Why Are Transferable Skills Important?

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.

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.