Transferable Skills

Having an understanding of which strengths you bring to a position or academic program will help you throughout your search for employment or entrance to graduate programs. Review this list of commonly sought skills and select those you feel you possess and can demonstrate.

These skills can be used when developing any job search materials, graduate school application materials, or for interview prep.

Planning and Organizational Skills

  • Meet deadlines and manage time effectively
  • Work under time and environmental pressures
  • Successfully juggle multiple demands
  • Identify and prioritize things to be accomplished
  • Develop goals for self and/or an organization
  • Work effectively with organization members
  • Follow up with others to evaluate progress
  • See a difficult endeavor through to completion

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Quickly and accurately identify key issues when making a decision or solving a problem
  • Identify general principles that explain data or human behavior
  • Examine assumptions underlying conclusions
  • Recognize interrelationships in information obtained from diverse sources
  • Use facts to judge validity of theories
  • Create innovative solutions to complex problems
  • Critically evaluate theories and research and apply the results to solve problems
  • Gather and analyze information from a variety of sources to fully understand a problem
  • Make decisions and solve problems using sound reasoning and judgment

Leadership/Management Skills

  • Align team around organizational values
  • Persuade others to consider your ideas
  • Motivate team during busy or stressful times
  • Connect with others by building mutual trust
  • Serve as a role model to others by approaching tasks with confidence and positive attitude
  • Exhibit maturity and self-control, even in situations involving conflict or stress
  • Use innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods
  • Work to understand the needs and wishes of others to benefit the organizational goals

Research and Investigation Skills

  • Use a variety of information sources to research problems or answers to questions
  • Conduct literature searches on a variety of topics
  • Develop new research questions
  • Apply a variety of research methods to test the validity of data
  • Design an experiment, plan, or model that systematically defines a problem
  • Construct, administer, and interpret questionnaires or surveys
  • Ethically recruit and treat research subjects
  • Select appropriate statistical tests for analysis of research
  • Analyze and interpret statistical data.
  • Interpret qualitative and quantitative data
  • Use software or equipment to assist with research
  • Deal effectively with financial, temporal, and personnel constraints on research

Personal Skills

  • Define and explain ethical behavior and practice it in difficult situations
  • Take initiative; look for opportunities to improve
  • Have tolerance for stress and ambiguity
  • Demonstrate flexibility while handling change
  • Recognize the value of lifelong learning and seek professional development opportunities
  • Identify personal values and apply them when making decisions
  • Accept feedback without becoming angry or defensive and use it to strengthen future performance

Creative Skills

  • Create images for marketing campaign
  • Produce artwork for gallery display
  • Use intuition to develop a new idea
  • Invent an original product useful to the public
  • Design visual media to easily convey message

Oral and Written Communication Skills

  • Organize and present ideas effectively
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Debate issues while respecting others
  • Read and condense large amounts of material
  • Write reports clearly, concisely, objectively, convincingly, and in appropriate format
  • Write and speak effectively in a foreign language
  • Deliver presentations clearly and persuasively
  • Express and defend ideas clearly and objectively
  • Communicate information, ideas, and data clearly and concisely so that others can understand
  • Promptly inform relevant others when needing guidance with assigned tasks (ask questions!)
  • Listen to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting
  • Build strong, positive working relationships with supervisor and team members/coworkers
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals

Technology Skills

  • Use computer software to prepare reports, graphs, brochures, etc. and to conduct research
  • Possess and demonstrate internet research and social media skills
  • Possess and demonstrate web design skills
  • Display proficiency with MS Office software
  • Quickly learn and adapt to new or unfamiliar technologies

Human Relations and Interpersonal Skills

  • Maintain group cooperation and support
  • Keep group on track when working towards goal
  • Interact and work effectively with peers, superiors, and subordinates
  • Interact with and appreciate people from diverse cultural, social, and religious backgrounds
  • Communicate effectively and sensitively in individual and group situations
  • Teach a skill, concept, or principle to others
  • Demonstrate appropriate social behavior in a variety of settings and circumstances
  • Effectively collaborate with others to complete projects or reach goals
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities
  • Demonstrate dependability
  • Have attention to detail, resulting in few errors
  • Take initiative to prioritize and complete tasks
  • Show dedication toward doing good work
  • Take responsibility for actions and quality of work without blaming others or making excuses
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals/expectations
  • Act in accordance with the highest possible standards of ethics and integrity
  • Maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness, honesty, and high personal standards in dealings with others
  • Treat people, including those of different backgrounds and beliefs, with fairness and respect
  • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking