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Understanding transferable skills for employees

Talents and skills you can take from job to job, or use in multiple careers, are called transferable skills.

Some skills are company or role specific, whilst others can be utilised in every role you do.  Transferable skills develop throughout your career – know what they are and set targets for improving them to maximise your job progression.  And don’t forget to include them on your CV so future employers can see your full range of talents and not just your technical experience.

Here are some of the most in-demand transferable skills:

Motivation and enthusiasm

Your next employer is investing in you so they want to see that you are enthusiastic about working and are motivated to perform well – If you are lacking in motivation this may have a negative impact on your work.


Using your own initiative in your role is highly valuable.  An employer needs to know that you can think for yourself.  Using your initiative is a skill which will develop as your career progresses, and in the right culture you will be encouraged to use it more.

When talking to potential employees think about things you have done and make sure this comes across in any interview.

Organisation and Planning skills

Time management and prioritising tasks are key skills in every job.  Being able to plan your time so that you don’t forget to do things, you’re always on time and you know how to prioritize will show a future employer that you can perform your role to its full potential


Effective communication is essential in any role and employers will be looking for evidence that you can speak and/or write well and get your ideas across to others easily.

Make records of times when you overcame issues through clarifying and talking through with colleagues or writing a persuasive e-mail.  Future employers need to know that you are capable of explaining your thoughts and are also able to understand the viewpoints of others.


An employer needs to know that you will be able to work with their other staff to get the job done.  Take opportunities to work in groups and with people from other departments in the company in order to demonstrate to your next employer that you can get along with everyone and communicate effectively to deliver results.


Future employers will be looking for candidates who can adapt to situations, learn new tasks and/or work in a different area with different co-workers – so consider any times when you have done this.   The last thing an employer wants to hear from one of their staff is ‘it’s not in my job description’ so be able to demonstrate how you cope with change and stay positive.

Keep a note of good examples you have of any of the above and have them ready when going for your next interview so that you can talk about them with confidence with your future employer and get that job offer.

Refer to our ‘how to improve your CV’ in the candidate’s resource section and make sure you add transferable skills into your document.

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