February 20, 2009
You may be asking…
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are the skills that a person develops by performing a job or task that can be applied in other situations. In other words, these are skills that you may acquire through jobs, classes, internships, co-ops, research opportunities, study abroad experiences, campus or community activities, etc., that can be “transferred” to your next career pursuit.
Examples of transferable skills: dependability, time management, teamwork, customer service, decision making, problem solving, organizational skills, oral and written communication skills, responsibility, creativity, initiative, integrity, interpersonal skills, technology skills
Many students have some part-time and/or full-time experience, either related or unrelated to the position(s) for which they are applying through ECS. These experiences may be in restaurants, lifeguarding, construction, landscaping, baby-sitting, volunteering in the community, studying abroad, and so forth; the type of experience doesn't matter. You're developing transferable skills without even thinking about it. It's fine that your only work experience was one summer making banana splits at Dairy Queen! Working with customers, managing time, receiving safety training, coaching or training other people, being responsible for the safety of others, managing money, etc. are all tasks that you may perform at any job that you may have in the future. Why not highlight those skills for your future employer?
How do I show my transferable skills on my resume?
The best way to accomplish this task is to shift the emphasis away from the actual duties of the job, which are usually specific to that environment, to what you learned and contributed in that particular situation that could be useful in other environments as well.
Cleveland Office Supplies, Cleveland, Ohio
Sales Associate (June-September, 2008)
• Learned time-management skills by working 30 hours a week at Office Max while taking a full course load
• Developed interpersonal skills by assessing customers’ needs and suggesting products
• Demonstrated responsibility by opening and closing the store on my own twice per week
Columbus Public Pool, Columbus, Ohio
Lifeguard (June-September, 2008)
• Practiced training techniques, communication skills and leadership abilities through supervising 2 newly hired employees at the public pool
• Demonstrated dependability and customer relations skills
• Enhanced teamwork ability by working with other lifeguards on a daily basis
• Promoted to head lifeguard: trained and supervised 5 other employees
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Authored by Rachel Ligman.