Covering the basics: Transferable skills in hospitality

When filling in the application form and going to that all-important interview for hospitality jobs, you will consistently encounter the phrase ‘transferable skills’. But what exactly does it mean? Bosses will be looking at tools that go beyond the qualifications and specific experience within the hospitality industry. Figure out which of these skills you adopt so you can shine to potential employers.

The general terms

Transferable skills are essentially general abilities that you can use in any job, sector, or industry. Whether they are technical or attributed to your personality, they enable you to shift across sectors without putting employers off. These skills are particularly useful for those who may not have a lot of work experience, and thus they should be focused upon when applying for hospitality jobs.

A company may ask for basic numeracy or language skills, but transferable abilities tend to go beyond these. In terms of your own personal character, you should be using stock descriptions such as being motivated, committed and ambitious. You should be able to make decisions on your own, and this may even lead to you having management or leadership abilities that you could bring to the table.

One word you will find that you will start throwing about is ‘communication’. Stress on how good you can relate with colleagues and how you can develop good relationships with individuals. This will include both taking in advice, but also communicating well enough so that you can give instruction to others.

Generally, it is all about being self-aware and knowing exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are. Potential employers may ask you where you can improve in, so it is such skills that you should carefully consider.

The sector specifics

The hospitality sector will specifically look for people who can keep customers happy and remain organised in hectic environments. Whether it is a chef vacancy or a hotel gig, it is these important skills that will set you apart from everyone else.

High energy, customer satisfaction and interpersonal abilities are vital for hospitality. Of course important basics such as time management, willingness and punctuality are all important, but it is all about the detail that counts within the sector. The whole industry is based on customers so if you are not a sociable person, this may not be the right sector for you.

With any of these skills, general or specific, any role will help you develop them. Whether it is occupational, educational, or a simple hobby, life experiences will build your skillset over time. Just be sure to hammer them in when you need to.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.