Top 5 transferable skills every hospitality industry worker needs

If you've been slaving away in a retail or finance job for years while dreaming of finding hospitality work, it might not be as difficult as you think to switch careers.

This is thanks to a little phrase you may be familiar with: transferable skills. That's right, you don't need direct experience to apply for that bar or hotel job you've got your eye on – just certain skills that are relevant to the role that you may already have from your existing position.

But what exactly are the top transferable skills that could propel you headfirst into the hospitality industry? Read on to find out!

1. Customer service

If you've got experience working in a call centre or a clothes store, you'll be fully aware of the basics of customer service. You'll know that the customer is always right; that it is important to stay calm when dealing with difficult members of the public; and to behave responsibly at all times.

This may be second nature to you, but a hospitality employer will need to know that you're capable of acting appropriately towards customers, and a good reference from a company that is also customer-facing will prove this.

2. Communication

Not only is it crucial for you to be able to speak to customers in a polite and warm fashion, you must also have excellent communication skills regarding your fellow employees. Anyone who's thrived in a position as part of a team will possess these.

It doesn't matter which area of hospitality you are looking to work in, the ability to cooperate with your colleagues, work together and help them out when they need it is essential – and it'll also mean you make some great friends.

3. Organisation

Having tight organisational skills is a requirement across many careers, including secretarial work, administration and finance. It is just as important in hospitality – if not more so!

Customers need to see that you are reliable, and that means being able to keep all operations under control and the establishment you're working in looking presentable at all times. It is equally key for you to look well-groomed.

4. Attention to detail

Have you got an eye for detail that you picked up working in fashion, finance or advertising? Then you can put this skill to great use in hospitality, where everything must be perfect all the time, whether it's food, a hotel room or bathroom facilities.

Those extra touches, and being able to recognise them, are what make the difference between a guest's stay being good, and it being fantastic.

5. Language skills

You encounter people from all walks of life working in hospitality, which is one of the many reasons why it is so desirable – and such good fun. If you've got a host of language skills under your belt that will allow you to communicate with guests in their mother tongue, they'll instantly warm to you.

Being able to speak other languages is a quality that will also cause you to stand out when employers are looking through CVs, so make sure you flag this talent up. Who knows, it could even help you land a job abroad.