Developing  your transferrable skills

COVID-19 disrupted our everyday lives in many ways. But it also helped businesses to speed up their digitalization with approximately six years, according to a study from Deloitte. Over the years, many companies relied heavily (and still do so) on technologies for remote working (and much more) so as to continue their work processes. What the pandemic brought, among other things, is the urge of different types of careers to fill in the emergent needs. And a different kind of skills “on the go” – preferably from employees within the same organization. To do so, employees need to have more than just their hard skills. This is when employees benefit from a transferrable skillset.

Moreover, transferrable skills are valuable not only due to the pandemic. They are especially applicable when a candidate considers a new career or switches between jobs.

In the following lines, you will learn what transferable skills are and how you can identify them.

Summary (TL;DR)

Transferrable or also called “portable” skills are skills that you can benefit from in various aspects of your life across different industries. How do you identify your transferrable skills? Start by making a list of your hard and soft skill. Not sure if you possess some skills? Try putting yourself to a test by accepting tasks outside of your comfort zone. Also, reflect on times when you shined in your work. What skills did you use that excelled your work? Are those skills on your resume? Plus, have you checked if those skills are in high demand in your industry? Lastly, use the help of technology to see what they can highlight about your soft and hard skills.

What are transferrable skills?

Transferrable skills, or also called “portable skills”, are skills and capabilities of a person that can be useful and transferred to various areas in a person’s life. One can get them not necessarily from work-related experience. Those portable skills are helpful in professional, social and everyday life situations. Everyone possesses transferable skills; however, they might not have taken the time or the effort to identify or acknowledge them. Nevertheless, knowing your transferable skills could benefit you as a candidate since prospective employers value what is beyond the technical, hard skills you have. They seek soft skills, which are often framed within the transferrable skills category, to understand the person’s personality and see if it will thrive in the company’s culture. Or add a unique nuance to the culture.

Here is a list of transferrable skills:


Creative problem-solving







Public speaking




How to identify your transferrable skills?


01  Make a list of your skills

Just as you can be doing a self-assessment with a SWOT analysis on your overall strengths and weaknesses, you can make a list of your skills. In this case, identify both your hard and soft skills as they make a holistic picture of your skillset. This is how you get to understand what you currently possess. So, grab a pen and paper or open your laptop and start enlisting your hard skills. What are your diploma-gained or work-related competencies? Examples could be mastering the Adobe package, knowing coding languages, having 5 years of sales experience, and so forth. Then think of your soft skills – are you a problem solver? Creative? An excellent team group member? Write those skills down on your resume.

Pen over a notebook

02  Test your skills

As part of the identification of your skills set, try putting yourself to the test. That would mean putting yourself in situations out of your usual tasks so that you can learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. It might sound intimidating, but this would help you self-assess and even discover hidden skills that you had all along. For instance, your employer could ask you to lead a project. As you have never been a leader before and do not envision yourself in a front role, your instinct is to decline it. However, think twice before doing so. Perhaps you took the initiative to fix an issue in the past, or you led a group in school, and you did not consider it as leadership? All in all, it is an excellent way to surprise yourself and actually see if you are tailored for the role.

03  Reflect on moments when you shine

There has been a time when you know you did a great job and got acknowledged for it. But, what was it that you specifically did that made your work shine? Was it because you managed to handle this task on top of everything else (which would indicate great time management skills)? Or was it because you dealt with a potential client’s issue with the exact type of empathy needed in your problem-solving and writing that he appreciated it and became a regular customer? Demonstrating high emotional intelligence is highly valued in many industries. So, reflect on those moments as they indicate that you have skills to add to your resume.

Soft skills

04 Go through your old resumes

Another way to make your skills list is to go through all your past resumes and see what kinds of job or activities you took part in. Reflect on those activities. What kind of skills did you develop based on it both in terms of hard and soft skills? For example, if you had a student job that required you to perform lots of “non-fun” administrative tasks such as paperwork or managing Excel sheets, you probably have developed attention to detail which is a valuable and transferable skill.

05  See what skills are in demand

Do you know what the industry is seeking right now? Or what you need to learn in order to fill in the demand? As we mentioned in a previous blog, do market research of the industry and the competitors to stay informed and competitive yourself. An excellent way to start your research is to look at job postings and what skills employers seek in those. Also, if possible, reach out to your network ask them what they search for in their industries. Is there a gap in what you currently have and what is wanted?

Talking about the CV

06  Make an improvement plan

How are you going to improve your transferrable skills? It comes with a good plan. Now that you know where you need to advance, you can find relevant courses for your skill gap. There are plenty of self-development platforms such as Lynda, udemy etc. Google and LinkedIn run online courses as well for various competencies. Once you have identified what courses you will enrol in, schedule your time so that you prioritize different areas of improvement at a time. This is especially needed when you want to learn in multiple areas, and you might get overwhelmed.  It is essential not to rush your learning process and plan when to set aside time to avoid burnout.

See how you can be better 
prepared with Whaii Candidate Report

Whether you are candidate or a recruiter, see what a linguistic analysis can identify about you, thus giving you another pair of “eyes” on you and your candidate’s holistic overview.   

The applications are reviewed “blindly” – with no candidate demographics to impact hiring decision. Only the skills, personality, values and culture that matches to a company’s unique preferences.