Transferrable Skills

Reviewing Transferrable Skills

Adapted fronm a handout originally by Dr. Larry Shaffer, from Plattsburgh University

Education and leadership opportunities can do a great deal to foster your growth and development. An important part of this development, involves building a number of skills. Transferable skills will transfer to most of the situations in which you will find yourself throughout your life and career. These skills will pay rich dividends in the long run because the content you learn in formal classes goes out‐of‐date very quickly these days, whereas skills are something you build upon and enhance every day.

There are a countless number of transferable skills, most of which are developed through experience beyond the classroom.

Budget Management

Get into a position where you are in charge of a budget, no matter how small. This will give you a chance to learn the compromises which have to be made when trying to responsibly control other peoples’ money.

Ice Breaking

This includes all the behaviors of dealing with the people who are unknown, or hardly known, to you. Learn to introduce yourself with first and last names and, where it matters, tell a bit about yourself. Learn how to make people feel comfortable with you in early contacts, such as, recruiting phone calls, interviews and first work sessions.

Public Relations/Customer Service

Get experience as a “front‐person” for some organization where you will greet visitors, answer phones, give talks to community groups, and/or manage campaigns.

Coping with Deadline Pressure

Demonstrate that you can produce good work when it is required within external deadlines.


Become a person who can resolve differences between two sides of an issue. Represent people on one side of an argument when their views are presented in public, or to people in a position of power.

Public Speaking

This skill may range from off‐the‐cuff remarks to prepared addresses. Get in the habit of speaking loudly and clearly when addressing groups.


Being able to work with others toward a common goal is a “MUST” for your future career. Develop your ability to be a member of a “team” where you will be expected to “pull your weight” and where you will learn how to talk with someone who is not completing his or her part of the work.


Whether you are in a meeting or at a workshop, your ability to REALLY listen, comprehend and retain what you’ve heard is one of the most important skills you can develop. It not only demonstrates respect, but you’ll be amazed at how this can help you with networking and connecting ideas with people, people to people, and yourself to new opportunities/skills.


Learn to write quickly and effectively. Take advantage of opportunities to have other people read and critique your writing.

Event Organization/Management/Coordination

Take responsibility for bringing together people, resources, and events in a way that allows you to delegate tasks to others.


Learn to present material to others in a way that takes account of the things they already understand.

Research and Analysis

Learn how and where to find information and see how various facts and findings impact (analysis) how you change your perceptions.

Electronic Information Handling

Learn to use the Internet efficiently. Learn standard software such as Microsoft Office applications. Learn how to construct your own webpage. Understand social and professional networking sites and how they differ.