Make Smarter Talent Acquisition Decisions with Our Latest Insights on India's Job Trends Download Now!
Dainik Bhaskar Banner

Developing Transferable Skills: Enhancing Your Career Mobility

By Pankaj Bansal

September 1, 2023


min read


sign up and join the careers circle to unlock this article

Find more curated content by Taggd

sign up sign in


“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” – Riley B. King, renowned musician & singer.

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing job market, the concept of a linear career path has become a thing of the past. With the rise of the gig economy, rapid pace of new tech adoption, and the convergence of industries, professionals are required to possess a unique set of skills that can adapt to various roles and industries. 

Learning Transferable Skills: The Why

Transferable skills are the skills that can be carried over from one job to another. In simple terms, these are skills that remain useful across different jobs and roles. They include soft skills such such as interpersonal communication, time management, negotiation, as well as hard skills such as data analysis, content strategization, and analytical reasoning.

Leading consulting firms such as McKinsey state that the demand for transferable skills is set to grow rapidly in the coming decade, with employers increasingly looking for candidates with such skills that are over and above the skills of operating a tech or tool.

Here are a few reasons why transferable skills are important for career mobility and growth:

  1. The future of hiring is not for roles, but skills

A LinkedIn Survey found out that companies are steadily moving away from role-based hiring to skills-based hiring. While specific job-related skills are important, transferable skills offer insights into a candidate’s potential for growth and adaptability. A candidate with a robust set of transferable skills is more likely to succeed in unfamiliar roles, making them an attractive prospect for any organization.

  1. Makes you more employable

Transferable skills such as leadership, customer service, communication, and time management, overall shape your professional self for the better. These skills are common prerequisites across multiple roles and thereby make you a more adaptable professional- a clear advantage in this dynamic job environment.

  1. Seamless collaboration and networking

Effective communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills are integral to building strong professional relationships. Learning these transferable skills enables you to connect with colleagues, clients, and mentors more effectively. Your ability to collaborate seamlessly, understand diverse perspectives, and communicate clearly strengthens your network and opens doors to valuable opportunities for growth and collaboration.

10 Top Sought-After Transferable Skills

Here are ten transferable skills sought after by recruiters across various industries:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Organization
  3. Problem solving
  4. Adaptability
  5. Teamwork
  6. Clear communication
  7. Dependability
  8. Leadership
  9. Decision making
  10. Empathy

How to Cultivate Transferable Skills?

Fortunately, transferable skills can be developed with a positive mindset open to ideas and suggestions. Here are few practical tips to develop a robust set of transferable skills:

  1. Continuous Learning: Embrace a lifelong learning mindset. Enroll in workshops, courses, or webinars that expand your skill set and keep you up-to-date with new concepts that help you polish your transferable skill. 
  2. Step Up for Diverse Experiences: Seek out opportunities within and beyond your current role. Volunteering, internships, and side projects can expose you to new challenges and enhance your skills.
  3. Take feedback from managers and colleagues: Identify the transferable skills that you want to improve, and take regular feedback from your colleagues and managers about how you are performing on that front. For example, if time management is one skill you want to improve, analyze your own calendar as well as check with your line manager how you are performing in terms of deliverables.
  4. Networking: Connect with professionals from various industries. Networking provides valuable insights into new transferable skills that can help you improve your career growth opportunities.

How to Display Your Transferable Skills to Recruiters?

  • Tailor your resume: In your resume, highlight relevant transferable skills by providing concrete examples from your previous experiences. Use bullet points to describe accomplishments and responsibilities that showcase how you have applied these skills. For example, add: Led cross-functional teams to achieve project goals, demonstrating strong teamwork and communication skills.
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile: Recruiters actively track LinkedIn profiles to assess candidates so ensure you make full use of it. Tailor your bio and achievements with achievements and experiences that demonstrate your proficiency in transferable skills. However, never go overboard. Include only those skills in which you are well-versed. 
  • Mention practical incidents during interview answers: Interviewers will rarely ask you direct questions about transferable skills. However, when asked questions about achievements or challenges, highlight real-life professional incidents and stress how using a particular transferable skill helped you achieve a particular professional goal successfully.