How to List Transferable Skills on a Resume | Best Skills and Examples

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It’s not uncommon for people to seek different roles within their company or different jobs throughout their professional careers. If you decide to change jobs, it’s important to highlight transferable skills on your resume to show hiring managers you have soft skills beneficial to any company. In this article, you can learn about these types of skills and how to list transferable skills on your resume.

What are transferable skills?

Also known as soft skills, your transferable skills are developed life skills that you can apply in all areas of your life. They aren’t specific to a job like knowing how to use certain software. Instead, they are things like communication skills, the ability to manage a team or being resourceful when you encounter a problem.

Whether you’re changing companies within your field or completely changing industries, the skills you’ve developed at work and in life can be a benefit to you and your new company and team. These transferable skills, including leadership, communication and people skills, are typically instinctive and natural, like being a good listener or being deadline-driven. This is different from hard skills, which are things most employees can learn, like a specific software or a new language.

Your transferable skills are important to showcase on your resume because employers want to know employees can fit into a culture and role they have already established. Consider whether you can communicate effectively or whether you are able to help your team solve problems without involving a supervisor. Many job postings will list transferable skills in their requirements section, and it’s important to include these soft skills on your resume.

How to list transferable skills on your resume

Listing certain skills on your resume may help you to get the interview you are looking for. 

Here are a few tips to make sure you properly include transferable skills on your resume:

1. First, make a comprehensive list of your transferable skills

You use many transferable skills on a daily basis without even really thinking about it. Before you even start composing or updating your resume, take the time to make a comprehensive list of your transferable skills. You can expand on this list while you work on your resume and write out your essential job functions and responsibilities. To start, you just want to choose the best transferable skills you’ve developed during your career.

2. Next, organize your list of transferable skills into categories

As you make your list, consider the skills you’ve learned in various areas of your job functions. Some may be communication skills, while others may fit in a leadership category. Other categories include people, clerical, computer and research skills.

Once you’ve listed your skills and decided how you’ve developed them during your career, it may be helpful to organize the essential job functions by skill types. Organizing your skills this way can provide a clear flow of ideas and allows you to include a list of duties you use for each, like leadership skills while managing a project. For example, a sales director may write on a resume that they ‘Supervised a team of eight salespeople, providing weekly feedback on sales goals versus actuals.’

3. Then, fit your transferable skills into your work experiences

After you’ve identified and categorized soft skills, place them into each of your previous work experiences. Most can fit into any job you’ve had, so decide which skills are most important for each role. Then, elaborate with concrete examples. 

For example, a senior project manager at a marketing agency may include ‘Created new procedures for resource allocation, speeding up the scheduling process by eight hours.’ This shows the transferable skill of being resourceful with creating improvements and saving their company an entire day’s worth of hours. 

Keep the transferable skills as close to the beginning of your statements as possible. It’s important to stand out enough to get a second look, and you can do that by making sure your skill set is what the hiring manager wants to see in relation to the role. In fact, you may consider formatting your skills with bold font style to make them stand out even more. Call out those skills that match the job posting to make it easier for the hiring manager to see that you’re a match.

4. Finally, consider adding a skills section to your resume

Another great place to include your transferable skills is in a skills section on your resume. You can do this as a bulleted list or with items separated by commas. Either way, make sure your hard skills (specific software experience or a second language, for example) aren’t the only things you put in this section. Including your soft skills here calls attention to them again.

Decide which skills you think are most important to the job you’re applying for—team collaboration, if it’s a project management role or leadership skills for a management position—and include those in your list. Don’t pass up job postings just based on the titles either. Read through the descriptions and check for those soft skills. You may find you’re a better match than you originally thought, because you have transferable skills for this role.

Transferable skills examples

People learn many transferable work skills that can be useful at any job they may take in the future. 

Here are a few examples of valuable skills:

  • Leadership skills, including:
    • Select new hires
    • Supervise teams
    • Evaluate employees
    • Schedule team members
    • Oversee budgets
    • Lead meetings
  • Communication skills, including:
    • Write clear and concise communication (e.g., reports, essays, press releases, emails, etc.)
    • Speak dynamically and clearly in various situations
    • Give presentations to stakeholders of various levels
  • People skills, including:
    • Provide and receive constructive criticism
    • Collaborate with team members
    • Mentor/train colleagues
    • Delegate work
    • Resolve conflicts
  • Problem-solving skills, including:
    • Identify and present problems to management
    • Anticipate issues
    • Solve problems
    • Set goals and priorities
    • Create policies and procedures

Once you’ve landed the interview, you can start thinking about how you can further showcase your transferable skills. Questions about dealing with missed deadlines or a difficult co-worker give you a great opportunity to talk about how you prioritize tasks and handle conflict resolution. Make sure you can expand upon the skills you’ve listed on your resume with specific examples that show how you will be a benefit to the company’s team and culture.