How having transferable skills can increase your chance of getting a job

Guest blog post by Chelsey, Southampton Work Coach

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills can range from anything such as time management to leadership to writing. These are different attributes that you can use anywhere in a professional setting or your personal life.

Transferable skills are usually picked up in previous employments where you can seamlessly transfer them to a new employment. However, these skills can also be created and learnt within your personal life. Many of these skills you will use in every job you have; others you may only use in a few. Here is a list of a few of the main transferable skills employers are looking for:

Team work

  • Can you work together with others to deliver a company’s aims?

Personal motivation

  • Think of motivation as the reasons why you try to do your best to achieve something


  • Can you keep things and tasks in a tidy way, so that you know where to find things quickly?

Time management

  • Can you set reminders on your phone so that you get to an appointment on time? Do you make the most of your time at home?

Written and verbal communication

  • Ask your friends about how well you come across when you are telling them things. Can you write or type a letter, and use IT such as MS Word?

Adaptability and Reliability

  • Can you change plans if things are not going how they should? Can you swap to a new task if asked to do so, and remain calm?
  • Can your friends rely on you? Do you follow through and do what you say you will?


  • Are you able to organise and lead people to complete a task?


  • Are you able to put tasks in order of importance?

Why are transferable skills important?

By having a wide range of skills, you show that you are able to complete a job to the best standard. When looking at a role it is always important to imagine what skills would be needed to carry out the job in question – this will help you when looking at the application stage and then at the interview. You can find clues by looking at the job description, job advert and person specification. If you are confident in what skills the role needs, this will show in the interview. By showing that you have transferable skills that are relevant to a role, this highlights to the company that you would be a perfect candidate.

But I’ve not worked before

If you have not worked before, maybe you were part of a sports team or group such as Scouts? You can use some examples of using skills from past experiences. Maybe you have been part of a school project where you were able to actively show different skills. You can also volunteer to gain some work experience. The website has lots of voluntary opportunities in your area, or you can find Southampton-based volunteering vacancies at SO: Linked

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