How to Write a Resume with Transferable Skills



Ever felt that sinking feeling after sending off a resume, wondering if you've missed something crucial? 

Here's a little secret: the job world isn't just about ticking boxes of technical know-how. It's those relatable, everywhere-you-go skills, the transferable ones, that can make all the difference. 

And guess what? 

They're not just for resumes, they also shine brightly in transferable skills cover letters too. 

In this blog, we'll dive into what these skills really are, how to spot them in your own experiences, and tips to seamlessly weave them into your job applications. 

So, if you're ready to elevate your applications from 'maybe' to 'must-have', stick around!

Understanding Transferable Skills

When we talk about skills, the first ones that come to mind are the hard, technical ones we've picked up over the years, such as coding, graphic design, or even speaking a foreign language. 

But beyond that lies a universe of skills that aren't tied to a specific job or field. 

These are our transferable skills

Think about those times you've led a team project, navigated a tricky customer situation, or even juggled multiple tasks under pressure. 

Those abilities? 

They're golden in almost any job. 

So, as you're piecing together your next application, pause and ask, "What are transferable skills and why are they important?" 

The answer: They’re the versatile gems that showcase not just what you can do, but the kind of worker and team player you are. They bridge the gap between your past experiences and your future potential in new arenas.

Identifying and Tailoring Skills

Identifying your transferable skills can feel a bit like a treasure hunt, but it's worth every bit of effort. 

We often breeze past them because they seem so natural to us or are skills we've developed outside the traditional workspace. 

Remember that leadership role you took in a community project or how you've become the go-to mediator among friends? 

That's leadership and conflict resolution right there! 

To identify more skills, start by reflecting on experiences both inside and outside your formal job roles. Look for patterns in challenges you've faced and how you've approached them. 

You might be surprised at how many skills you bring to the table. 

And the beauty? 

These skills can be molded and pitched for a variety of roles, making you adaptable and invaluable in today's ever-changing job market.

Case study: Teacher transferable skills

Let’s consider the role of a teacher to further demonstrate how to identify transferable skills.

Teachers naturally develop a variety of transferable skills that can be used in many different industries.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Communication: Ever simplified a tough topic for a class? That's clear communication, and businesses love that for roles like training or content creation.
  2. Leadership: Running a classroom? That's like managing a team. It means you can lead and coordinate, making you fit for manager roles in many fields.
  3. Conflict Resolution: Sorted out disagreements in class? Companies need that skill in human resources or customer relations roles.
  4. Organization: If you've planned lessons or graded papers, you're organized. This skill is a win for jobs needing good planning, like project management.
  5. Adaptability: Changed your teaching style for different students? That's adaptability, perfect for roles where thinking on your feet is key.

Quantifying and Validating Skills

Now, here's where the rubber meets the road: quantifying and validating those transferable skills. 

It's one thing to say you're great at team management, but quite another to back it up with tangible proof. 

Enter the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result. 

Instead of merely mentioning that you're great at problem-solving, narrate a short story. Perhaps a Situation where a project was lagging, the Task you identified to correct course, the Action you took to rally the team, and the impressive Result achieved. 

And remember, a standout resume is one that lingers in a recruiter’s mind long after the initial read.

This method not only provides evidence of your skills but also paints a clear picture for potential employers. The more concrete you can be, the more convincing and memorable your resume becomes. 

Case study: Paralegal transferable skills

For this section we’ll use a paralegal as an example of how to quantify and validate transferable skills.

Paralegals work alongside lawyers where precision and evidence are key.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Research Skills: As a paralegal, you've likely conducted in-depth legal research. Quantify this by stating, "Conducted research for over 50 cases in the past year, 80% of which led to favorable outcomes for our clients."
  2. Attention to Detail: Detail is everything in legal work. Validate this skill by mentioning, "Drafted and reviewed an average of 10 legal documents per week, with less than a 1% revision rate based on attorney feedback."
  3. Time Management: Given tight legal deadlines, this is paramount. Quantify by noting, "Managed case preparation timelines for a firm handling an average of 150 active cases at any given time, ensuring 100% adherence to court deadlines."
  4. Communication: Paralegals liaise between attorneys, clients, and courts. Validate this with, "Facilitated communication for 20 attorneys in the firm, resulting in a 30% increase in client satisfaction ratings."
  5. Organization: Highlight your organizational prowess by stating, "Organized and maintained a digital filing system that improved document retrieval times by 40%."

Avoiding Generic Descriptions

Crafting your resume is a bit like creating art: it's essential to be genuine and original. 

Falling into the trap of using generic descriptors like 'team player' or 'hard worker' might make your resume blend into the background noise. 

To truly stand out, specificity is your best friend. 

Instead of saying you're a 'good communicator', mention how you facilitated cross-departmental meetings leading to a 20% increase in project efficiency. 

Ditch the clichés and get personal. 

Recall moments from past roles where your transferable skills truly shone and describe them in detail. 

It’s these authentic, vivid snippets of your career that will make a potential employer sit up, take notice, and think, "I want this person on my team."


Case study: Nurse transferable skills

Nurses get pulled in all sorts of different directions from precise chart updates to empathy in patient care.

