5 skills that are more industry-transferable than you think

by Apr 2, 2021

With ten years of hospitality experience behind me, I had a specific type of confidence when it came to job applications. I was familiar with the culture of applying for jobs in hospitality, but I desperately wanted to broaden my skills and flesh out my resume with work in my industry as I came to the end of my degree. Having no office or corporate experience made it really hard for me to even take the first step of submitting my CV­­; surely I wouldn’t stand out!

Something I failed to recognise was that my ten years of experience in the service industry were actually invaluable. By approaching job applications with this binary perception of necessary vs disposable skills, I was downplaying the transferable skills that I already possessed and had fine-tuned for a decade.

So, what are these industry-transferable skills, and how can you highlight their importance?


Customer service and communication

This is the cornerstone for all jobs in the service industry, but is actually a vital skill for any job. In a corporate environment, chances are you will be communicating with colleagues and clients outside of your direct team, so strong communication skills will be key. Highlighting your communication and customer service skills from your job history shows you know how to work well with people in and outside of your organisation, and will be an excellent jumping-off point for highlighting other transferable skills on your CV.

  • Example: Working directly with people has meant that I’ve become a more articulate and confident communicator.


Attention to detail

In a busy and bustling café or pub, it becomes second nature to pick up on small mistakes or something being out of place. You often don’t realise how habitually you ensure everything is running smoothly during service. This skill is an excellent asset when applying for work, as it shows pride and dedication. Emphasising that an attention to detail comes naturally to you is another great skill for any industry.

  • Example: I have gained excellent attention to detail skills in my previous workplaces…


Problem solving and decision making

The ability to make on-the-go decisions and solve problems under pressure is inherent to working in hospitality. An applicant with this skill is desirable for many reasons; employers want self-sufficient and independent staff.

  • Example: The need for on-the-go problem solving is a predominant skill in the service industry, and I am confident in my ability to be assertive and decisive independently.


Strong work ethic

It is no secret that workers in the hospitality industry often work long and gruelling hours on their feet. While this specific skill isn’t required in some industries, it demonstrates a person’s strong dedication to their job. Employers are much more likely to hire someone who can show they know how to work hard, so those back-to-back double shifts can work in your favour!

  • Example: I take pride in every workplace I’ve been in, and as a result I enjoy my work and the feeling of contributing to a team of people with a similar goal.



Strange and unpredictable things are bound to happen when working in a customer service job, and workers are often forced to adapt quickly in order to maintain a well-oiled machine. Similarly to the ability to solve problems, the independence and proactivity that comes with experience in a weird and whacky pub or café is an invaluable skill.

  • Example: I have developed refined skills in acclimatising to high-stress and unpredictable situations.


So, don’t talk your skills and abilities down! Highlight these skills in a broader sense when adding them to your CV, and never be afraid to talk yourself up. We often possess employable assets without realising how valuable they are.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Susie Newton

Susie Newton

Administration Assistant

Susie Newton is a fifth year Law and International Studies student who works in the operations team at UTS Careers. She has a background in writing and is passionate about reading, good food, her cat Basil, and her ever-growing collection of house plants.