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How to Pack Your Resume with Transferrable Skills

How to Pack Your Resume with Transferrable Skills

Job Seeker Tips / February 4, 2021

A resume is might be the most important document of your career. It’s what gets your foot in the door, what makes you stand out from the rest of the competition, and lands you an interview or two. It needs to have your education and experience in addition to your achievements, career summary, and key skills. And the skills might be the most important part, possibly setting you apart from the top candidates. Here’s how to pack your resume with transferrable skills.

Which skills to addHow to Pack Your Resume with Transferrable Skills

You need to include both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are the ones you’ve attained through education and work experience that might be specific to your particular industry. Soft skills, on the other hand, are transferrable because they’re usually linked to your personal traits, emotional intelligence, or people skills. This includes communication, relationship building, time management, teamwork, conflict resolution, decision-making, and creativity. These are valuable no matter what industry, positions, or rank you’re in.

Where to put the skills

Skills are important—they’re what most employers look for first—so you’re a skills section should be front and center, but your resume should also be peppered with skills throughout. List important skills in your education and experience sections and even your cover letter.

How to list the skills

First you need to figure out which are the most important skills. This will probably depend on the job you’re applying for, which is why it’s so important to tailor your resume to each job application. Look at the requirements from original job posting. Prioritize those. The skills you include on your resume should align with those requirements so you seem like a perfect fit for the role.

Make the skills relevantHow to Pack Your Resume with Transferrable Skills

Don’t include skills that are irrelevant to the position. Your ability to type ninety words a minute or your lifeguarding certification don’t matter if you’re applying for a job as a welder. If you’re changing fields or applying for a job you’re not completely qualified for, focus on the skills that are important no matter what industry you’re in—those transferrable skills that demonstrate your work ethic, communication skills, and other valuable personal traits.

Fill in the blanks

Once you’re finished and you’re pretty confident that your transferrable skills line up with the requirements of the position, ask yourself if any of your most notable skills—like fluency in a foreign language—are missing from your resume or cover letter. If they are, find a way to weave them in, along with any other more universal skills that a good candidate needs to have and any keywords that hiring managers might be looking for. Think: organizational skills, the ability to multi-task, or the ability to manage your time.


For more advice on crafting the perfect resume so you can land your next great gig, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh