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Transferable skills: Definition, Importance, Examples

Attributes or qualities transmitted from one profession to another are called transferable or portable skills. Since you possibly have a lot of transferable abilities, you can focus on enhancing them and discovering new ones that companies appreciate throughout industries and occupations.

What are transferable skills

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Transferable abilities are any qualities you have that are beneficial to hiring managers in several occupations and sectors. These may involve flexibility, interpersonal, organization, teamwork, and other attributes that recruiters seek in viable applicants. When seeking employment, portable skills can help you display your past knowledge as significant if it is in a distinct sector. For instance, companies frequently seek applicants with excellent interpersonal skills. You can apply your skill to easily discuss details with coworkers in any workplace if you have established it. 

Importance of transferable skills

Transferable abilities are necessary for all fields. They help you succeed in addition to the progress of your team, client, or company. Moreover, they enable you to take charge of your career trajectory and relieve anxiety during periods of transition, like a promotion at the job or career change. These are qualities never "out of date" rather, they will follow and assist your career status as long as you engage and make a deliberate initiative to refine them. Transferable skills can be cultivated by joining a skill-specific training course, working with a professional trainer, or interacting with any development possibilities provided by your company.

List of transferable skills

When applying for new job positions, think about which expertise you already have that can be applied to a brand-new role. Every person's collection of transferable qualifications will differ, but some popular skills companies seek involves the following;


Successful communication is the potential to convey details to others clearly through talking, writing, or other media channels like video. Communication skills teach you when and how to pose questions, how to interpret nonverbal signs, and how to converse with individuals in various situations. Companies value solid communication skills and the ability to collaborate with others and move tasks forward. Following the 7Cs of Communication while explaining yourself in your resume can be the best approach.


Dependability refers to the characteristics that make individuals reliable workers. It entails consistency, organization, and accountability. Each company seeks applicants who can be relied on to complete tasks correctly and on time. They rely mainly on these same individuals to effectively manage associations, tasks, and targets.


Teamwork abilities entail the capacity to cooperate with others to accomplish a shared objective. Empathy, listening skills, and solid interpersonal skills are also essential for successful team cohesion. Giving instances of productive teamwork throughout interviews can assist businesses to comprehend how you'll collaborate with others within their corporation.


Well-organized workers usually meet timelines, interact with others on time, and follow directions well. Businesses can rely on well-structured employees to carry notes, recollect tasks and conferences, and finish projects on time.


Adaptability abilities are employed to keep working toward objectives even when teammates, initiatives, managerial staff, or products change. Organizations recruit applicants who are adaptable and can easily acquire new abilities and methods to complete the task quickly, proficiently, and with a positive mindset.


Leadership qualities entail open and transparent communication, relationship management, and reliability. Leadership qualities can be transferred to several various industries since most businesses appreciate individuals who can organize and encourage teammates to achieve common goals.

Technological know-how

Your convenience with and capability to use the latest tech is known as technological know-how. Mostly every job in every industry will necessitate a certain level of technological proficiency. Companies seek applicants who can swiftly discover new techniques and applications to perform tasks in a progressively technological workplace.

Critical Thinking

In an organization, critical thinking expertise implies utilizing all reputable sources of data obtainable to comprehend an issue or scenario and finally make an educated choice or judgment. As you might anticipate, this is a portable skill that benefits workers at all stages by encouraging innovation and job performance.

Research skills

Businesses require self-motivated workers. Demonstrating your analysis and planning abilities can illustrate your motivation. Such abilities involve;

  • Predicting and avoiding issues before they happen or resurface
  • Making decisions or evaluating potential solutions to issues utilizing critical thinking abilities
  • Characterizing the requirements of the company or department
  • Tracking down and contacting vendors or subcontractors
  • Assessing data and forecasting outcomes
  • Time management and achieving timelines
  • Occasion and activity planning and execution
  • Developing and putting new guidelines and protocols in place
  • Coordination and program development
  • Recording methods and outcomes
  • Performing studies utilizing the online and library materials

Project Management

Project management abilities assist you in managing tasks from beginning to end. You ensure that everything is completed on schedule and modify the timeframe when things do not go as intended. Companies would like people who can illustrate what has to take place on a project from beginning to completion, not just see it through. This transferable skill aids in completing tasks and finishing projects promptly and efficiently.


Listening skills are portable skills that should not be neglected, particularly if you work in administration. To fix a customer's issue or handle group conflict, you must be able to hear and recognize what the other party is telling. If you're not a good listener, you might miss what the person is attempting to say.

Attention to Detail

When you pay attention to small specific, you observe everything. You go over projects with a magnifying glass to ensure everything is accurate and that nothing, regardless of how small, is missed. Because you are detail-oriented, your manager can rely on you to focus your attention on the specifics of a task and to spot and identify mistakes as necessary. It also implies that you are deliberate in how projects are carried out and that all determinations are well thought out.

Key Points

  • Transferable skills apply to a wide range of occupations and career trajectories.
  • Transferable skills involve both hard skills, which are easily measurable, and soft skills, which no one can teach such as time management, and critical thinking.
  • You might have portable skills from past employment, school, or volunteer activities.
  • Communication skills, technological know-how, and adaptability are all examples of transferable skills.
  • When changing professions, it is beneficial to emphasize your transferable skills: how to write a career change resume, career change resume sample, career change do's and don't.
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