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Transferable Skills: Definition & 50+ Examples for a Resume

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What are transferable skills? 

Transferable skills, or “portable” skills, are the abilities you can transfer from one job to another. The term transferable skills collectively refers to such skills as communication, adaptability, or collaboration to name a few.

Because of their versatility, transferable skills are of interest to any employer regardless of the industry.

This article will show you:

  • Definition and examples of transferable skills.
  • Why transferable skills are important.
  • Why every job applicant should identify their transferable skills.
  • How to put the best transferable skills on your resume.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

Transferable skills are a must when you change your career or make a transition from the military to civilian life. Want to learn more? Head straight to one of our dedicated guides:

Need a full guide on what skills to include in your resume? Check out our guide here: 99 Key Skills for a Resume (Best List of Examples for All Jobs)

1. Transferable Skills—List

The best thing about transferable skills is that you're likely to already possess quite a lot of them.

Without even knowing this.

This is why a list of transferable skills comes in handy. It makes it so much easier to identify what transferable skills you have. And when you discover your transferable superpowers, you'll know exactly what to leverage on your resume.

Treat the selection below as your personal transferable skills checklist:

Transferable Skills Necessary for Successful Employment

The list of transferable skills above isn't random. It’s grouped into five distinct categories that boost your employability skills every employer values:

  1. Communication

Easily the most important transferable skill of them all. Communication skills are crucial regardless of the situation. And it doesn't matter if you want to communicate an idea of yours to the world or have a conversation with a colleague.

Communication is a two-way process—it’s about self-expression and listening to others. If you're unable to get your point across or focus on what you're being told, you clearly need to improve your communication and active listening skills.

Transferable communication skills examples:

  • Oral communication
  • Written communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Listening
  • Presentation
  • Public-speaking
  • Relationship-building
  • Small talk
  • Rapport-building
  • Negotiating
  • Persuading
  • Discussion
  1. Analytical skills

Why do businesses exist? Because they help people solve problems. The more effective they are at solving problems they better they fare.

Now, problem-solving skills are part of a larger set of analytical skills. Of all transferable skills, employers value analytical skills the most. In fact, it's hard to find a job offer that doesn't require them.


Because those who think analytically and help solve problems are exactly the ones who help businesses thrive.

Transferable analytical skills examples:

  • Brainstorming
  • Communication
  • Conceptual
  • Creativity
  • Data and metrics interpreting
  • Data mining
  • Diagnostics
  • Forecasting
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Reporting
  • Research
  • Theorizing
  • Troubleshooting
  1. Management

You don't need to be a manager to have management skills.

Management skills cover a broad spectrum: from project management to people management to time management or action planning.

Take a look at the list of management skills above to identify what you're good at.

Use this valuable transferable skill to your advantage.

Transferable management skills examples:

  1. Leadership

Arguably, the most difficult of transferable skills to master.

Leadership and management skills are often conflated, but they aren't the same.

Management is about efficiency. Leadership is about inspiration. It requires possessing a strong set of interpersonal skills.

Leaders motivate and set a model to follow. They are great communicators and their soft skills are beyond compare.

People follow true leaders not because of seniority level, but because deep down they feel it's the right thing to do. They are the ones who help build the teamwork skills of everyone around them.

Watch the inspiring TED Talk by Simon Sinek to learn more about what leadership is about. And find out if you’re a leader yourself.

Tramsferable leadership skills examples:

  1. Computer and technical skills

Like it or not—

We’re living in a world where technological competence is a must-have. Even when your job isn’t centered around technology, you are expected to have basic technical skills. It's a set of hard skills relevant for most positions.

These technical and computer skills are easily transferable from one job to another, and the more you’re able to offer, the higher your employability.


Technology changes at high speed and so do the ways we all work. That’s why it’s crucial to keep abreast of the technologies that give you the upper hand in your professional field.

Transferable technology skills examples:

  • Office suites (MS Office, G-Suite, iWork)
  • Database management
  • Social media
  • Web (HTML, CSS, CMSs, SEO, etc.)
  • Troubleshooting
  • Equipment installation and configuration
  • Graphics
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Analytics
  • Typing
  • IT skills

Many of the most popular resume skills are the transferable ones. Our detailed analysis of 11 million resumes created in our builder has shown that these are the top 10 most frequently added skills overall:

  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Excellent Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Attention to Detail
  • MS Office
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking
  • Data Entry
  • Project Management
  • Team Management

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, our free resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

2. Transferable Job Skills


The best definition of transferable skills?

Skills you can take with you from one job to another.

There’s a tiny problem though.

It’s not enough to have the transferable skills. You must know how to show them on your resume to land that dream job of yours.

Let’s take a look at a specific job, such as a teacher, to see what this means in practice.

Teacher—Transferable Skills on Resume

A quick fact:

Recent years have been pretty tough for teachers who quit their jobs at the highest rate on record and look for job opportunities elsewhere.


