How to Identify Transferable Skills to List on Your Resume

Wooden blocks that says "sell your skills," symbolically introducing concept of how to identify transferable skills to list on your resume

Are you looking to break into a new career field? If you are lacking related experience, it can be tricky to write your rewrite your resume for a career change. Learning how to identify transferable skills to list on your resume is a powerful way to highlight your relevant qualifications and stand out to potential employers.

To illustrate how important it is to list transferable skills on your resume, a recent study found that the top ten skills employers want to see on a resume in 2023 are in fact all transferable skills!

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First, reflect.

I recently met with a client whom I will call Carl. Carl was a bit stumped on how to write a resume for a career change from accounting to teaching. However, Carl had no idea what to put on his resume since all of his work experience was in his previous field of accounting.

I told Carl to sit down and first reflect on all of the transferable skills he acquired as an accountant. Transferable skills are skills that can be used in all professions. For example, leadership, oral and written communication, and teamwork.

Next, highlight skills related to new field.

Next, we highlighted the transferable skillsets that were the most applicable to his targeted field of teaching.

Lastly, brainstorm how to use skills in new field.

To tie everything together, I had Carl make a detailed list of each highlighted skillset, how he used the skills in accounting, and most importantly, how he could potentially use the skillsets in his targeted field of teaching.

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Here’s the list we generated:

Analytical Skills

Accounting: Analyzing financial data, identifying trends, and making data-driven decisions.
Teaching: Analyzing student performance, identifying learning gaps, and adapting teaching methods to meet diverse needs.


Organizational Skills

Accounting: Managing financial records, adhering to deadlines, and maintaining a well-organized system.
Teaching: Organizing lesson plans, grading assignments, and managing classroom activities efficiently.


Communication Skills

Accounting: Communicating financial information to various stakeholders, presenting reports, and facilitating discussions.
Teaching: Clearly conveying information to students, collaborating with parents and colleagues, and delivering effective presentations.

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Leadership Skills

Accounting: Leading financial teams, overseeing projects, and guiding junior staff.
Teaching: Leading a classroom, providing guidance to students, and collaborating with other educators and administrators.

After we listed all of the transferable skills, Carl quickly realized that he had a lot more to offer in his targeted field than he realized. By highlighting strengths that he acquired in the field of accounting that can easily transfer over to the field of teaching, Carl’s resume reflected that he was a well-qualified applicant.

In Conclusion:

Even if you are making a major career change and you are lacking relevant work experience, highlighting transferable skills on your resume will allow you to stand out from the competition!

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Transferable Skills Identification FAQ:

  • What are transferable skills and why are they important to include on your resume?

    Transferable skills are abilities and competencies that can be applied across different industries and job roles. They are important to include on your resume because they demonstrate your versatility, adaptability, and potential for success in a career change.

  • How do you identify which transferable skills to list on your resume?

    To identify transferable skills for your resume, start by reviewing your past experiences and highlighting skills that can be valuable in your desired career. Look for skills such as communication, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, and adaptability, which are universally sought after by employers across various fields.

  • How can you showcase transferable skills effectively on your resume?

    To showcase transferable skills effectively on your resume, use specific examples and achievements from your previous roles that demonstrate how you have successfully applied those skills. Incorporate them into your work experience or create a separate section highlighting your key transferable skills. Use action verbs and quantify your accomplishments to make them stand out to potential employers.

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