How to Highlight Your Transferable Skills to Support a Career Change
If you are one of the many people who are using the pandemic as an opportunity to change business support careers, you’ll want to ensure you can highlight any of your transferable skills, whether that be (and this is not an exhaustive list) leadership and development; communication; problem-solving; organisation; listening; research or analytical skills.
So how do you highlight these skill sets to help make that career change a success? As leading London business support specialists, we’ve come up with a 8-point plan:
1. Establish what your transferable skills are
Before you start your new job search in London take time to go through your CV and decide what skills you have excelled at using to make your previous roles a success.
2. Talk to a recruiter
Find out what an achievable career change is for you. This should be a career that is probably related in some way to what you have done previously and where, crucially, there is demand for what you have to offer. Don’t spend a lot of time in your job search seeking to transition from one career to another, only to find out that your new career is already over-saturated with people.
3. Get other people’s advice on your transferable skills
Ask ex-colleagues or managers whom you trust what they think your most valuable skills are and what other jobs or careers they could see you flourishing in. Asking for targeted help in your job search is likely to enlarge the options you thought were possible whilst honing your own understanding of your key skills, which in turn will help you sell yourself later on
4. Speaking of which – sell you!
Transitioning your career successfully is a great deal about attitude and persistence. Don’t look at job specifications and think “I haven’t done that” or “I can’t do that” – instead, think of ways in which your skill set can be applied to the person that the employer is seeking, not just the tasks that will be performed. Think of why you’d be a great choice and how you’d make it work. Remember, enlightened companies are increasingly seeking diverse workforces to bring a greater breadth of outlook and ideas to the table.
5. Incorporate your key skills into your CV
A lot of recruitment and hiring managers skim over covering letters, personal summaries and skill lists and instead go straight to the work experience. Your first few bullet points are therefore critical. They need to highlight your transferable skills to demonstrate you’ve really thought about how you can deliver what the company wants.
6. Be descriptive rather than prescriptive
If for example your most recent business support role involved handling a wide range of challenging and sometimes conflicting personalities or teams, speak in those terms, as opposed to saying “coordinated multiple stakeholders”.
7. Look at job profiles, not job descriptions
Find out what type of person and what type of skills the employer is looking for. They can train you on the tasks and the duties, but finding the right person who can deliver the job’s competencies with the right personal touch and tailoring your first few bullet points to those needs is a route to success.
8. Think training, not temping
Most companies need a temp to hit the ground running from day one and as a result they can “over-recruit’ the role to ensure they achieve their objective. It is more likely that you will transition by securing a permanent role. Instead of temping, take a training course that builds on a current skill or builds in a needed skill to help you make that move. A needed skill could be advised by a recruiter where they see skill shortages in your business support career of interest, or in various job advertisements which continually ask for the same skillset – suggesting a lack of those with the requisite training or experience to deliver.
If you are a candidate looking for your next temporary or permanent business support role in London, or a client requiring assistance in recruitment please contact our team so we can help you with your search at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care, stay positive and we hope to see you soon!