Generations that are beginning to dominate the labor market notice that with the development of modern technologies and task automation, they need to search for non-obvious ways to remain competitive in the eyes of employers. More and more people talk about so-called transferable skills that are supposed to help employees stay in the market. What are transferable skills and how to identify them? Read our article and find out!

Transferable skills – table of contents:

  1. Transferable skills definition
  2. 10 examples of transferable skills
  3. Transferable skills vs soft skills
  4. How to identify transferable skills?
  5. Summary

Transferable skills definition

Transferable skills (also known as portable skills) are competencies that can be transferred from one job to another, regardless of the industry. They are used not only at work, but also in everyday life, for example, in social relationships or at school, so they are developed throughout life. However, it’s easiest to explain and understand the importance of transferable skills with examples.

transferable skills

10 examples of transferable skills


Teamwork skills are extremely important in almost any industry. A person with this competency is able to put the good of the project above their own. Efficient and effective teamwork is influenced by the following factors:

  • empathy,
  • the ability of active listening,
  • communication skills,
  • the ability to share (and receive) feedback,
  • supporting and motivating team members,
  • the ability to build relationships,
  • self-awareness,
  • conflict resolution skills.

Thus, the ability to collaborate with others means that no matter what you are working on or with whom, you are able to achieve your goals and carry out your duties effectively.


Employees with problem-solving skills are a great asset to the organization. The employer needs people who not only identify the cause of the inefficiency of a particular process/project/procedure, but also show initiative and come up with a solution.

Critical thinking

A subjective assessment of the situation often leads to wrong conclusions, which can cost your company a lot of money, time and energy. Therefore, employees must possess critical thinking skills to stay objective. They also come in handy in everyday life. In the era of universal access to information, the ability to tell the difference between real and fake news is crucial.

Analytical thinking

Probably a good number of people equate analytical thinking skills with hard skills, such as data analytics competencies. However, they also include the ability to think logically and make decisions based on facts. Thus, the employee’s actions are preceded by a thorough analysis of the situation, as well as opportunities and threats.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is another quality that makes an employee perform their duties conscientiously. This makes the work done free of errors. Of course, it is worthwhile to focus on details that are crucial to complete the project and satisfy your target customers.


Contrary to what you might think, this skill is not only useful at work in the creative industry. Creative thinking is also essential for developing out-of-the-box solutions and innovative ideas. Creative employees help employers look at a problem from a different perspective and often come up with novel (and competitive) solutions.


Adaptability skills are crucial to keep up with emerging trends and technologies, and to adapt to a changing world. Thus, employers pay considerable attention to whether an employee can find their way in various environments, cope with big challenges and quickly learn new things (e.g. how to use new tools). Your employees’ adaptability skills determine whether the company will meet the growing demands of society.


The success of a project depends mainly on the manager’s leadership skills. They must not only skillfully divide and distribute tasks, but also be able to track work results and the way duties are carried out. Communication also plays an important role. The leader should motivate the team by showing them that they are part of the organization and that their work is essential to ensure the success of the company. The leader also focuses on team morale by resolving conflicts, building trusting relationships and helping to deal with problems.

Organization and management

Managing teams and projects is related to the ability to delegate tasks, adapt to changing conditions and meet set deadlines. The employee should also be well-organized, which will allow them to perform given duties faster and more efficiently. Being self-motivated, willing to develop and able to prioritize is also useful.

Tech savviness

The use of technology is already evident in almost every industry. Employees who can quickly learn to use new equipment and tools are a valuable asset to the company. Thanks to this skill, you can work faster and automate tedious tasks. Thus, you get more time for other important projects.

Transferable skills vs soft skills

It is worth noting that transferable skills can include both soft skills (such as problem-solving skills) and hard skills (such as data analytics competencies). Thus, it is a broad set that encompasses various universal abilities. In the age of emerging technologies, a transferable skill is also coding, which can be used in many industries.

How to identify transferable skills?

As we have mentioned before, portable skills are developed throughout life. Few people, however, can identify them. However, it’s worth taking a moment to find out what transferable skills you have, and which ones you would like to work on. A list of transferable skills will also come in handy when writing a resume, cover letter or in a job interview. The employee who is aware of their competencies and the value they can bring to the company, increases their chances of getting a desired job.

Let’s move on to identifying transferable skills. Where to start?

  • Create a list of your daily responsibilities. You don’t have to focus only on work. Organizing your children’s free time, cooking dinner, or other daily activities can also highlight your competencies.
  • Go back to the point where we presented the 10 transferable skills and note down the ones you use most often when performing the duties listed earlier. You can also refer to a list of competencies prepared, for example, by the Career Center at Florida State University, available here.
  • For each skill, note how you used it to complete your duties. Ask yourself, were you praised for this? Was it easy for you to perform a given task? What makes you confident?
  • Highlight the skills and tasks that give you the most joy. Even if your current job doesn’t make you happy, it’s a good idea to focus on those duties that you enjoy and that come easily to you. This will give you a list of skills that you can put on your resume and that you can work on and develop.

Why should you continue to develop transferable skills? First of all, because they are desired by employers. So if you want to stay in the job market, you need to be able to present yourself. You will build such confidence by identifying and developing abilities that you can use when performing tasks that satisfy you.


If you’re worried about your future in the job market, focus on identifying and developing your transferable skills. This way, regardless of whether or not you’ll ever need to change careers, you’ll have transferable skills that any employer will appreciate.

Read also: Talent management in tech companies.

If you like our content, join our busy bees community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok.

How to identify transferable skills? Top 10 portable skills you should get nicole mankin avatar 1background

Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.