It’s pretty obvious that teachers are skilled in their particular fields of expertise.

But the truth is:

The added value of employing a teacher lies in the transferable skills they bring in.


An English teacher wishing to pursue a career in content marketing has much more to offer than just their language skills or writing skills.

Let’s assume you’re a teacher who wants to start a career in business:

The first step is to identify what transferable skills you have and which ones you might want to transfer from teaching to business.

A quick look at the transferable skills list above can help. For the sake of convenience, let’s limit ourselves to up to five from each category.

Transferable Skills From Teaching to Business


  • Written communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Negotiating
  • Persuading
  • Discussion

Analytical Skills

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Reporting
  • Research


  • People management
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Action planning
  • Organizational skills


  • Motivation
  • Coaching
  • Delegation
  • Collaboration
  • Commitment

Computer and technical skills

Impressive, isn't it?


Here’s how to list transferable skills on a resume.

First, identify which teaching transferable skills you might want to put in the limelight.

How to do pick out those skills?

Look at the job offer. The job description could look something like this:


  • Line-edit manuscripts in English, checking for flow, comprehension, meaning, and relevance.
  • Research on various topics online to add the Editor’s perspective to manuscripts.
  • Use online and offline tools to check for punctuation, grammar etc.
  • Research and write a wide variety of topics for multiple platforms (website, blogs, articles, social updates, banners, case studies, guides, white papers, etc.)
  • Coordinate with our authors and fulfill editing, proofreading, and formatting required for print and digital publishing.


  • 6+ months experience as a writer/editor
  • Mastery level skills in verbal and written English communication
  • Self-motivated and self-directed with a positive attitude
  • Bachelor’s degree in creative writing, journalism, English, or related field preferred
  • Proficient in computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite and Google Docs etc.
  • Be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines

It won’t be an understatement in the least to say that as a teacher you have it all.

And then some more.

Writing, editing, correcting, researching, coordinating projects, and working under pressure with a positive attitude.

It’s your daily bread.

Plus, you're a natural born leader.

Work these into your resume work experience section to show you have what it takes to succeed in a new role:

Teachers Transferable Skills—Resume Job Description Example

  • Proofread, edited and corrected a wide variety of texts in English for flow, coherence, cohesion, and relevance, including essays, websites, blog posts, banners, and other articles.
  • Researched and wrote numerous presentations on multiple topics to spark and sustain interest from groups of 20+ teenagers suffering from the attention-deficit syndrome.
  • Power user of online and offline spell-checking and grammar-correction tools including Grammarly and Hemingway.

Make sure to follow the phrasing of the original job ad to pass the ATS scan.

This is how it works.

Now that you know how to identify and describe teacher transferable skills on a resume it’s time to write your job-winning resume.

And don’t forget you should put your transferable skills in a cover letter as well.

Here’s a selection of our guides that will help you make the best use of all your skills:

3. Why Are Transferable Skills Important

Cut to the chase—

Transferable skills are important for a number of reasons. Here’s a quick summary of the main benefits of transferable skills:

They prove your flexibility.

This is relevant both to you and employers. If you know what your strengths and skills are, you’ll never be afraid of losing or changing a job. Thanks to your transferable skills you can succeed in many different roles and situations. Plus, employers will always value employees whose potential goes beyond their core competencies.

They increase your employability.

As a flexible and adaptable candidate, you may gain a competitive advantage over the more experienced ones. If you lack experience but you learn quickly, display a can-do attitude, and have a wide array of transferable skills to offer, the employer may consider you before the others. It’s part of the so-called hiring for attitude approach.

You already have them.

You hone your transferable skills all the time. Take a look at the list of transferable skills for a resume at the top of this article and identify yours. When you do, use them on your resume to your advantage.

You won’t lose them.

Once you learn a transferable skill, it’s yours for a lifetime.

Want to step up your resume game? Find out what skills your resume will benefit from Soft Skills vs Hard Skills for a Job: What Employers Look for.

Need to find skills geared specifically for certain professions? Head to one of our dedicated guides:

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaways

Here’s all you need to remember about transferable skills:

  • Transferable skills are the so-called portable skills. You can transfer them from one job to another.
  • You already have quite a lot of transferable skills as you develop them all your life in personal and professional contexts.
  • The best transferable skills for career changers are the ones that are relevant to the job offer.
  • Identify your transferable skills, cherry pick the ones the employer is seeking and work them into your resume.

Do you have any questions about transferable skills? Maybe you’d like to share some tips on how to develop them? Give us a shout out in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Maciej Duszyński, CPRW
Maciej is a career expert and Certified Professional Resume Writer with a solid background in the education management industry. He's worked with people at all stages of their career paths: from interns to directors to C-suite members, he now helps you find your dream job.

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