Selling Non-Relevant Experience on Your CV: How to Showcase Transferable Skills

5 Mins

In today's competitive job market, landing your dream role can often feel like an uphill bat...

In today's competitive job market, landing your dream role can often feel like an uphill battle, especially when your previous experience may not directly align with the position you're applying for. However, the key to standing out lies in your ability to effectively communicate the transferable skills gained from seemingly unrelated roles. Whether you've worked as a restaurant waiter or an office administrator, there are valuable skills that can be seamlessly applied across various industries. In this guide, we'll explore how to sell non-relevant experience on your CV by focusing on transferable skills.​1. Identify Transferable Skills:Before diving into the specifics of your past roles, take a step back and identify the transferable skills you possess. These are skills that can be applied across different job functions and industries. For instance, as a restaurant waiter, you may have honed excellent communication skills through interacting with customers, or as an office administrator, you may have developed strong organisational abilities. Once you've identified these skills, highlight them prominently on your CV.​2. Restaurant Waiter vs. Office Administrator:Let's compare two seemingly different roles: a restaurant waiter and an office administrator. While the daily tasks may vary significantly, both positions require a similar set of core skills. As a waiter, you're constantly engaging with customers, ensuring their needs are met, and resolving any issues that may arise – skills that are highly transferable to roles requiring strong customer service and communication abilities. Similarly, as an office administrator, you're responsible for managing administrative tasks, coordinating schedules, and effectively communicating with team members – skills that translate well into roles requiring organisational prowess and attention to detail.​3. Highlight Transferable Skills:When listing your past experiences on your CV, focus on the transferable skills rather than the specific job titles. For instance, instead of simply stating \"Waiter at XYZ Restaurant,\" emphasize the skills gained from that role, such as:Exceptional communication skills demonstrated through effectively liaising with customers and colleagues.Strong customer service abilities showcased by ensuring a positive dining experience for patrons.Proven teamwork capabilities through collaborating with kitchen staff to ensure timely delivery of orders.Similarly, for the role of an office administrator, highlight skills such as:Proficient time management skills demonstrated by prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines consistently.Ability to work under pressure and adapt to changing priorities in a fast-paced office environment.Excellent attention to detail evidenced by accurately maintaining records and documents.​4. Demonstrate Problem-Solving Abilities:Regardless of the industry, problem-solving skills are highly valued by employers. Use real-life examples from your past roles to showcase your ability to identify issues and implement effective solutions. For instance, as a restaurant waiter, you may have encountered situations where orders were mixed up or customers had special dietary requirements. Describe how you handled these challenges calmly and efficiently, ensuring customer satisfaction. Similarly, as an office administrator, you may have faced issues such as scheduling conflicts or technical glitches. Highlight your proactive approach to resolving these issues and minimizing disruptions to workflow.​5. Tailor Your CV to the Job Description:One of the most effective strategies for selling non-relevant experience on your CV is to tailor it to the specific job description. Carefully review the requirements outlined by the employer and identify the skills and experiences they're seeking. Then, customize your CV to highlight how your past roles have equipped you with the necessary skills to excel in the position. Use keywords and phrases from the job description to ensure your CV resonates with the hiring manager and clearly demonstrates your suitability for the role.​Selling non-relevant experience on your CV is all about showcasing your transferable skills in a compelling manner. Whether you've worked as a restaurant waiter or an office administrator, there are valuable skills that can be leveraged to make you a desirable candidate for a wide range of roles. By focusing on communication skills, customer service abilities, teamwork, time management, problem-solving, and attention to detail, you can effectively demonstrate your suitability for any position, regardless of your previous experience. Remember to tailor your CV to the job description and use real-life examples to illustrate your capabilities. With the right approach, you can turn seemingly unrelated experience into a valuable asset in your job search journey.