Changing Career: Identify Your Transferable Skills

Thinking of a career change? When it comes to applying for a job in a different sector, or that you haven’t worked in before, identifying your transferable skills is crucial.

There’s a misconception that building up your skills and experience in one job will be a waste of time if you make a career change later on, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whatever experience you have, there will be some valuable key skills that you can transfer from one job to another.

When applying for a new job, instead of filling your CV with generic skills and characteristics (although you should still use these if they are listed in the job vacancy), focus on your strong, transferable skills that effectively demonstrate your abilities.

Examples of transferable skills

Project management

Successful project management requires detailed planning, control and execution of work that often involves multiple people and aims to achieve a specific set of objectives.

Whether or not you want to move into a project management-specific role, this is valuable experience that can be applied to any job function. Project management demonstrates your ability to manage multiple tasks, prioritise, effectively manage your time and work collaboratively with other employees.

Research and analysis

Research is a valuable skill that can be applied to jobs in any sector. Having research experience shows that you are able to determine the best approach to answering a question, find relevant information and work out how to analyse and interpret that information.

Employee management or team leadership

If you’ve ever managed other members of staff, or if you were responsible for the management of external freelancers, include this in your CV. Management experience shows your ability to motivate other team members, problem solve and delegate work.

As with any skill or experience you outline in your CV, be sure to include specific details of your responsibilities in managing others, how many people you managed and what their roles were.

Changing careers can be a daunting experience - but when you’re equipped with a strong set of transferable skills and how they apply to the job you’re applying for, it might not be as difficult as you expect.

XCL are a specialist recruitment agency, helping skilled candidates across Yorkshire find their ideal jobs. We’ll get you know you, your work background and your career goals to identify the roles and employers that align best with you.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, apply for one of our current job vacancies, or send a copy of your CV to to speak to one of our recruitment consultants about upcoming job opportunities.