Thinking About Your Transferable Skills

There are two categories of skills which you can gain through your experiences: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are technical, industry-specific skills such as C++, lab equipment operation, or grant writing. In contrast, soft skills are those which depend on interpersonal interactions and emotional intelligence, such as communication, adaptability, or problem solving. In either category, you will find skills which are transferable, those which can be applied anywhere, and it doesn’t matter where you learned them. It only matters that you can use them.

According to the 2012 NACE Job Outlook Survey, the top 10 skills employers seek are:

  1. Ability to work in a team structure
  2. Ability to verbally communicate with others
  3. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  4. Ability to obtain and process information
  5. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Technical knowledge related to job
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  10. Ability to sell or influence others