Why are Transferable Skills Important?

By Relebohile Sera

Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash
Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

Transferable skills can be general or specific and come from previous jobs, projects, voluntary work, sports, home life, hobbies and interests. The important thing is that you can take them with you to use in a future job role.

Many people starting out on their careers imagine that their qualifications count the most. Without doubt, there is no denying that a good degree or diploma can open doors to prominent jobs. It is however not knowledge alone that will aid you along in your career, neither the people you know.

Employers aren’t essentially looking for bright young sparks but people with potential. The best fit for their organization. And this is also important for those people with no work experience; students and graduates alike. They often write “empty” CVs just because they feel they have nothing to add due to their lack of formal work experience.

An empty CV gives employers the impression that you have not done anything productive with your time while studying. The lack of work experience should never be a hindrance to you. Do a competency CV with transferable skills you have gained along the way and that can be applied to the world of work.

Below are a number of reasons why transferable skills are important:

You Can Use Them To Land A Job

Experience and education are not enough to land a job, you need to have the right skill set to complete tasks on your job description. And any relevant volunteer experience and transferable skills developed in other fields can be presented in a way that is attractive to employers to show that you are the right fit for the position.

No One Can Take Them Away From You

Transferable Skills are skills you accumulate as you go and that says no one can ever take them away from you. They are yours to keep and you go with them from job to job. And you can keep growing your skill set by doing more and more activities that can help you and put you at a better and advantageous position than your peers.

You Already Have Them

The great thing about transferable skills is that you already have them. You learn them everywhere; at home, in life, at work or at school. The cumulative experiences you have will dictate which transferable skills you have.

No matter what you do, where you do it or how you do it, you have skills. All you need then is to figure out how you are going to sell those skills to an employer to be successful in your job search.

They Make You Flexible

Employers need people who can do multiple things and fill different roles if need arises. Your possession of skills that apply to a wide variety of fields will put you at an advantage and make you a better candidate over your competition. Take account of your skill set and see how you can apply it to your job search to make you outstanding.

They Can Help You Broaden Your Horizons

You may have learned how to manage kids, organize activities and communicate clearly at a Sunday school retreat your church hosted during the school breaks. A retail store manager position that requires the exact skill set you acquired from the retreat can be advertised.

It is your responsibility then to make those transferable skills you possess stand out in your CV and show why you will be a good candidate for the position. You will find out that it may not be necessary for you then to take a two-year course in retail store management to excel in that position.


Relebohile Sera (Ms) is a Professional Certified Career Coach. My mission in life is to help people be successful in their careers and to provide coaching for those seeking a new career direction.