Transferable Skills

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As you begin your job or internship search, it is important to know your own qualifications. Over the years you have developed and improved many skills through coursework, extracurricular activities and life experiences. Some of these skills are called "transferable" skills because you use them in many occupations, regardless of the type of work and can "transfer" them from one type of work to another. Employers often call these "soft skills" and expect you to identify and demonstrate all the skills you learned in college and equate them to the work environment.

Below is a list of five broad skill areas which are divided into more specific skills.

  • Review the list and identify the skills you possess. You may even rate the skills indicating your ability in each area. Suggested rating scale:

1 = strong ability, 2 = some ability, 3 = enough ability to get by with help from others

  • Describe specific examples of situations and results when you used each skill.

Tip: Print out this page and write your rating next to each.


The skillful expression, transmission and interpretation of knowledge and ideas.

  • Speak effectively
  • Write concisely
  • Listen attentively
  • Express ideas
  • Facilitate group discussion
  • Provide appropriate feedback
  • Negotiate
  • Perceive nonverbal messages
  • Persuade
  • Report information
  • Describe feelings
  • Interview
  • Edit

Research & Planning

The search for specific knowledge and the ability to conceptualize future needs and solutions for meeting those needs.

  • Forecast, predict
  • Create ideas
  • Identify problems
  • Imagine alternatives
  • Identify resources
  • Gather information
  • Solve problems
  • Set goals
  • Extract information
  • Define needs
  • Analyze
  • Develop evaluation strategies

Human Relations

The use of interpersonal skills for resolving conflict, relating to and helping people.

  • Develop rapport
  • Be sensitive
  • Listen
  • Convey feelings
  • Provide support for others
  • Motivate
  • Share credit
  • Counsel
  • Cooperate
  • Delegate with respect
  • Represent others
  • Perceive feelings, situations
  • Assert

Organization, Management & Leadership

The ability to supervise, direct and guide individuals and groups in the completion of tasks and fulfillment of goals.

  • Initiate new ideas
  • Handle details
  • Coordinate tasks
  • Manage groups
  • Delegate responsibility
  • Teach
  • Coach
  • Counsel
  • Promote change
  • Sell ideas or products
  • Make decisions with others
  • Manage conflict

Work Survival

The day-to-day skills which assist in promoting effective production and work satisfaction.

  • Implement decisions
  • Cooperate
  • Enforce policies
  • Be punctual
  • Manage time
  • Attend to detail
  • Meet goals
  • Enlist help
  • Accept responsibility
  • Set and meet deadlines
  • Organize
  • Make decisions