What are transferable skills?

These are the skills, attributes and strengths that are needed for specific job roles. Whether you are looking for a part-time job or a graduate scheme you will be expected to have at least some of the skills, or the potential to acquire the skills needed to do the job.

Increasingly employers expect students to have experience of the workplace and be work ready upon graduation. You can find out what skills employers are typically looking for by using the relevant job profiles in the Which Career? section of this website.

How can I gain transferable skills?

The good news is you probably have more than you think! You will gain skills through:

  • Your course: Check the course handbook to see what skills you should gain as a result of your studies. Talk to a coursemate and compare notes. What skills do you think you have gained so far? How and when did you get them?
  • Work experience: Includes part-time and vacation jobs, internships and placements, working for a family business, volunteering, work shadowing, insight days and employer visits.
  • Extra-curricular activities: Sports, clubs and societies, hobbies can all count but you need to be actively involved. University commitments like course or hall rep, peer mentoring, business games competitions, prizes and awards are also great.

Develop your skills

Find activities and opportunities to develop a range of the most sought after skills while at university.

For each skill on the list there are examples of typical application form and interview questions you may be expected to answer, plus an insight into assessment centre activities.