By: Samantha Fang ’23
Transferable skills are critical when applying to job opportunities, especially if you have limited working experience or are interested in changing careers. Transferable skills are applicable to many different industries and career paths. They can be acquired through school, volunteer work, past employment, or even hobbies! See below for five transferable skills that are critical to success in today’s job market.
Communication (written and verbal)
“Excellent written and verbal communication” is one of the most common skills you will find in a job posting. This should be no surprise as being able to communicate ideas clearly and concisely is key in any role. Once hired, you will have to report to a supervisor on a regular basis and depending on your job, you may have to regularly engage with clients and customers as well. Effective communication is also key when contributing to team meetings!
Common Examples of Oral Communication Skills:
- Customer Service
- Phone Skills
- Public Speaking
- Presentation Skills
Common Examples of Written Communication Skills:
- Professional Email Etiquette
- Report Writing
An important part of being an effective communicator is being an avid listener. While this skill is not as often included on resumes, it is critical for communication and building relationships at work!
Being an excellent team player means being able to work with others to successfully achieve a common goal. In most positions, you will need to work with others on a daily basis or at least regularly for large projects. Many job descriptions will include some form of the following to describe this skill: “Ability to work in a team setting” or “Comfortable working in a fast-paced collaborative environment.” Collaboration and interpersonal skills are crucial for effective team work. When working with others, you not only need to communicate well, but you also have to be flexible, sensitive, and considerate of others on your team.
You do not need to be a senior level manager to benefit from strong leadership qualities. This is why “demonstrated leadership” is often included as a desired skill for entry-level positions too! On the job, leadership can come in the form of taking charge of an assignment, overseeing a project, or leading team meetings. You may also eventually be tasked to train or mentor new colleagues! Employers want to see you take ownership of your work and show initiative. Leadership is very closely tied to this.
Another common qualification on job descriptions is the following: “Excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills.” In any role, you will likely have to resolve conflict at some point, whether it be with a colleague or a customer. You will often also need to use creative and analytical thinking skills to make decisions and correct judgements on the job, particularly in fast-paced environments. Employers want to hire people who are adept at addressing new challenges as they come and who are adaptable.
Organizational skills are critical for success at work. You will often find “attention to detail,” “excellent organizational and time management skills,” or related phrases under qualifications. You need to be organized with your time in order to prioritize multiple ongoing projects and manage deadlines. Careful attention to detail is also key for many research and planning related tasks. You must be organized in order to effectively compile, synthesize, and present information in a thorough and diligent manner.
Additional Resources To Check Out:
- What Are Transferable Skills? from The Balance Careers
- Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples from Indeed
Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.