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Identify Your Transferable Skills

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Transferable skills can be used, or transferred, from one job to another. Understand your skills and how they can transfer to other jobs.

Everyone has strengths and skills they are good at. Below is a list of transferable skills that workers in all types of careers can use.

Common Transferable Skills

Skill Set Description Examples
Basic skills These are skills needed by almost all workers. These skills are very important to have. Writing, for example, is a basic skill that gets you into a good job. Not having it can keep you out of a good job. Learn new things
Think critically
People skills These are some of the most needed and wanted skills. They're sometimes called soft skills. These skills help people to work well with others. Be aware of others
Coordinate with others
Help others
Teach others
Management skills All workers need these skills, not just managers. Employers hire people who can keep track of projects, money, and their time. Managing money
Managing people
Managing things
Managing time
Systems skills Can you understand how parts and wholes work together? For example, could you see what would happen to your company if a certain employee left? Or how a new tax law might change prices at the grocery store? Then you have systems skills. Evaluate a system
Evaluate an organization
Understand a system
Make good decisions
Technical skills Technology includes computers and equipment. Computers are common in most workplaces. People in all occupations should know how to work with technology. Choose tools
Control quality
Install equipment
Install programs
Maintain equipment
Check equipment
Operate equipment


How Do I Know Which Skills I Have?

Many people take a skills assessment to learn about their skills. A skill assessment will help you identify your skills.

  • The Skills Profiler on the CareerOneStop website is a great place to start. You can begin with your current career, or use the "start with your skills" option to select skills yourself. At the end you will have a skills profile that shows you the skills you already have. Use the Skills Profiler.

How Do My Skills Transfer?

Most skills assessments will use your skills to show you how those skills can transfer to other careers. These are often called related careers. The Skills Profiler tool mentioned above does this, as well as the Job Skills Transfer Assessment Tool, or JOBSTAT. Once you've selected your last career, the tool will automatically find related careers that closely match the skills, knowledge, and abilities you used. Use JOBSTAT.

If you want a skills reference sheet to take with you, print out this exercise from the Job Seekers Guide website: Match Your Skills to Occupations (53KB, .pdf). You can record your skills and related occupations as you use the tools above. It also includes the table of common transferable skills for your reference.