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7 Transferable Skills to Highlight on Your CV If You’re Changing Careers

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If you’re considering making a career change, you’re probably already thinking about your transferable skills list. Starting on a new professional path can be extremely daunting, but armed with transferable skills and some hands-on experience, you’ll be unstoppable. 

In fact, internships and transferable skills can frequently make up for a lack of full-time experience!

The skills, knowledge, and contacts you develop throughout your career hold value in any industry you may choose to move to. Making a career change allows you to bring unique perspectives and insights. This can set you apart from others on your new team. No matter where you are in your career, a shift in direction may allow you to move abroad, pursue a new interest, and find a new passion.


What are transferable skills?

If you’re still a student, or have spent most of your career in a single field, you might be asking “what are transferable skills?” Transferable skills are soft skills you can apply to any role, in any industry. You can obtain these skills anywhere. From team sports and academic courses to internships and job experience. While you skills may change throughout your career, it’s important to identify your own transferable skills upfront when you’re looking to change roles or industries.


A smiling woman sits at a desk working on a laptop


Top transferable skills to highlight on your CV:

1. Teamwork

The ability to work as part of a team will serve you well in any company, industry, or work environment. Learning how to collaborate efficiently with colleagues will ensure you’re ready to be a key player in even the most challenging projects. Teamwork skills should be at the top of your transferable skills list, especially if you’re applying for a managerial role.


2. Leadership

You might think that leadership skills are industry-specific. Or that you should only highlight them if you’re applying for a managerial position. In fact, leadership is used as an example in nearly every transferable skills definition you read. This is because it encapsulates several essential abilities. Teamwork, communication and organization, to name a few, are all key components of good leadership. No matter the level of position you’re applying for, showcasing successful instances of leadership tells employers your transferable skills list is diverse.


3. Communication

No matter what industry you work in, communication skills are absolutely essential for success. Good communication will take you far, especially if you’re transferring to a new role. Written and in-person communication are both extremely important, whether you’re an intern or a senior-level manager. Your communication skills can determine how successful you are in projects, the types of connections you build, and your overall success at a task.


4. Adaptability

If you can change course quickly when needed, and adapt to new environments, you’re already an excellent candidate for any job. Employers want applicants who are able to navigate the changing waters of their industry. Flexibility and adaptability are key, and help to ensure you never get stuck in a rut.


5. Creativity

Most employers want to hire someone who brings new, fresh ideas to the table, and offers ideas nobody else has thought of. No matter the industry, creativity will take you far. Whether it’s approaching a challenging task from a new angle, or proposing a new way to reach clients,  showcasing your creativity is a great way to stand out.


Apply for an internship and gain the skills to thrive in today’s competitive job market.



  1. Unsplash 
Photos and blog by Maeve Allsup

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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