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How to understand your transferable skills at executive hire level

by Edith Carmichael June 06, 2018
Business And Strategy Trends 2018 Small

When it comes to making the next move at the Executive Hire level, knowing how to pinpoint your skills to a new employer or how to make a career side-step can be a difficult task. But if you actually take a step back and make an assessment over what you’ve done and the tangible outcomes that you have achieved throughout your career, you are then able to highlight a vast bank of transferable expertise to take to the next level.

Throughout all the teams at Freshminds, we focus on the ‘Consulting Skillset’. After working with candidates from the consulting industry for many years, we saw that the successful individuals had these traits which were built up from their commercial training. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to come from a management or strategy consulting firm. The skill-set involves a blend and balance between EQ and IQ; a robust analytical rigour combined with the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively. The resulting pool of diverse talent in our Executive Hire network specifically illustrates just how many different career paths the ‘Consulting Skillset’ can be involved in.

As well as getting in contact with people directly and at events that we host throughout the year, the heart of our Executive Hire team is a network that has grown organically alongside Freshminds for the last 18 years. As we are a network-based recruitment consultancy, we are not your traditional executive search firm. On some occasions, we have placed candidates on their first graduate job, worked with them as clients, and then again during their senior job search. So it’s not unheard of to have placed some candidates multiple times in almost two decades and know how to best highlight which parts of your profile can be used for a career change.

The most important thing to note is how transferable your overall skill sets are. We work with individuals from several industries including Investment, Marketing, Technology, Digital, and Consulting. As a result, we can help advise candidates on how best to leverage current experience to a new role, sector or function.

So, if you are considering a move or a second opinion about what roles your transferable skills could be attractive to, the following should be considered:

1)In-House Experience

If you’ve spent the last 10+ years within an industry, in the same company or in the same sector and are unsure how your experience can translate into consulting; there are a few areas to consider. You may have extensive analytical skills which have been confined to one industry or setting. You may have top-class communication skills, ability to manage multiple stakeholders and strong leadership, presentation and manage teams effectively. All these skills are incredibly desirable for consultancies.


Have you ever wanted to make that leap into consulting but are unsure about how to adapt your skills or CV? It’s not as obstructive as you may think; the skills and experience you’ve developed are often easily exchangeable and, if emphasised in the right way, can be massively beneficial. Looking at which skills you’ve picked up that are transferable is a great start. Furthermore, looking at the way companies sell themselves and adapting your CV to mirror that language can also work. Otherwise, it may be that you look into contracting work to build on your experience or consider further study. Read more ways to make the change towards consulting in our article on how to adapt your CV to consulting experience.

3)Function or Sector Specialist

If you think that you have particularly niche expertise in a function, technology or sector then the next move can seem particularly difficult as you could feel that you have pigeon-holed yourself. Yet, at Freshminds, we’ve helped Vets, Doctors, Lawyers, Professors, and a number of other specialist skill sets to make their move into broader commercial roles. Whether you are looking for a move into a particular industry or consulting, it is important to recognise where your expertise lies and what skills you can transfer. In this instance, it is more about honing in on the skills which can make you more holistically commercial, regardless of sector or industry; looking at your existing experience and deciding what is transferable for this more generalist role.

The ‘Consulting Skill Set’ is all about recognising the blend and balance between analytical rigour and commercial acumen which makes a successful individual and someone that businesses want to have on board. Candidates at all levels of the spectrum are constantly surprised when we pin down the flexibility and opportunities hiding amidst their experience, so it’s about knowing what you want and making your skill-set work for this.

If your profile fits any of the three categories above, we’d love to hear from you. You can apply directly through our website here.

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