Transferable Skills

Identify and Articulate Your Transferable Skills

You may not have yet gained experience in your career field, but employers are often interested in skill sets that can be transferred from one industry or fi­eld to another, or “transferable skills.” These skills are frequently needed for professional success in many fields. The following is an adapted list of candidate skills/qualities desired by employers as compiled by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE Job Outlook Survey, 2016).

You likely developed and strengthened many of these transferable skills during your time abroad. Use the table below to help identify and document your experiences abroad, allowing you to provide examples that help to demonstrate how you developed or stregnthed these transferable skills! 

Transferable Skills Definition  Think About Describe specific example(s) of how you developed or strengthened this skill abroad
Verbal Communication Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  • Communicating with people from different cultures
  • Speaking with people in different languages
Teamwork Ability to work in a team structure
  • Collaborating on group projects with students from other cultures
  • Traveling with a group
Problem Solving/Decision Making Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  • Missing the local transportation  option when expected at an appointment/class in a short amount of time
  • Identifying and weighing pros and cons of study abroad for your long term goals, determining most beneficial program and addressing challenges
Organization Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
  • Researching, identifying, organizing and completing requirements to study abroad by given deadlines per relevant agencies
  • Balancing coursework while learning about a new culture and making new friends
Critical Thinking Ability to obtain and process information
  • Collecting information on local transportation options and identifying most economical and efficient alternatives
  • Conducting course research in a second language; identifying appropriate resources at the host institution and in the community
Analytical  Ability to analyze data, people, and/or situations
  • Calculating currency exchange rates quickly and accurately in on-the-spot transactions
  • Assessing and clarifying academic expectations against those stated and implied as well as personal pre-conceived assumptions
Technical Knowledge Technical knowledge related to the job
  • Identifying similarities and differences in a professional area in your home country and your host country
  • Applying and adapting your expertise based on host organization’s/institution’s  needs and resources
Technology Profi­ciency with computer software programs
  • Researching programs through technology to prepare for your education abroad program
  • Documenting experience and communicating across countries/cultures 
Written Communication Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  • Writing papers, completing exams, and assignments for host and home institutions
  • Preparing formal communications with faculty, staff, internship supervisors, and/or host families
Interpersonal Ability to sell, influence, or lead others
  • Leading group projects with students from other cultures
  • Persuading domestic students to pursue education abroad

Download a copy of this worksheet here

Developed in collaboration with University Career Services. For more information on interviewing and other job search activities, visit