Career Agility 101: Showcasing Your Transferable Skills to Stand Out

2024 is around the corner and if your new year resolutions include finding a new job, changing careers, or securing a promotion, it’s crucial to recognize the pivotal role of transferable skills. Whatever the goal, transferable skills are your key to unlocking  and competing in a dynamic job market.

What are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills refer to a set of general skills and abilities that can be applied across various jobs and industries. These skills are not tied to a specific occupation or task but can be adapted and used for different roles. Transferable skills are invaluable for job seekers because they demonstrate your versatility, adaptability, and ability to contribute effectively within various work environments. These skills are often also called soft skills.

Wondering which soft skills in particular you should work on? Agilus’ Recruiting Consultants identified their top ten transferrable skills that they hear hiring managers consistently asking for:

Communication Skills: The ability to convey information clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Problem-Solving: The capacity to analyze situations, identify problems, and develop effective solutions.

Critical Thinking: The ability to think objectively, analyze information, and make informed decisions.

Collaboration: Working effectively with others to achieve common goals, fostering a positive and cooperative work environment.

Time Management: Efficiently organizing and prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines and manage workloads.

Adaptability: Flexibility in adjusting to new situations, learning quickly, and embracing change.

Leadership: Taking initiative, motivating others, and providing guidance to achieve objectives.

Creativity: Thinking innovatively and finding unique solutions to challenges.

Organization: Structuring and arranging tasks, information, and resources in an orderly manner.

Customer Service: Providing excellent service and meeting the needs of clients or customers.

Empathy: Being attuned to the emotions, perspectives, and needs of colleagues, clients, or team members. Empathy is crucial in fostering positive relationships, effective communication, and collaboration in the workplace.

Where can you highlight your Transferable Skills?

Consider including your transferable skills on your resume, cover letter, in your interview, and in your online profiles. Review the job description and make note of any required soft skills.

Resume: On your resume, there are several options when deciding where to include key transferable skills. You can list these skills on your resume in the following sections:

  • Resume summary or objective
  • Employment history descriptions
  • Skills list

Cover letter: Your cover letter needs to tell a story about you and highlight one or two skills. Again, review the job description and decide which skills to use. Describe a situation where you’ve used these skills in the past.

Interviewing: Use examples of when you’ve used relevant transferable skills to answer your interviewer’s questions, if applicable. Remember to “show” not “tell” by providing specific stories of when you used your skills successfully.

Online profiles: Whether it’s LinkedIn, Indeed, or an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you often have the ability to include your soft skills.

  1. Be explicit about how your skills transfer to the new role – don't expect the employer to do it for you. You can do this by explaining how you would apply that skill to the new industry or role.
  2. Ask for referrals from your past employers and work colleagues that include the soft skills you used when working with them.

Transferable skills are not job-specific, making them valuable assets for job seekers seeking new employment opportunities or transitioning between different roles and industries. When you highlight your transferable skills, it helps employers and recruiters see how your experiences and abilities can contribute to the success of the organization, even if they come from a different role, function, or industry.


Looking for employment? For more than 46 years, Agilus has served our candidate and employer networks, connecting great job seekers with meaningful employment. We place nearly 10,000 job seekers in roles every year in Engineering, Technology, Professional/Office, and Light Industrial roles. Check out or open roles on our job boardcreate a job alert or build a profile so any of our more than 100 recruitment professionals can find you quickly when a role becomes available. Please follow us on LinkedInFacebookInstagram and Twitter for job seeking tips, new roles and Agilus.

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