowed you to acquire skills relevant to the role you are applying to. Be able to clearly communicate how you will be able to apply the transferable skills to the specific opportunity at hand. When you take up a new hobby, job opportunity, class schedule keep track of the activity and skills you are learning from it.

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