How to identify, understand and apply your transferable skills to secure a new role post Covid-19

Have you found yourself out of work due to the current pandemic, redundancy, restructure or even site closure? Understanding your transferable skills may provide you with the confidence to seek a new opportunity in a new industry.

After completing my degree in Film and Television Studies, I relocated from Newcastle to London and pursued a career in Television Production. For almost a decade, I had worked my way up from Runner to Producer, working on popular Television shows including The Apprentice, The Voice UK and Undercover Boss. Although I enjoyed my experience living and working in London, I knew I was ready to start a new venture in a new city closer to home.

I relocated to York and after a couple of false starts, I joined Alaska Black as a Recruitment Consultant in May 2019. I now specialise in recruiting for Quality/Technical/New Product Development (NPD) roles within the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector and have learned a great deal over the past year.

Although I recognised that I had transferable skills from Television Production into Recruitment, I did not fully realise how relevant these skills were at the time. Luckily, my Directors did and they provided me with the confidence to apply my skills to my new role and progress within their business.

But where do you start?

1. Identify your transferable skills

Identifying your transferable skills is an important step in your job search to ensure that your skill set matches what potential employers are looking for. Take some time to consider which skills you have developed from your previous and/or current employment and think about how these skills can be applied to a new role and/or business.

Here are a few examples of the transferable skills that I have applied during my transition from Television Producer to Recruitment Consultant:

  1. Being inquisitive
  2. Working in a team
  3. Ability to work independently
  4. Being a people person
  5. Building and maintaining resilience
  6. Working in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment
  7. Communicating across all levels of the business
  8. Problem-solving
  9. Ability to think on my feet
  10. Having a desire and passion to learn and develop within a new business
2. Understand your transferable skills

We all have transferable skills such as communication, team-working and problem-solving skills. Once you have identified these transferable skills, start to think about how you could use them in a new role and/or business.

Here are a few pointers on where to start:

  • Make a list of the things you enjoy in your current role / enjoyed in your previous role
  • Make a list of the things you don’t enjoy in your current role / didn’t enjoy in your previous role
  • Ask your friends and family what they think you are good at

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What is important to you in a new role?
  • Do you prefer to work in a team or autonomously?
  • Is training and development something you enjoy?

I believe writing down your answers to the above questions provides a great start when seeking a new opportunity.

3. Apply your transferable skills

After you have identified and understood which transferable skills you want to use, think about how you can apply these to your CV, cover letter and during interviews.

  • Add your key achievements to your CV
  • Include what you are looking for in your cover letter
  • Provide examples during interviews

Make sure you have examples to demonstrate your key transferable skills. An example interview question that is looking to assess your problem-solving skills may look something like this: Tell me of a time when you have been faced with a difficult situation at work and how you have overcome this?

Try to consider your key achievements when facing this question. You are likely to have faced a few challenges along the way. Note down these challenges, describe the steps taken to overcome this and provide the positive outcome as well as what you have learned throughout this process. Ending with a positive note is always beneficial as it demonstrates to your potential employer you are a problem-solver and enjoy completing a task.

As a recruiter, I always ask the question, what is the most important thing you are looking for in a new role? I would say the phrase I hear the most is job satisfaction. But what does job satisfaction look like for you? Everyone will have their own checklist when it comes to a job search. The main piece of advice I could give, is to make sure you have your own list, instead of what you believe your potential employer is looking for.

Remember, something you are good at may not necessarily make you happy. In my opinion, job satisfaction is the most important thing when it comes to a long-lasting career.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for a new opportunity.


Samantha Sologub (Recruitment Consultant – FMCG, Alaska Black)