Describing transferable skills in your CV

Transferable skills are skills that are useful for a range of positions, and can be transferred into different job areas. Depending on what job you're applying for, you should highlight different transferable skills in your CV.

If you're not sure what your skills are, you can find out more on these pages:

When writing about transferable skills in your CV, give the employer examples of where and how you've used these skills. This helps the employer understand what you will be able to do in the new job.

Below are some examples showing how you can do this.

"I can work confidently under pressure"

How I use the skill

  • "At school, I handed in all of my assignments on time while also working in two part-time jobs."
  • "In my role as president of the local Plunket committee, I co-ordinated a large team of volunteers for the annual appeal, working to strict deadlines."
  • "As a member of the school gala committee, I co-ordinated the school cake stall in a very short time frame and managed a busy stall on the day, resulting in a profit of $3,000."

What this says to the employer

"If I can work under pressure and still make deadlines, I will be able to take on new challenges with confidence."

"I like to achieve my goals"

How I use this skill

  • "It has been my goal to complete a marathon for three years. After starting out with some 10km runs, I completed four half-marathons and this year ran and finished my first marathon."
  • "I have been a member of my school's First 15 rugby team for two years. We won the national First 15 Championship both years."

What this says to the employer

"I always set and achieve goals, so I am sure I will rise to the challenge of settling into my new role quickly and successfully meet any demands of me."

"I have strong communication skills"

How I use this skill

  • "I gave a presentation to the local youth council about the need for a youth group in our neighbourhood and was asked to speak at a city council meeting."
  • "In my environmental action committee, I helped to mediate between two people in conflict and come to a solution we were all happy with."
  • "I write a blog about dog-training that has [number] followers."

What this says to the employer

"I am able to get my ideas across clearly, and engage and lead other people.  I will be a pleasure to work with."

"I am able to motivate others"

How I use this skill

  • "I have coached two junior basketball teams while at school, one of which won their division."
  • "I encouraged my neighbours to join me in the women's triathlon as a team and set a time goal. We were placed in our age division!"

What this says to the employer

"I can help others achieve great things, so I know I will be an effective addition to your team."

"I have excellent organising skills"

How I use this skill

  • "I was the treasurer of my local playcentre, and organised all of its fundraising events last year."
  • "I had overall responsibility for my school's Smokefree Stage Challenge, making sure everything went smoothly."

What this says to the employer

"If I can do this successfully, I know I can contribute to your team."

Work out some examples for your own transferable skills

Download the transferable skills worksheet and use it to write down some transferable skills of your own. Then create statements and examples you could use on your CV.

Find out more

Careers New Zealand website

Updated 16 Jun 2016