But we want to go beyond the generic terms.

Here are some way that nurses can demonstrate transferable skills on their resumes:

  1. Generic: Team Player

Specific: Collaborated in a fast-paced team of 15 nurses and 5 doctors in the ER, ensuring seamless shift transitions and a 20% decrease in patient wait times.

  1. Generic: Good Communicator

Specific: Facilitated weekly patient care meetings, conveying complex medical jargon in understandable terms, resulting in increased patient compliance and satisfaction.

  1. Generic: Empathetic

Specific: Led patient counseling sessions post-diagnosis, where feedback indicated a 90% appreciation rate for providing emotional support and clear guidance.

  1. Generic: Organized

Specific: Managed medication schedules for an average of 25 patients daily, maintaining 100% accuracy and timely administration over the last year.

  1. Generic: Problem Solver

Specific: Identified a recurring issue in patient charting that led to a streamlined electronic record-keeping initiative, reducing clerical errors by 30%.

Striking a Balance

Finding the right balance in a resume can often feel like walking a tightrope. 

On one side, you've got your job-specific skills—those nitty-gritty details that make you perfect for a particular role. On the other, your versatile transferable skills that highlight your adaptability and broad capability. 

The key? 

It's all about understanding your audience. 

Dive deep into the job description, research the company culture, and look at what the industry currently values. 

Prioritize your skills accordingly. 

Maybe for one job, your project management experience takes center stage, while for another, your conflict-resolution skills get the spotlight. 

Always remember: a well-balanced resume doesn't just say "I can do this job." It whispers to the recruiter, "I can bring added value and growth to your team."

Case study: Project Manager transferable skills

Project managers need to satisfy 2 sides of a project, stakeholders and employees.

This gives you the opportunity to develop many skills that are both job related and transferable.

Here’s how you can balance it out:

  1. Core Skill - Project Execution

Transferable Skill - Time Management: Orchestrated simultaneous project timelines for 5 key company initiatives, ensuring each was completed on schedule and within budget.

  1. Core Skill - Stakeholder Communication

Transferable Skill - Conflict Resolution: Acted as the liaison between developers and marketing teams, mediating disagreements and ensuring alignment, resulting in a 40% reduction in project delays due to miscommunication.

  1. Core Skill - Risk Management

Transferable Skill - Problem Solving: Proactively identified potential bottlenecks in the supply chain, devising alternative strategies that saved $50k in potential overruns.

  1. Core Skill - Team Leadership

Transferable Skill - Motivational Skills: Implemented a monthly recognition system for outstanding team contributions, boosting overall project team morale and productivity by 25%.

  1. Core Skill - Budgeting

Transferable Skill - Analytical Thinking: Regularly reviewed project expenditures against forecasts, making real-time adjustments that ensured a 95% budget accuracy rate over two fiscal years.

Space and Presentation Concerns

With the limited space of an A4 size paper, it's important to present your skills in a concise, yet comprehensive manner. 

Transferable skills deserve their spotlight, but how can you showcase them without overcrowding? 

Consider creating a distinct 'Skills Matrix' or a dedicated section just for these skills. By categorizing and listing them, you provide a snapshot of your versatility at a glance. 

Keep the design clean and clutter-free, using bullet points or columns to enhance readability. If a particular skill has a story behind it, weave that narrative into your job experiences. 

The goal is for potential employers to see, within moments, both your depth of experience and the breadth of abilities you'd bring onboard. 

A seamless blend of presentation and content can ensure your resume doesn’t just get skimmed, but truly seen.

Additional Strategies for Success

Success in the job market is all about leveraging every tool under your belt, and when it comes to transferable skills, your resume isn't the only platform to flaunt them. 

Transferable skills cover letters can be incredibly powerful. 

Here, you have the space to narrate the story behind those skills, explaining the context and your passion in a way a resume might not allow. It's your chance to convey the journey that honed your adaptability, your knack for collaboration, or your unique approach to challenges. 

Additionally, always be open to seeking feedback—whether from mentors, peers, or professionals. A fresh perspective can spotlight skills you might have undervalued or overlooked. 

This multifaceted approach ensures that you not only identify and validate your transferable skills but also communicate them effectively to your future employers.


In the grand scheme of job applications, understanding and showcasing transferable skills can be transformative. 

They're more than just items on a list; they're a testament to your journey, adaptability, and potential. 

As industries evolve and job roles transform, these skills will remain unchanged, bridging the gap between past achievements and future opportunities. 

So, whether you're a recent graduate, looking for a career pivot, or simply aiming for that next big promotion, remember to give these skills the limelight they deserve. 

The result? 

An application that's not just checking off the list but really shows the real you and what you're great at.

Ready to up your game? 

Visit WonsultingAI where you can take advantage of our entire AI job search suite of tools including ResumAI, CoverLetterAI, NetworkAI, and AutoApplyAI.

With the power of AI, never worry if your resume is good enough ever again.

Try it out today!

Or read more about how it works: WonsultingAI User Guide.

Ready to make your dream job a reality?

Get personal attention with each of our services, or join a community of learners in our online courses.

Questions about our services? Check out our FAQs page or contact our team here.