Marginal Gain 11 -  'Changing Career Direction'

Marginal Gain 11 - 'Changing Career Direction'

Thursday 2nd February 2023
Jamie Hughes - CV Writer and Career Coach For Your CV Consultant

About the Author
Jamie Hughes is an independent CV Writer and also writes CV's for Your CV Consultant. In his book, Marginal Gains: 88 Ways To Improve Your CV and Kick Start Your Career, he offers some great tips and advice which is a must read before you send off your next CV. In this third part of our serialisation of his book, we have given you 'Marginal Gain 11' to set you on the correct path when constructing your CV.

Marginal Gain 11:
Changing career direction: Transferable skills

'No man is an island. No job is an island either'.
Jamie Hughes 2016 13:46

I wrote that quote.

What I meant was that no job operates in isolation with a completely different set of skills required for each role. There are certain core skills that recur in many roles such as organisation, communication skills, IT skills, prioritisation etc. This allows you to argue the case to apply for roles where you may not have direct experience but have a set of transferable skills that will allow you to adapt quickly.

To write a transitional CV you need to do four things:

1) Work out all the generic skills you need in your job. The
ones not specific to your current role.

For example

A hairdresser cuts hair: Specific.
They also have strong customer service skills and cash handling skills: Generic.

2) Write down the generic skills required by the industry you are applying for.

For example, say you wanted to be a florist.

Flower arranging is the specific skill but you are new to the industry so don't have that skill set yet.

Generic skills would be customer service, ability to work early mornings, cash handling, creativity etc.

3) Once you have your two lists look for the cross over.

Do you have the generic set of skills in order to make a successful transition?
If you don't, then don't apply. You are not getting the job.

I would look at a similar but more general job, training course or qualification to bring you closer. You won't be able to make the direct leap.

4) If you do have a strong enough 'cross over' list then weave them into your CV and cover letter.

For example:

Whilst I don't have specific health and social care experience in previous roles I have worked extensively with a broad range of people in positions where following procedures was essential. I am also experienced in shift work including overnights.

You are not stating you can do the job but you are suggesting to the employer that with a bit of specific training you have the raw tools to be successful in the role.

The recruiter will always go for the person with the experience first as this will make their lives easier and the training less expensive. But in times of high recruitment and limited people with experience, a transferable skills CV that shows how you could quickly adapt to the job can be very effective.

If you would like to read more 'Marginal Gains' these can be found in Jamie's book, Marginal Gains: 88 Ways To Improve Your CV and Kick Start Your Career. In addition if you would like to discuss your CV in more detail email and see how we can help you to kick start your career!