Transferable Skills - What are they and how can they help you to change roles?

We've all heard the advice 'Talk about your transferable skills' but what does it really mean? This post gives some tips and examples on how to use them.

So you want (or need) to change industry and have no idea how to go about it. Common wisdom is to 'talk about your transferable skills' but honestly, it's not always clear exactly how to do this.

Let me help with some examples.

Person 1 is a dental nurse, she's been doing this for 8 years and fancies a change. She'd love to get into admin/reception work. She looks at the skills and spec needed for admin work and sees that they all talk about computer skills, customer service and the ability to multitask. She identifies that she is a competent computer user who uses all the MS packages in her work. She also has to display excellent service, building rapport with and calming down nervous patients daily. She also is used to multitasking, going from room to room to assist clients at different stages of their treatment, answering calls, dealing with enquiries and getting to know each dentists way of working. She also handles client paperwork so can talk about GDPR and handling client data and being the first point of contact for customers when the receptionists are unavailable. She discusses these skills in her applications and on her CV and doesn't mention the technicial aspects of her role as these are not relevant.

Person 2 was a wedding planner for a large hotel and has been made redundant due to Covid. He wants to get back into events but has recognised that this is not possible at present. He applies for a role in sales for a small boutique hotel after looking at the job specifications and seeing that they ask for experience in dealing with customers and a good awareness of the industry, which he has. The part that seems to be missing is the bit around working to targets but he is able to talk about the part he played in helping the hotel to hit its targets and what percentage of sales his events contributed to. He speaks to his former colleague who was the sales manager to get a feel for how this role worked and takes this knowledge to his new role. He is able to discuss his client base and contacts and how they may well be looking to book a trip in the UK at the time they were planning their weddings to start his sales pipeline.

If you need to leave travel or hospitality, think about the skills you have learned that will transfer to customer service for now. Look at what skills are asked for on job specifications in industries that ARE hiring and think what you have and what you need.

I'm going to guess that you are great at problem solving, upselling and working in a fast paced environment so talk about that and as always, talk about ACHIEVEMENTS. I hope this helps and please get in touch if you need further help. I'm at and

6 views0 comments