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transferable skills

Whether you’re looking to change fields or move into a new area within your current industry, understanding what your transferable skills are and how to best apply them elsewhere can help you to better market yourself as a job candidate.  

But first, what are transferable skills? Simply put, transferable skills are relevant skills and abilities that can be applied to various careers, industries, and working environments. They can include hard skills (data analytics, for instance) and soft skills such as communication and problem-solving. 

Once you understand the range of transferable skills you possess, the next step is knowing how to call attention to those skills to demonstrate your value as a job candidate. These skills can be highlighted in your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, initial phone screening, and during formal interviews. 

Following are some of the most desirable transferable soft skills that can apply to professionals working in the marketing, creative, IT, fashion, beauty, and retail sectors.

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While your level of expertise with each of the following skills may vary, all of them can be developed and improved over time, helping you to advance your career and become more versatile and marketable.

Communication: Solid writing skills are critical for any role. And having strong verbal communication skills will allow you to listen actively to others and respond effectively, respectfully, and professionally. Communication is a core skill that is both expected and invaluable today. There are several ways to demonstrate your communication strengths. For example, working on your public speaking skills and developing the ability to present and persuade has tremendous value that’s beneficial in a wide variety of career paths. 

Critical thinking: Being able to evaluate and interpret information to make well-thought-out and logical decisions, before jumping to conclusions, is an integral part of being a valuable team member. This transferable skill helps set you apart as a professional who is comfortable analyzing problems and coming up with smart and pragmatic solutions. 

Collaboration: The ability to work well with others whether it be your direct team, prospective clients, or company stakeholders is an important skill as it shows that you are an easy person to work with. Spotlighting examples of leading successful cross-functional projects is a great way to highlight your commitment to the success of a team and organization. 

Organization: Knowing how to manage your time and organize your responsibilities based on priority is an important aspect of being an effective worker. This highly portable skill shows employers that you can handle your workload, meet deadlines, and deliver on expectations without a lot of oversight. 

Initiative: Being resourceful and taking action without direction from someone else is a valuable self-management skill. Taking the initiative to pursue new goals, contribute ideas, and develop more streamlined solutions demonstrates the commitment you have to better yourself and the work that you do. 

Creative thinking: Thinking creatively or beyond the status quo can help you come up with innovative solutions to challenges and unique approaches to new projects. As a creative thinker, you are likely more reflective and open-minded, allowing you to analyze a situation and come up with ideas that can help distinguish your organization from competitors. 

Attention to detail: You leave no stone unturned, focusing on every detail of a project to ensure the utmost quality of work is delivered. Having this transferable skill helps an employer feel more confident in your ability to be meticulous and thoughtful in any task you work on. 

Adaptability: Change is indeed the only constant today. For evidence, look no further than the rapid growth of AI projects and AI-specific roles. Having the ability to roll with the punches and not let change throw you off demonstrates your ability to be a more efficient and productive employee. Being adaptable means you’re comfortable pivoting and shifting priorities when unforeseen challenges arise something that happens frequently across all industries.

Empathy: While this skill is especially important in leadership, the ability to empathize with your audience helps you better understand their needs just as the ability to empathize with your colleagues helps you build rapport and a better working environment. Having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes helps you to build solid and meaningful relationships with clients and teammates.

Leadership: You do not need to sit in the C-suite to possess strong leadership skills. Being a leader means that you are someone people can turn to, whether that be for advice on a project, conflict resolution, or just to bounce ideas off. Possessing this skill illustrates the trust and respect others have for you.


As mentioned above, you can call attention to your transferable skills in different steps of your journey as a job seeker or freelancer. But how do you decide what transferable skill to highlight and how to demonstrate value from one job to another? Consider these tips:

Keep it relevant: Tailor your message to each employer. The best transferable skills to highlight are the ones the employer is seeking. While you may have acquired dozens of portable skills throughout your career, be mindful to emphasize those that could add a direct benefit to the role that you’re applying for. For example, if you’re pursuing an email marketing position you might call attention to experience that showcases your communication abilities, collaboration skills, adaptability, and attention to detail. 

Draw a connection: Instead of simply listing these skills, make a crystal-clear connection between the skill itself and how you used it to benefit your employer. Have you used critical thinking to solve a complicated problem by creating a new and improved workflow? Or perhaps you can demonstrate your initiative by showing how you recognized a missed opportunity and developed a strategy to build business with a new target audience. Simply put, link the skill to real-world successes.

Be deliberate with your language: When reading a job listing, examine the skills required and compare them to the ones you possess, and then be sure to include them in your resume and cover letter. You can work these into the summary, skills section, or job experience area. And once you reach the interview stage, continue to call attention to these transferable skills and the benefit you can add to their organization. If you’ve not already listed these skills on LinkedIn, consider updating your profile by briefly explaining how you’ve leveraged these skills in past roles.  


The specialized recruiters at 24 Seven can help you in your career journey. Our team is tapped into a wide network of companies in the marketing, creative, IT, fashion, beauty, and retail sectors looking for full-time and freelance talent. 

When you work with a 24 Seven recruiter you have someone in your corner through your entire job search process. Our recruiters will first get to know you, your professional background, and how your transferable skills can help you land a new role. From there we work to connect you with an opportunity that matches your skills and goals. Browse our open jobs and contact us today!

This post was updated February 22, 2024.