Transferable Skills

Through the course of your education, internships, extracurricular activities, and work, you have developed skills in many areas. Work skills -- also called job skills -- are the competencies you need to perform tasks the job requires.

If you've researched, written, edited, and presented papers for a class, you've used skills that are not limited to that class, but are transferable to many situations or occupations. A prospective employer expects you to apply the skills you have learned to the work environment.

But sometimes, it's hard to identify your OWN skills and know how to transfer them into different fields.

By identifying your skills and knowing the "language" to describe and discuss skills, you can better communicate your value to potential employers.

You will use the "language of skills" throughout your professional life when you:

  • Write a resume
  • Read about a job opening
  • Go for a job interview
  • Talk with your supervisor
  • Ask for a raise
  • Seek a promotion
  • Change your career

According to the 2012 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook Survey, the top 10 qualities/skills employers seek are:

  1. Ability to work in a team structure.
  2. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization.
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems.
  4. Ability to obtain and process information.
  5. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work.
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data.
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job.
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs.
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports.
  10. Ability to sell or influence others.

Without fail, communication skills and teamwork rank high on the list of skills employers want year after year. Which of the top ten skills do you excel in? How have you demonstrated these? How can you develop them further?

"Transferable Skills: What Do You Do Well?" Get Adobe Reader will help you identify your skills and give you the language to communicate them. Also, it will help you find areas that you need to develop. Finally, you should be able to provide a brief example of how you have used each skill.

Teachers: Transferable Skills

Sometimes you train to be a teacher, but can’t find a teaching position or you finish the program and realize that you do not want to teach.

How do you translate your teaching education and experiences into terms a private sector employer will understand and value? What transferable skills do you have?

In addition to the information previous section, consider the following examples as you identify transferable skills that you gained through teaching and the Professional Development Sequence.

Teachers are Passionate and Committed

Teachers tend to be passionate about helping people. In spite of many obstacles, you persevere in order to get the job done. You perform above and beyond normal standards because you want your students to succeed.

Employers want people who can power through the rough patches and get the job done.

Teachers are Creative and Innovative

In an era of low budgets and student iPhones, classroom teachers have to think outside the box in order to provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences.

Companies need employees who can innovate in order to bring success to a client, program, or system.

Teachers are Effective Communicators

Teachers are adept at communicating verbally and in writing to different audiences – students, administration, and parents, etc.  Each of these interactions requires a different communication style tailored to the audience’s level.

The private sector requires effective communicators. It comes down to knowing one’s audience and assessing its needs, a skill that teachers are constantly perfecting.

Teachers are Multi-taskers

Through the course of your education, internships, extracurricular activities, and work, you have developed skills in many areas. Work skills -- also called job skills -- are the competencies you need to perform tasks the job requires.

If you've researched, written, edited, and presented papers for a class, you've used skills that are not limited to that class, but are transferable to many situations or occupations. A prospective employer expects you to apply the skills you have learned to the work environment.

But sometimes, it's hard to identify your OWN skills and know how to transfer them into different fields.

By identifying your skills and knowing the "language" to describe and discuss skills, you can better communicate your value to potential employers.

You will use the "language of skills" throughout your professional life when you:

  • Write a resume
  • Read about a job opening
  • Go for a job interview
  • Talk with your supervisor
  • Ask for a raise
  • Seek a promotion
  • Change your career

According to the 2012 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook Survey, the top 10 qualities/skills employers seek are:

  1. Ability to work in a team structure
  2. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  4. Ability to obtain and process information
  5. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  10. Ability to sell or influence others

Without fail, communication skills and teamwork rank high on the list of skills employers want year after year. Which of the top ten skills do you excel in? How have you demonstrated these? How can you develop them further?

"Transferable Skills: What Do You Do Well?" Get Adobe Reader will help you identify your skills and give you the language to communicate them. Also, it will help you find areas that you need to develop. Finally, you should be able to provide a brief example of how you have used each skill.