Professional Skills

Professional skills are the transferable skills and abilities that you acquire throughout your life. You can develop them in WSU courses, work and internship settings, study abroad, sports, volunteering, hobbies and everything else in between. You carry these skills throughout your life; from internship to internship and career to career. Employers value them because they can be used in multiple ways, and provide value in any workplace setting.

Connect yourself to your skills

It is important that you include professional skills on your resume and recognize ways you can talk about them in connection to your personal experience. These videos below describe professional/transferable skills, and discuss how to articulate them clearly to an employer.

Part 1: The Value of Transferable Skills Part 2: Turning Skills Into Stories
Part 3: Your Next Steps


Surveys conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that transferable skills are the key abilities employers are looking for on resumes. Of all the skills employers seek in any industry, the top 12 are:

  • Problem-Solving 
  • Ability to Work in a Team
  • Communication (written)
  • Leadership
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Analytical/Quantitative skills
  • Communication (verbal)
  • Initiative
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Technical skills
  • Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)


These skills can be applied in various ways based on your experience. Click the images below to see examples of how to write about various professional skills, and video interviews from WSU alumni in each department of the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities discussing their importance:




Foreign Language

Performing Arts

Visual Art & Design


Click here for more resources on Professional Skills.