Transferable Skills Cover Letter Examples + Tips

Gabriela Hernandez
by Gabriela Hernandez   CPRW, Career Advice Expert 
Published On : April 19, 2024 
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In today’s job market, transferable skills are crucial in showcasing versatility and potential to excel across industries. Learn to incorporate transferable skills in a cover letter to land your next job!

Resumes are crucial for showcasing skills and experience, but when paired with a strong cover letter, they can distinguish you from a crowded field of applicants. A well-crafted cover letter allows you to highlight your value, express interest in the position and the company and emphasize transferable skills, particularly useful if you’re changing careers or lack extensive work experience.

Table of Contents

  • What are transferable skills?
  • How to talk about transferable skills in a cover letter
  • Cover letter examples with transferable skills
  • Cover letter writing tips

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills are versatile proficiencies you can apply across various roles, industries, and situations. These skills are not tied to specific job functions but rather encompass a broad range of abilities that individuals develop through experiences in work, education, volunteering or other activities.

A cover letter’s transferable skills can be divided into two major skill categories:

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities or technical knowledge that are easily quantifiable and measurable, like fluency in a foreign language, engineering skills, legal expertise, etc.

Soft skills are interpersonal attributes and personal qualities that enable individuals to interact with others and navigate various social situations effectively. For instance, communication skills, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities are examples of soft skills.

How to talk about transferable skills in a cover letter?

Writing a compelling cover letter involves effectively showcasing your transferable skills to align with the new job’s requirements. Here’s a step-by-step guide on seamlessly integrating transferable skills in a cover letter:

1. Identify transferable skills from previous jobs.

Begin by reflecting on your experiences and identifying transferable skills gained from previous roles, education, volunteering or extracurricular activities. Some top transferable skills include:

Communication skills: Conveying ideas clearly and effectively verbally or in writing.

Problem-solving: Aptitude for identifying issues and finding practical solutions.

Interpersonal skills: Encompasses working in groups and collaborating with colleagues smoothly.

Leadership: Capacity to motivate and guide others towards common goals.

Adaptability: Flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances and environments.

Time management: Skill in prioritizing tasks and meeting deadlines.

Teamwork: Collaboration and cooperation in achieving shared objectives.

2. Match your transferable skills to the new job requirements.

Once you’ve identified your cover letter’s transferable skills, carefully analyze the job description of the new position. Highlight essential requirements and qualifications the employer seeks; these will be keywords. Then, align your transferable skills with these job requirements, emphasizing your capabilities make you an ideal candidate.

Almost all of the top 10 most in-demand skills for 2024 are transferable skills:

  1. Communication
  2. Customer service
  3. Leadership
  4. Project management
  5. Management
  6. Analytics
  7. Teamwork
  8. Sales
  9. Problem-solving
  10. Research

3. Provide examples of how these transferable skills apply to the new job.

Incorporate specific examples or anecdotes in your cover letter to illustrate how your transferable skills are relevant to the new job. Describe situations from your previous experiences where you successfully utilized these skills to overcome challenges or achieve results.

Let’s try to put these tips into practice by looking at some examples.

Imagine a student restaurant server is seeking an entry-level marketing position. They might include the following transferable skills in a cover letter this way:

“As a dedicated student restaurant server, I have honed invaluable transferable skills that I am eager to bring to the entry-level marketing position at your esteemed company. Through my role in customer service, I have developed exceptional communication skills, ensuring seamless interactions with diverse clientele and enhancing customer satisfaction. Additionally, my ability to multitask and thrive in a fast-paced environment has equipped me with the adaptability and time management skills necessary to excel in the dynamic marketing world.”

Or perhaps a former educator is seeking an entry-level data entry position:

“As an experienced educator, I have cultivated a diverse skill set that I am excited to apply in a new capacity. Throughout my teaching career, I have demonstrated meticulous attention to detail in managing student records, grading assignments, and maintaining accurate databases. My proficiency in organizing and analyzing data to track student progress aligns closely with the responsibilities of a data entry role. Moreover, my ability to quickly adapt to new technologies and learn complex systems positions me as a capable candidate for effectively managing and inputting data with precision and efficiency.”

