Why are transferable skills important?


Quick Answer

Transferable skills are abilities a person acquires in work or life that are useful in a new position. Potential employers look for people with skills that offer the new employee the greatest chance for success if hired.

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Full Answer

During an interview, prospective employers ask questions designed to uncover a candidate’s skill set and determine how many of those skills are transferable to the position in question.

Someone with a forest industry background, for example, may not have direct transferable skills to a position in a bank. Both industries have, at a minimum, the need for employees to be punctual, show attention to detail, be able to work in a team, and have good time-management skills.

A fresh college graduate who has not held long-term positions needs to be able to identify what she learned in school and how that might apply to the job in question. A lack of professional experience is not necessarily a problem for some employers. Some employers are simply looking for potential and a positive attitude. Initiative, integrity and creativity are life skills that are also transferable to the workplace. This also holds true for people looking to shift to a new position or break into a totally new industry.

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