Introduction to transferable skills

Transferable skills are form key elements, which should be highlighted when applying for a new job. The job seeker should focus on all the skills acquired during the cause of his previous jobs, schooling, and day to day life. All knowledge acquired, be it as a parent, a student, during the practice of sports activities, practising hobbies, almost anything that are relevant to what a new job require, can be viewed as transferable skills.

In short ? it can be summarized as abilities or skills, which an individual has obtained during the cause of his life. The skilful utilization and portrayal of an individual?s abilities should saturate his CV or job application and form a vital part of the interview approach.

Skills should be described in a way that indicates relevancy to the specific position being sought. If an individual applied for a job similar to his current job, portraying his abilities should not be a daunting task. On the other hand, if a complete career change is considered, describing or depicting traits and abilities relevant to the job can be a more difficult task to accomplish.

Viable job skills can be placed in 5 essential groups or categories.

Employment fortitude

It includes every day skills that will ensure job satisfaction and efficiency. This is usually focused on the individual?s abilities, for example:

  • Timelines or punctuality
  • Time management
  • Decision making


It is the understanding of data and information and the successful communication of these ideas or data to others. Examples include:

  • Effective speaking and verbalisation
  • Listening skills
  • Non verbal communication skills

Interpersonal skills

These skills include conflict resolution, assisting and interacting with people or co-workers. Examples include:

  • Attentiveness
  • Affirmation
  • Support

Needs analysis and project planning

The ability to compile a list of processes and procedures based on needs analysis to meet business requirements and streamline productivity. Examples include:

  • Problem identification
  • Categorizing pitfalls
  • Creating new options

Management, dexterity and leadership abilities

Supervising and overseeing tasks, personnel and projects. Examples include:

  • Control and managing differences
  • Project and task coordination
  • Endorsing transformation

To accentuate and highlight the correct skills, the job applicant should make sure he has background information on the company, the company's mission and vision, and the job being sought, is accurate.

Responding to a job advertised in a newspaper will make the task of highlighting the correct transferable skills much easier. Look at skills required or highlighted as key elements in the advertisement.

Also remember certain transferable skills are always sought by employers. These include skills such as effective communication, cooperation and teamwork, management skills and punctuality. Transferable skills used correctly will ensure the success of your next job application.