Taking the time to emphasize cover letter transferable skills can help paint a clear picture of why you would be a good fit for the position.

Cover letter examples with transferable skills

Below are two sample cover letters showcasing transferable skills in different contexts:

Cover letter example for a career change into the tech industry

 Data Analyst Example Cover Letter Career Change

Why this cover letter works:

  • Shows a clear alignment between the candidate and the role by highlighting how tech skills intersect in their health care job, which demonstrates a clear understanding of the job requirements and how their skills can contribute to the role.
  • Showcases soft and hard transferable skills, illustrating their readiness to transition into the tech industry.
  • In a confident yet professional manner, the closing paragraph reiterates the candidate’s eagerness to contribute to the company’s success, leaving a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Cover letter example for recent graduates

Marketing Intern Example Cover Letter Recent Graduate 1

What this cover letter gets right:

  • The cover letter effectively introduces the candidate’s transferable research skills from an academic role directly applicable to the marketing internship role.
  • The candidate provides specific examples of how their academic coursework and internships have contributed to their skill development, helping them demonstrate their competency in the required areas of expertise.
  • The closing paragraph reaffirms the candidate’s enthusiasm for the opportunity and expresses openness to further discussion, leaving the door open for interviews or follow-up conversations.

Cover letter writing tips

  1. Introduce yourself with your most relevant transferable skills.

    Begin your cover letter by introducing yourself and highlighting the transferable skills that best align with the job requirements. A strong cover letter opening paragraph sets the tone for the rest of your letter and captures the recruiter’s attention from the start.

  2. Write a body paragraph detailing how you’ve utilized transferable skills.

    In the body of your cover letter, provide specific achievements or accomplishments demonstrating how you have successfully utilized your transferable skills in previous roles or experiences. Use concise language to showcase your abilities and their relevance to your desired position.

  3. Include a closing paragraph reiterating your alignment with the position.

    Conclude your cover letter with a compelling closing paragraph that reaffirms how your skills and experiences align with the position’s requirements. By emphasizing this alignment, you leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager and reinforce your suitability for the role.

  4. Personalize your cover letter to the desired job.

    Tailor your cover letter to the specific job you’re applying for by addressing key requirements mentioned in the job description. Highlight the transferable skills and other keywords that make you the ideal candidate.

  5. Include quantifiable achievements whenever possible.

    Quantifying your achievements provides concrete evidence of your capabilities. Numbers and statistics illustrate the impact of your work and differentiate you from other candidates.

  6. Share your enthusiasm for the role.

    Show genuine enthusiasm for the opportunity and company by expressing your excitement about the position and how it aligns with your career goals. Demonstrating passion can make you a more compelling candidate.

  7. Use our Cover Letter Builder for a hassle-free writing experience.

    With customizable templates, pre-written content and expert guidance, our Cover Letter Builder ensures your cover letter effectively highlights your transferable skills and maximizes your chances of landing the job.

Key takeaways

  • In today’s competitive job market, transferable skills are crucial in demonstrating versatility and potential across industries, making them essential components of a compelling cover letter.
  • Highlighting cover letter transferable skills involves identifying relevant abilities from past experiences, aligning them with the desired job requirements, and providing specific examples to illustrate their application, thus enhancing the candidate’s suitability for the position.
  • Crafting a personalized cover letter that aligns with the specific job requirements and showcases enthusiasm for the role increases the likelihood of capturing the hiring manager’s attention and standing out among other applicants.
  • Following cover letter writing tips, such as introducing yourself with relevant transferable skills, detailing how you applied them in previous roles, and concluding by reaffirming how you align with the position, helps create a compelling cover letter.
  • Leveraging tools like our Cover Letter Builder streamlines the writing process, providing customizable cover letter templates and expert guidance to highlight cover letter transferable skills and maximize the chances of securing the desired job opportunity.

About the Author

CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez is one of LiveCareer's resident writers. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Journalism. Throughout her career, she has tackled copywriting, blog articles, journalistic writing, academic writing, resume writing, and even prose and verse.

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