Understand Your Transferable Skills for Job Happiness

Considering switching to a new career field but unsure if you are qualified? Luckily, many employers have an eye out for a handful of transferable skills listed on applicants’ resumes.

According to an article by CNBC,

78% of companies will consider applicants with transferable skills…rather than them having to fit the description exactly.

For example, although you have 15 years of experience in a senior director role for a non-profit, you could be a qualified candidate as a general manager for a public company.

Often, companies may prefer to hire a candidate that does not have experience in the industry to bring in someone with fresh ideas. Additionally, applicants with transferable skills tend to be willing to go above what is expected of themIf you possess any of the soft or hard skills they desire, there’s a good chance your resume will stay at the top of the pile.

First, we need to dive into what transferable skills or common competencies are so you can determine which ones you have and can share in upcoming interviews.

Soft Skills Vs. Hard Skills

Transferable skills are skills that are highly desirable in a variety of job positions. They are often divided into soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are skills that are easily transferable between careers, no matter what it is.

They are the skills that define a pleasant person who has emotional intelligence and situational awareness.

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Some examples of soft skills are:

  • Communication
  • Relationship building
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Time management

Depending on the role you are interested in applying for, the company may desire certain skills specific to its industry. These are called hard skills.

 Some examples of hard skills are:

  • Technical skills
  • Computer skills
  • Project management skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Analytical skills
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Common Competencies

Browse the list of common competencies below. You may be surprised how many of them you can add to your list of transferable skills.

Business Awareness

Business awareness is putting in the effort to understand the company you work for, what their goals are, who the competitors are, and who the customers are.

Customer Orientation

Customer orientation is another way to say excellent customer service. You are eager to provide reliable and professional service to the company’s customers, learn more about them, and learn what they need.

Analysis/Problem Solving

Being a good problem solver means identifying problems and developing solutions for them. Problem solvers are not just thinkers but action-takers.

Quick Thinking/Learning

Employers don’t want to spend too much time getting a new employee up to speed. It’s a beneficial soft skill to learn new tasks quickly.


Do you root for the other people on your team and encourage cooperation between one another? Putting the team’s goals before your own is always a desired skill.


Everyone usually has had some sort of communication training. If you excel at clearly communicating your ideas to a customer, boss, or team through conversations, presentations, or written communication, it’s a beneficial skill to share.


How do you react when criticism or a crisis comes your way? Confident and resilient people stay calm and think clearly to overcome objections and learn from the experience.

Judgment/Decision Making

Good judgment involves seeking alternative viewpoints, recognizing priorities, and reaching a sensical conclusion that helps solve the situation.


To be a good researcher, you must identify the project’s needs, find relevant sources to refer to, and ask questions. This involves excellent attention to detail, which is another valuable transferable skill!

Planning and Organizing

If you are well organized, able to establish a plan, and execute it for the success of a project, that is a critical quality to employers. Good planning involves being proficient at time management, cost management, and action-taking.

Results Orientation

Employers seek out employees who can set goals for themselves and their teams. They seek opportunities to improve and will review their performance to learn from it.

Identify Your Transferable Skills

There are many more valuable transferable skills that employers seek out and that you likely possess. The list above is an example of the common competencies companies are looking for.

Many of us change industries during our professional careers. The reason it’s possible is the many qualities that we develop along the way.

As a career coach, I support professionals in finding and maintaining meaningful, purposeful, and impactful work aligned with their strengths, motivators, and desires. I see it often, achieving professionals downplaying their skills. I would take a hard guess that even though I may not have met you, I bet you are more qualified than you give yourself credit for!

Feel free to schedule a free career clarity consultation, and we can discuss your transferable skills and which ones you should highlight as you pursue new career opportunities.

Free Career Clarity Consult

There’s nothing more confusing than trying to figure out what you were meant to do with your life, especially when you’re trying to do it all alone. Now’s your chance to talk with an expert about your career free of charge.

With my complimentary career clarity consult, you’ll have the opportunity to have your career questions answered as well as learn some of the best strategies to winning in the career game from someone who’s been in your shoes. We’ll cover what you want to achieve and point you in the proper direction if you are feeling stuck and unsure what to do. Because I hold these complimentary calls personally, space is limited. Click below to apply.

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