Relevant experience

When a job asks for relevant experience can you still sell your skills?

How often have been put off by a job advert that asks for relevant experience, especially when you read the specification and you have virtually everything that is required? In fact, what really does relevant experience mean, and how much notice should you take of it?

Tailor your experience to the job

The answer is that you should take notice of it, but you shouldn’t let it put you off. If you’re serious about any job you should always tailor the application to the needs. You should be focusing on the position in question whenever you’re replying to any advert.

Relevant experience could really mean anything, but there’s an art in matching your experience and skills to the requirements –

  • Highlight transferrable skills – The ability to demonstrate that you have the desire and aptitude to learning new skills is essential but it’s also important to make the most of the skills you already have, especially if you can show how those skills can be transferred to a new industry. Giving examples of your skills and relating them to scenarios that fit the position will show an understanding of how you might succeed in the role and illustrate the thought that has gone into your application.
  • Reinvent yourself – Prove to the recruiter that you not only have transferrable skills but that you can adapt them to what is needed too. Beyond this try and demonstrate that you’re also willing to develop them further, ready and able to move with the times.
  • Self- motivation – Showing that you have the ability to motivate yourself and seek opportunities to develop your abilities as an individual is an extremely attractive and transferrable trait to possess. You’re not limited to highlighting the experience you have in a professional environment alone so if in your personal life you’ve gained other valuable experience make sure you shout about it loudly. This also demonstrates a willingness to explore other avenues for personal attainment whether it be through a hobby or course you’ve undertaken on your own. The way you react to feedback can also single you out as someone for consideration. Finding examples of where you’ve acted on feedback, positive or negative, to make a change or seek more information is also something that employers will view favourably.
  • Sell yourself – You can’t expect that by simply trotting out the same list of qualifications and information each time you apply for a position that it will be enough. You actively need to take time to sell yourself and your abilities based on the position you’re interested in. This is most definitely a skill in itself. It’s a much harder process to go through than just putting your standard CV into an envelope with a generic covering letter but will, in the long run, reap better rewards.

The more you develop the approach of treating each job application on its own merits, the easier it will ultimately become to apply for positions that on the face of it don’t suit you exactly. You will become more adept at identifying exactly what your transferrable skills are and how to present them in line with