Whether you are changing industries, a recent graduate or looking to break into your dream industry for the first time, the best thing you can do to make your CV stand out is by highlighting your transferable skills.
Transferable skills are the most effective way to say, “I am perfect for this job, hire me!” and the best part is…. everybody has them!
These can be picked up from previous experience, charity or volunteer work, at university or by taking online courses. Transferable skills are extremely valuable to employers and help them to decide which candidates they want to know more about.
Here is what you should know before updating your CV:
Look into the skills required for our desired industry
For example, if applying for a role in PR, think about how you can adapt your CV to highlight the ways that you embody the main skills required such as communication skills, using your initiative and creativity. Here, it is important to keep in mind, what does the hiring manager need to see from my CV? Use skills found from your search and use these as keywords through the CV to highlight to the employer that you have adapted your CV specifically to the job posting.
Make the most of retail or hospitality experience
When looking to change industries from retail or hospitality, many people are unsure how they can optimise this experience to communicate all of their skills most effectively.
It is important to remember that all experience is GOOD experience! Pick out the parts of your retail or hospitality experience that you think will be most valuable to employers in your desired industry and communicate them in away that will appear beneficial to your prospective employer.
Think about how you are positioning yourself as a potential employee in the field...for example if hoping to impress for a PR role:
Did you meet sales targets in your retail job? Or… did you work to exceed weekly sales targets and KPIs set by managers, resulting in 3 ‘employee of the month’ awards.
Did you greet customers in your front of house role? Or…. did you apply your communication and interpersonal skills to drive sales and customer relationships, creating returning business for the company?
Did you have a part-time job at university? Or…. did you learn how to effectively manage and prioritise your workloads and time across conflicting deadlines and responsibilities?
These are just some of the ways that you can easily shine a spotlight on transferable skills and impress employers!
Highlight valuable experience
If you are moving roles into an industry that you previously have some experience in, make sure to try and add in as much valuable information in as few characters as possible. Remember, a CV should always be kept to one page if possible, so you won’t have loads of room to discuss your previous job role.
To effectively highlight prior experience, try to stick to the following outline to keep it concise and punchy:
In this role, I did ‘THIS’ (eg. managed and strengthened relationships between the agency and our clients) by doing ‘THIS’ (eg. by communicating monthly reports and leading bi-weekly meetings with the client’s marketing manager) resulting in ‘THIS’ (eg. the client renewing their contract for the following two years, securing repeat business for the agency)
The most important thing, however, is to keep all of the information included in your CV relevant and updated to the particular job that you are applying for.