University of Vermont

Transferable Skills

What are transferable skills?

A transferable skill is a "portable skill" that you take with you to other live experiences and jobs. Over the years you have developed many skills from coursework, extracurricular activities and your total life experiences. Throughout college you have been acquiring transferable skills in time management, interpersonal communication, and analytical thinking through campus and community activities, class projects and assignment, athletic activities, internships and summer/part-time employment. Furthermore, a prospective employer expects you to be able to apply the skills you have learned in college to the work environment. Identifying your transferable skills and articulating them to potential employers will greatly increase your success during the job search.

Some transferable skills

Critical thinking skills
  • Identify quickly and accurately the primary issues when making a decision or solving a problem
  • Define the parameters of a problem
  • Find and identify a principle that explains related experiences or factual data
  • Take premises and reasoning to a logical conclusion
  • Adapt concepts and behaviors to changing conventions and norms
  • Create innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Analyze interrelationships of events and ideas from several perspectives
Research & investigation skills
  • Identify problems and needs
  • Use a variety of sources for information and evaluate validity of sources
  • Design an experiment, plan or model to define a problem
  • Apply a variety of methods to test validity of data
  • Formulate questions relevant for clarification
Design & planning skills
  • Assess needs
  • Identify alternatives
  • Set goals and prioritize
  • Follow through
  • Predict future patterns
  • Accommodate multiple demands for time, energy and resources
Information management skills
  • Sort data and objects
  • Compile and rank information
  • Apply information creatively
  • Synthesize facts, concepts and principles
  • Understand and use organizing principles
  • Evaluate information against appropriate standards
Leadership & administration skills
  • Analyze tasks and set priorities
  • Include others who will contribute to the solution of a problem or task
  • Identify resources and materials useful in the solution of a problem
  • Delegate responsibility for the completion of a task
  • Motivate and lead others
  • Organize people and tasks to achieve specific goals
Communication skills
  • Listen with objectivity
  • Paraphrase the content of a message
  • Use various forms and styles of written communication
  • Speak effectively to individuals and groups
  • Use a variety of media formats to present information imaginatively
  • Express needs, wants, opinions and preferences without violating the rights of others
  • Identify and communicate value judgments effectively
  • Describe objects or events neutrally and factually
  • Convey a positive outlook to others
  • Communicate a multicultural understanding
Interpersonal skills
  • Keep a group on track toward a common goal
  • Maintain group cooperation and support
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities
  • Interact effectively with peers, supervisors and supervisees
  • Express feelings appropriately
  • Understand and respect the feelings of others
  • Make commitments to others and follow through
  • Take appropriate risks
  • Teach a skill, concept or principle to others
  • Analyze behavior of self and others in group situations
  • Demonstrate effective social behavior in multiple situations
  • Display an appreciation of diversity

Last modified August 28 2012 02:27 PM