Transferable skills, often referred to as ‘soft-skills’, ’employability skills’ or  ‘portable skills’ are qualities that can be transferred from one job to another. It’s always good to have a few examples ready for your job application or interview.

Transferable skills can be developed through your experiences in work, volunteering, sport and past-times and that can be carried through to the workplace. Having these types of skills help to boost your CV and ultimately, your ability to get the job you want. Remember in an application, or interview, it is always good to have a few examples of how you have applied these skills.

Here’s a few tips to start you thinking about your transferable skills:


In today’s ever-changing work environments adaptability can give you a competitive edge.

Openness –  Being accepting  of, and  enthusiastic about new ideas and ways of working

Independence and collaboration – able to work alone and autonomously and being able to work with others as easily

Learning – knowing that learning is continual and embracing opportunities to take on new knowledge and skills

Change – understanding, being onboard, and accepting  that change is a vital and inevitable part of continuous improvement

Flexible – being able to shift strategy or approach to suit the needs of the a particular situation  managing  unexpected  events and changes with calm and confidence



Takes many forms contributing to successful work outcomes, and may include:

Creating documents – everything from maintenance documentation to in-depth research

Reading and interpreting documentation – this can include staying up to date with the latest policies and procedures, or interpreting complex documentation

Oral communication – such as how to convey your message, presenting or more complex skills like empathising or persuading that may be required for interactions

Language – this includes competency in English, or other relevant languages, as well as an ability to communicate effectively in environments where there are those who speak English as a second language



Can you think of any examples when you were part of a team?

Supporting team members – identifying and assisting when others need help and collaborating to reach  common goals

Contributing to positive team dynamics – this is a responsibility for all team members, and includes dealing appropriately with conflict

Understanding your relationship and accountability to other team members.

Working  and building rapport with people who vary in age, gender, race, religion or political persuasion

Working autonomously in the interest of shared team goals and objectives


Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

At its simplest it can be described as seeing that something is wrong and fixing it. Problem solving can include processes to identify problems for risk management and quality assurance.

Initiative – can be identified as an important facet of problem solving as it allows you to take steps to solve problems with or without input from supervisors

Using troubleshooting equipment – including standard checks and maintenance as well as addressing breakdowns that may occur in the course of use

Providing customer service – working with clients to resolve problems and provide options for complaints resolution

Continuous improvement – processes an important means to ensure that key lessons are learned and integrated following workplace problems

Research, which is a problem solving process can also contribute to effective resolution of problems



When have you taken initiative to achieve work-related outcomes without close and detailed supervision?

Change Management – both your response to change within the organisation and in leadership skills demonstrated in implementing change

Identifying opportunities – sharing ideas to improve work practices and opportunities for the growth of the organisation

Reflecting on your own practice for improvement – this is the ability to critically reflect on and evaluate your own work habits

Engaging colleagues – an innovative work-place culture is one where all individuals actively engage with other colleagues in sharing work-place knowledge

Adapting to new situations


Planning and organising

Planning and organising reflects your ability to manage tasks and timelines:

Time management – your ability to meet time based requirements and deadlines

Project management skills – your ability to manage multiple tasks and resources simultaneously

Planning, strategy and resource allocation – participating in and leading processes which contribute to the establishment of key directions for the organisation

Achieving goals and targets – an ability to complete the tasks assigned

Research – collecting, analysing and organising information to inform subsequent work processes

Scheduling – tasks, rosters or delivery etc



Self-management refers to your ability to manage yourself in relation to the outcomes expected of  your role:

Assessing and evaluating your own performance to identify areas for improvement

Identifying and seeking out appropriate development opportunities, both internal and external to the organisation

Eliciting feedback, as appropriate from peers, subordinates and superiors

Knowing the organisation, the work role, and its limits of authority

Working safely



Learning recognises the importance of using career experiences to extend and develop new skills. It recognises that learning is a continual process that takes many forms in the workplace and includes:

Learning from past experience so that new and better ways of working are practised

Taking responsibility for strengthening your skill base so that you can move your career in the direction you want



Technology has an important role in a range of functions performed in the workplace. This includes the more traditional forms of information technology and the skills needed to work with other equipment and machinery:

Using information technology to assist in communication and support management and planning functions

Operating machinery and technologies which assist in the completion of routine, heavy or complex tasks

Troubleshooting machinery and technology

Applying OHS knowledge to appropriately use technology, be it information technology or machinery


That’s just a few tips to start you thinking about skills you can transfer to your next job.  We’ve got heaps more tips!

If you’re looking for a career change or are ready to re-enter the workforce, our Career Specialists are here to help prepare you to compete in today’s job market. We have a range of packages to help you get the job you are after. We’ll teach you how to market your unique experience and skills and how to craft a professional tailored resume and nail your job interview.

Visit Harvest Careers for more information. 

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