Transferable skills are those skills you have gathered through your jobs, volunteer work, hobbies, or other experiences that result in your gaining skills.

Transferable skills can be used to assist those who plan on changing a career, are facing a layoff, new graduates, and to those re-entering the job market


Your skills, interests, personality, and values play an important role in your career choice. So, first consider the career that interests you and will best utilize your transferable skills. See O*Net for occupations that may match your skill sets.


5 Steps to help identify transferable skills:

  1. Write down a list of jobs you have held, hobbies you have pursued, training you have received or special interests.
  2. Complete the worksheet (link at the right) for each individual item on your list and break down all the duties and skills you have attained.
  3. Review the completed worksheets and compare to the checklist (link at the right) and mark those skills you have identified as your strong points.
  4. Determine the skills needed in the jobs you may be interested in by dissecting job ads and searching O*Net. Are there any skills you forgot to include in your list? Are there any skills you need to brush up on?
  5. Lastly, group your transferable skills into related topics, such as: Communication, Research and Planning, Human Relations, Organization, Decision Making, Clerical, Dealing with Data, Computer, Instruction, Mechanical, etc.


Worksheet with Instructions Transferable Skills Checklist


Effectively showing and selling your transferable skills is key to changing your career, pursuing that specific position, getting your first job, and reentering the workforce. One way to do this is to create a skills-based resume (functional or combination), rather than a chronological resume. Use the grouping you have created to select three skill topics you may want utilize in your skills-based resume. Also showcase your transferable skills at the top of the resume, by listing a few of the transferable skills you have identified that apply to the position you are targeting. These highlighted skills should be specific to the career you are pursuing.


  1. Career Planning: Using Transferable Skills
  2. When Changing Careers: Highlight Transferable Skills
  3. Collection of Transferable Job Skills Resources for Job-seekers
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