Home > 
Transferable Skills

Strong Transferable Skills: Example Usage on Resume, Skill Set and Top Keywords in 2024

Here are the top ways to show your Transferable skills on your resume. Find out relevant Transferable keywords and phrases and build your resume today.

Woman on chairPlantwaveLight
Is your resume ATS-friendly?

Drop your resume here or upload a file to find out if the skills in your resume are readable by an ATS.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are universal skills that match the job specifications for different departments and even industries. There are soft transferable skills that are not specific to any industry. They could be applied anywhere. The hard transferable skills are industry-specific but you could still apply the same skills in two or more different industries.

The transferable skills come in handy when you decide to make a career change. This could be a new role within your organization or industry change.

With transferable skills, you do not start with a blank page when you decide on a career change. Stil you will need to properly adapt them on your resume to better match the job posting.

Why are Transferable skills important on your resume?

They are important because in most cases these are the core skills required for any job. Transferable skills give you the flexibility to change roles and grow within the organization or to change the industry.

In a rapidly changing job market, it is very important to be proactive and seize the best opportunities. These skills make you less dependable on one employer or industry, and there is less danger that you will become obsolete.

Transferable skills also put employers at ease that you are skilled enough to manage any situation and to substitute a co-worker if needed. They can also see you as a more valuable employee because you can work on a variety of tasks.

Transferable skills make you more employable and give you better choices. You could always adjust these skills on your resume so that they can better align with the job posting.

What traits, skills, and abilities help you demonstrate strong Transferable skills on your resume?

  • Management and Leadership skills: Management skills mean that you can coordinate teams, set goals, communicate clearly, resolve conflict. A manager must also be a leader, but you do not necessarily need a job title to be one. Still, leadership skills can give you an advantage on your resume.
  • Interpersonal skills: This is a broad set of skills that consist of communication skills, emotional and social intelligence, positive attitude, teamwork, responsibility, conflict management, patience, and more. These are the skills that help you successfully interact with your co-workers.
  • Analytical thinking skills: You need to demonstrate that you can find, collect and analyze data, spot patterns, predict crises or see improvement opportunities.
  • Proactive skills: Taking the initiative and solving a problem on your terms instead of waiting for a crisis to come means that you have proactive skills. These skills are a must for most management positions.
  • Adaptability skills: If you were able to adjust to change successfully, then you are adaptive. This is a transferable skill that is very much valued in startups or during organizational changes in established organizations. This skill can be very useful in a crisis.
  • Work ethic: Being honest and having moral values is very hard to express on a resume. Loyalty, attitude, desire to learn and improve, and understanding why you should perform at your best on the job can compensate for the lack of technical skills that could be acquired through training.
  • Time management: If you are an organized and punctual person, then this is a skill that can be easily applied anywhere and is a key to success. Good time management means that you are more productive and as a consequence more valuable for the organization. It also means that you are not a bottleneck. Bottlenecks cost a lot of money for companies.
  • Creativity: If you came up with ideas, you could be a very valuable asset to the company. Even in industries where there seems to be no room for creativity, you could still be valued. But know that ideas are a dime a dozen without following through.

How to demonstrate strong transferable skills on your resume?

  • Start with analyzing the job description, job specification and even the company itself. Write down what skills are listed out in their documents. Compare them to your transferable skills. Choose which ones are relevant and align them to the tasks you will be expected to perform at your new job.
  • Use the same keywords and phrases as in the job posting and other role related company documents to avoid rejection by Applicant tracking systems ( ATS )
  • List specific courses or certificates related to the relevant transferable skills
  • List your major achievements or improvements on the job that help you exemplify your transferable skills
  • Give context to your transferable skills

Just listing out all your transferable skills is a bad idea. Always try to demonstrate those that are relevant to the job posting and give examples and context.

Example 1: Show your Transferable skills in your experience bullet points

Seluxa Inc.
  • Break-even point reached within the 2 first months of activities.
  • Managed a team of 9 people that includes planning, recruiting, training, and performance evaluation activities.
  • Acted as ad-hoc HR Recruiter for hiring 50 front-line executives at Bangalore in 2015.
  • Planned and designed plant layout drawings in 2D or 3D as requested by engineering department
  • Developed and mentored 20% of the team to promotions in new roles
  • Led in the startup of Fidelity's Denver office--growing from less than a hundred employees to 600+
  • Ranked #2 nationally in Fidelity's 2008 Summer Campaign

Example taken from our How to demonstrate Adaptability skills on resume guide

Example 2: demonstrate transferable skills in your resume summary

I embrace challenges, offer diverse experiences, and am an agile learner. With 6+ years of healthcare and medical research under my belt, I rapidly transitioned into the world of business and have worked on marketing, communications, PR, project management, and social media campaigns. I am seeking to leverage my experience and passion towards a career in international business + entrepreneurship—starting with a world-class education from IE Business School to gain broader perspectives. I am a Women in Business Mentee and IMBA Ambassador who wants to create lasting connections and meet other unconventional thinkers.

Example taken from our Career Change Guide

Example 3: Use your achievements to make the point

Launched my first business
WhooshPop, science classes is inspiring children under 5 to be inquisitive and nurture their natural curiosity.
Inspire mums in their search for flexibility
Founder of the Mindset Shift Summit - how to regain confidence & use it to find flexible work you love.
Negotiated a commercial deal in Saudi Arabia
With Saudi Arabian Airlines, a key partner at risk in our Middle East region, Budget Rent-a-Car brand

Example taken from our Department Head Resume Guide

top sections icon

Top related skills to transferable skills:

  • Time Management
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Office
  • Communication Skills
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Work
  • Ms Office
  • Team Player
  • Management
  • Adaptability
  • Excel
  • Autocad
  • Project Management

Common misconceptions and pitfalls to avoid when demonstrating interpersonal skills on a resume.

  • Demonstrating transferable skills on a resume could be a bit tricky. For example, the communication skills of a sports commentator will not be appreciated as much in a quiet setting of a negotiation room. Communication skills without context could mean anything.
  • Because transferable skills are universal they could be a bit of a cliché on a resume, this is where you need to be creative and give a better context.
  • Transferable skills could trick you into an impulsive career change. Remember, job-hopping is not a good thing. Neither for you nor the employers.
  • Transferable skills could compensate for the lack of other skills and give you time to learn your new job, but they could also turn you into a jack of all trades and master of none.

Transferable skills: key takeaways for your resume

  • Transferable skills make you more employable and less dependent on one employer
  • They give you choice and allow you to react to the job market and industry changes
  • They could be altered so that they better match the job description and specification for the desired position
  • You can not just say that you have “transferable skills” on your resume because there are so many. You will need to pick the best applicable ones and try to demonstrate them through examples on your resume
  • Transferable skills allow you to compensate for lack of technical and overall work experience.
Make your move!
Your resume is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
Rate my article:
Strong Transferable Skills: Example Usage on Resume, Skill Set and Top Keywords in 2024
Average: 4.97 / 5.00
(201 people already rated it)
Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.