Transferable Skills

Transferable Skills

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are skills developed in one situation which can be transferred to another situation. They are sometimes called generic, soft or key skills. They are necessary for effective performance, not only in the postdoctoral research work environment here in UCC, but in life in general. Some examples of such skills include team working, communication skills, problem solving, planning and time management.  Employers are usually looking for these abilities and qualities that they recognise to be present in their most effective employees. These soft skills, such as being able to communicate effectively in a variety of situations, showing initiative, creativity and integrity, and having a good work attitude, are valuable across all sectors.



Here is a link to a site that explains Transferable Skills in more detail 


Further Reading:

Boden, R., Epstein, D. & Kenway, J. (2007) Building Your Academic Career (The Academic's Support Kit), London: Sage Publications.

Bolles, R. N. (2013) What Color is your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers, 13th ed. Berkley: Ten Speed Press.

Cann, A. et al (2011) Social Media: A Guide for Researchers, London: Research Information Network. Available online at

Debowski, S. (2012) The New Academic: A Strategic Handbook, Berkshire: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.

Feibelman, P. (2011) A Ph.D. is not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science, revised ed. New York: Basic Books.

Grant, W. & Sherrington, P. (2006) Managing Your Academic Career (Universities into the 21st Century), Basingstoke, UK & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mau, R. (2010) Job Hunting 3.0: Secrets and Skills to Sell Yourself Effectively in the Modern Age, London: Marshall Cavendish Business.

Minocha, S. & Petre, M. (2012) Handbook of Social Media for Researchers and Supervisors: Digital Technologies for Research Dialogues, Cambridge

Rosei, F. & Johnston, T. (2006) Survival Skills for Scientists, London: Imperial College Press.

Schein, E. H. (2006) Career Anchors: Self-Assessment, 3 ed. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Unless, J. (2008) Career Ahead: The Complete Career Handbook, London: Raleo Publishing.


Descriptions of many different models and tools. From a business context but provides plenty of resources which can be applied in non-commercial contexts.
'The smart woman's online career resource'.
Companion website to Bolles (2013) listed above. Lots of general advice on job searches.
Jobs in academic and for people with an academic background.
A great range of management tools and models for planning, development, etc. Well researched and clearly presented. Good Apple and Android apps available too.
Resources on project management. Less bitesize than businessballs or mindtools.
UK government-supported graduate careers website. Although the main focus is on first degree graduates, there are some resources for more senior researchers.
Science recruitment consultancy website.
Supported by the journal Science and concerned specifically with careers in science.


Department of Human Resources - HR Research

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