female speaking at a meeting

Transferable Skills for your CV

Transferable skills are the skills we use in everyday working life. These skills can sometimes be referred to as ‘softer skills’ and whilst you will also need specific / technical skills for occupations. Below is an example of different types of transferable skills, try to fit these into CVs and job applications but don’t feel the need to squeeze them all in but some would be useful.

Decision making Identifying options, evaluating them and then choosing the most appropriate course of action
Problem solving Identifying and using an appropriate method or technique to arrive at a solution
Planning Working out how to schedule available resources and activities in order to meet an objective or deadline
Oral communication Using speech to express ideas and give information or explanations effectively
Written communication Producing grammatical, well expressed, easily understood and interesting text in an appropriate format
Negotiating Holding discussions with people in order to reach a position of mutual satisfaction and agreement
Adapting Changing or modifying your behaviour in response to the needs, wishes or demands of others
Leadership Being able to lead and motivate, set direction and win the commitment of others
Business awareness An interest in a knowledge of the commercial environment
Researching information Finding information appropriate to an issue from a variety of sources
Flexibility Being able to change plans and respond to new information and / or situations
IT literacy Understanding and being able to use a range of office software such as word processing spreadsheets and a databases
Time management Ability to manage personal tasks effectively and to meet deadlines
Numeracy Ability to use and work with figures
Team working Ability to work effectively with others to achieve objectives
Ability to prioritise Being able to decide priorities for achieving targets

The STAR method for interviews

The STAR acronym is a useful tool for reflection on your key selling points when writing CVs, applications as well as preparing for job interviews. STAR stands for:

Situation – think of a situation where you had to use / demonstrate a skill
Task – what the actual task you had to carry out?
Action – what did you actually do? (focus on what YOU did)
Result – what was the result / outcome


Make example SMALL

Situation: Required to work as part of a small project team which had to carry out a financial planning exercise and then present findings to fellow students and Tutors for formal assessment.

Task: My specific role was to research the different business plan models and prepare a briefing paper with my recommendations as to which model the team should use. This was to be achieved within a very tight time frame

Action: The action I took was to research business plans on various web sites, visit several local banks for advice and obtain information containing BP models. I also spoke to the local Business Advice service for extra guidance.

Result: Outcome – I prepared a report with assessment of the various BP models and my recommendation for which one the team should adopt. This was achieved within the target date owing to effective planning and organising of meetings with various parties. We were commended for our presentation and in particular the quality and effectiveness of our business plan by both students and the assessors (we received a mark of 78%).


Always ask your referees permission. Keep your referees updated about the applications you are applying for so that they can respond to requests quickly. Try to give your referees as much time as possible.