The Difference Between Transferable and Technical Skills

Being able to effectively showcase both your technical and transferable skills is essential for any job application or interview. It is important that you are able to discuss and demonstrate both, but what classes as a technical skill and what is transferable? Here, we will clarify the difference…

What are technical skills?

Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform tasks, and will be specific to your job or sector. Technical skills are typically practical, and may be gained through education or work experience.

The technical skills required will differ depending on the job you are applying for, but a few examples are:

  • Project management
  • CAD programming
  • Textiles dyeing
  • Joinery
  • Welding
  • Logistics management

Nearly every job relies on different tools, programs and processes, so it’s important to gain and build on job-specific skills to help you perform better at work, and make you a more competitive candidate.

Positions in sectors such as IT, construction and engineering will rely heavily on your technical skills. So while you may have strong soft skills, it’s likely that the decision will come down to your practical ability so put more of the focus on these skills.

What are transferable skills? 

Transferable skills, on the other hand, are the ‘soft skills’ that can be applied to a wide range of jobs and industries. They’re usually learned over time, from work experience, volunteering, hobbies, education or even just at home.

Some common transferable skills that an employer may be looking for are:

  • Verbal and written communication
  • Time management
  • Leadership and team management
  • Research and analysis

Although they are unlikely to be specific to the job you are applying for, transferable skills are also valuable to employers and shouldn’t be forgotten when writing your CV.

They demonstrate how you would fit into the team, and what you could bring to the company outside of just your technical ability. This makes including transferable skills very beneficial for candidates who are newer to a role, or to help you stand out from others who may have similar levels of technical experience.

Searching for your new job? 

XCL are a leading recruitment agency in Huddersfield who specialise in helping candidates find their ideal jobs in the automotive, engineering, construction, commercial and production sectors.

We’ll help you identify the roles (and the employers) that best suit your skills, experience and career goals, and our consultants will only ever come to you with jobs we genuinely believe you’ll be interested in.

If you’re looking for your new job, apply for one of our current vacancies here, or send a copy of your CV to