Is the phrase “transferable skills” now redundant in recruitment?

Transferable skills. Eighteen letters that five years ago were seen as absolute on your CV. To get ahead, you must have “transferable skills”. In fact, it would probably be yester-year’s version of today’s “soft skills”. Basically, these terms go in cycles; or do they?

Whilst the phrase is still loosely used in a wide range of industry environments, does it really have a place – now and in the future – for finance and accountancy teams? After all, they are meant to enable candidates be adaptable and flexible in case you need to change your job.
Is there a value to transferable skills?
At MRK Associates, we always view applicable transferable skills as a huge benefit – but only in highly specific jobs, skill relevant roles. Such positions including analyst, credit control or payroll, then the application of the term “transferable skills” is not going to do the candidate any great favours. In fact, it will probably work against them.

However, roles in more senior positions like Finance Manager or DoF transferable skills are going to be seen more positively, and relevant.

With clients unrelenting from their course of knowing what they want, transferable skills may become a thing of the past, other than the examples provided above. As clients will only move at the speed they are comfortable with, candidates are best served focusing on the minutiae detail that matches between cv and job description.

What are your thoughts?
Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email:

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