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Transferable Skills for Job-Seekers

Employers seek two types of skills from job-seekers: technical skills necessary to perform a specific job and soft skills that make you a better employee. When working on your resume or a job application, you'll want to make sure you include both sets of skills. (Hint: If certain skills are listed on a job application, you must show that you possess all of them to be considered for the job.)

While technical skills only come from previous experience and training/education, soft skills can come from all types of past experiences -- including hobbies, volunteering, professional development, internships, work experience, and education.

What are some of the main soft skills employers seek? Here's a list of the six major categories, including communications, analytics, interpersonal, creativity and problem-solving, leadership, and work survival.

Transferable Skills List: Effective Communications (Listening, Verbal, Written)

By far, the one soft skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write, and speak effectively. Successful communication is critical in business. This section includes these types of specific skills:
  • Speaking effectively
  • Writing concisely
  • Listening attentively
  • Expressing ideas
  • Facilitating group discussion
  • Providing appropriate feedback
  • Negotiating
  • Perceiving nonverbal messages
  • Persuading
  • Reporting information
  • Describing feelings
  • Presenting
  • Interviewing
  • Editing

Transferable Skills List: Analytics, Research, and Planning

This section deals with your ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, develop solutions, and identify key issues that need to be addressed.
  • Analyzing information
  • Forecasting, predicting
  • Identifying problems
  • Imagining alternatives
  • Identifying resources
  • Gathering information
  • Solving problems
  • Setting goals
  • Extracting important information
  • Defining needs and requirements
  • Developing evaluation strategies

Transferable Skills List: Interpersonal Skills and Human Relations

This section refers to your ability to work well with others, especially when it involves conflict resolution or problem-solving.
  • Developing rapport (with customers, co-workers)
  • Being sensitive to others
  • Conveying feelings approrpriately
  • Providing support for others
  • Motivating others
  • Sharing credit with team members
  • Counseling
  • Cooperating
  • Delegating with respect
  • Representing others
  • Perceiving feelings, situations
  • Asserting

Transferable Skills List: Creative Thinking/Problem-Solving Skills

These skills relate to your ability to supervise, direct, and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals.
  • Demonstrating cognitive flexibility, thinking outside the box
  • Conceptualizing situations
  • Showing curiosity
  • Being imaginative
  • Predicting and anticipating shortfalls
  • Showing foresight
  • Making abstract connections
  • Making inferences
  • Synthesizing ideas

Transferable Skills List: Organization, Management, and Leadership Skills

These skills relate to your ability to supervise, direct, and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals.
  • Initiating new ideas
  • Handling details
  • Coordinating tasks
  • Managing groups
  • Delegating responsibility
  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • Counseling
  • Demonstrating effective time management
  • Promoting change
  • Selling ideas or products
  • Decision making with others
  • Managing conflict

Transferable Skills List: Work Survival Skills

These are the day-to-day, nitty-gritty skills that assist in promoting effective production and work satisfaction.
  • Making and implementing decisions
  • Cooperating
  • Enforcing policies
  • Being punctual
  • Managing time
  • Attending to detail
  • Meeting goals
  • Enlisting the help of others
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Setting and meeting deadlines
  • Organizing
  • Making decisions

See more of our Happy Career and Worklife Articles.

EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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