5 Transferable Skills That Every Employer Wants To See On Your Résumé

Friday, June 13th, 2014

If you want to increase the likelihood that an employer will invite you to an interview, you should update your résumé each time you apply for a role. The focus you place on certain skills and experience can change a lot from one job application to the next. This process of review aside, you should also remember that all employers look for certain key qualities in their people. Refresh your current résumé, and make sure that the document includes evidence of the following critical transferable skills.

Effective communication

Every employer wants to recruit people with good communication skills. Strong communicators are effective workers because they are able to work well with other people. Strong written communication skills are vital for any role that involves producing documents and reports, and the ability to communicate verbally is essential for anyone that has to deal with customers or suppliers. Make sure that your résumé refers to situations where you put your communication skills to good use.


The ability to lead people is critical for any kind of supervisory role, but leadership skills are important at any level. Good leaders are self-motivated, able to work independently, and can also take control of a piece of work.  Employers want candidates who can show initiative, motivate other people, and think about how their work affects other people. On that basis, you should look for ways to show leadership skills in your résumé, even if you have never actually managed a team of people.


It’s vital that you can make decisions, regardless of the job that your employer pays you to do. Your manager doesn’t want to have to oversee every decision you make, and he wants to see evidence that you can take on responsibility.  Identify examples in your career history where you have had to make decisions, and show how you were able to reach the right result.  Leaders want to give their people the power to take some initiative, but you have to show that you respond well to your boss delegating tasks to you.


Your effectiveness depends on your ability to organise your work, so a potential employer will want to see evidence of your planning skills. Check that your résumé includes examples of tough deadlines that you had to meet, so that you can also show how well you can manage your time. Always include evidence of any responsibility that you have had for managing budgets or planning specific activities, and put details in your résumé of the scale of the responsibility that you had. A budget of two million dollars will impress an employer much more than two hundred dollars.


There are very few roles in the workplace that do not need you to work in a team. Even if you are the only person who does a specific job, it’s very likely that you will have to interact with other people. A employer wants to see evidence in your résumé of your experiences of working in a team. Include examples where your work was vital to the success of a project, and look for opportunities to prove your flexibility towards your colleagues.

When a role asks for very specific skills and experience, it is important to offer clear evidence of relevant capabilities in your resume. It’s easier to find evidence of transferable skills, but many candidates still forget to sharpen their résumé with these basic requirements. Continually review your résumé, and look for ways to show any prospective employer how strong your transferable skills are.

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