How To Boost Your Transferable Skills

31st March 2020
How To Boost Your Transferable Skills

What does Beyonce, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Anniston all have in common? They all started doing jobs that weren’t their chosen career choice. Beyonce swept hair at a salon, Jakcman was a clown and Anniston was a waitress before finding fame. Although we can’t help you find fame and fortune, we wanted to share our top tips on how you can change career paths by selling your transferrable skills.

Transferrable skills

Have you ever thought about changing career? Getting a new job that pays better? Improved hours? Something you would enjoy? We’ve all been there! Sometimes it’s hard to understand how to make the jump to a new sector but with the right approach, it can be done!

What is a transferrable skill? Sometimes you might not have direct experience in the role you’re applying for, but have you done something similar in a previous role or hobby? These are called transferrable skills and we all have them.


· A perfect example of highlighting transferrable skills could be an individual who’s been caring for a sick relative wants to apply for a career position, so would highlight their experience of caring for their relative.

· A candidate who works in retails but helps with their local tennis club’s paperwork would highlight their admin skills when applying for an office role.

· A baker might keep paperwork and spreadsheets on their baking – They could be a great office worker

This is our approach to assess your suitability for a role and to highlight your transferrable skills:

Understand the Job Description

Often an organisation is looking for a certain set of skills and qualities when looking to fill a vacancy. The first thing you should do is to compare your CV with the Job description and Person specification. I find this easiest by printing out both and getting two highlighters: 1 for matching skills and the other for those skills needed/missing.

If you feel you match most of the skills needed, then it’s time to move on to step 2. If not, move straight to step 3.

Sell yourself and your transferrable skills

When applying for a job, sending out a generic CV just does not work! Your CV should be tailored to each role and sell the appropriate skills/experience. If it’s not obvious from your previous roles that you could be a great fit for the position you’re applying for, you need to write a covering letter.

A great cover letter should show the following:

· Your genuine enthusiasm for the role/organisation

· Your experience AND transferrable skills (paid/unpaid/hobby/spare time experience counts, too!) Paint a picture of how you fit the role with skills from different life experiences

· Availability and contact details

Re-skill and Up-skill

If you’re missing an essential skill in a job description but know that this is the career path that you’re looking for, then up-skilling your work toolkit could be a great idea.

Study a part-time course

If you’re working or busy during working hours, a part-time course could be perfect for you. A lot of places offer free courses or pay-monthly options for diplomas/degrees that could help you acquire the skills needed for your dream job. Keep an eye out for our blog on Up-skilling soon!


Maybe you have the knowledge but not the experience? Then volunteering could be a great option to boost your CV and transferrable skills. There are many voluntary options available on your doorstep or online and offer a great chance to refresh a stale CV and inject some transferrable skills into your toolkit.

Learn a soft skill

Transferrable skills come from all walk of life, including hobbies. If you have a lot of spare time, why don’t you learn a softer skill? Have you always thought about learning to bake? Sew? Draw? These might sound irrelevant to a lot of roles, but you’d be surprised when these might come in handy and who knows, perhaps a passion of yours might one day turn into a career.

Always be yourself

Finally, when applying for a job and selling your skills, make sure that you’re always being yourself and believe in what you can give to an organisation. Sometimes, we’re not successful when applying for a job and it’s natural to be disappointed but try to get feedback and learn from their comments and improve your application for next time.

Happy job hunting!