Career /What transferable skills do I need for a job in marketing, PR or design?

What transferable skills do I need for a job in marketing, PR or design?

You’ve decided it’s time to take a leap of faith. You’re planning on leaving your current career, have retrained (or are about to start retraining) in something new and are thinking about your new career in marketing, PR, account service or creative and design.

Well, a big congrats to you! It’s not an easy decision to completely up and change your career, especially if you’ve been at it for a while, but you should be incredibly proud of yourself for taking this first step. But once you’ve retrained, it’s time for the hard part – trying to convince a business to hire you when you have very little experience.

There’s a number of things that you can do to help with this – do an internship (even if it’s just for a couple of weeks), volunteer your new skills for a community group or your local cafe, build a portfolio full of dummy briefs and rejig your resume.

When rejigging your resume to make it more appealing, highlighting your transferable skills is a must do. While you may not have a lot of technical experience and skills, your work history isn’t completely irrelevant to your new industry.

So what skills should you be highlighting?



This one is a no-brainer since you’re moving into a creative field. Make sure to highlight examples of when you flexed your creative muscle and came up with original, out of the box ideas – even if they’re not marketing, PR or design specific examples.


Problem solving

A lot of the work done in this space is solving a problem – what’s the best way to promote this client’s new product, how will you respond to this crisis, what are you going to do to help increase sales? Strategic thinking skills are a massive plus and if you can show your thought process as well, even better.


Time management

Another skill that’s incredibly important everywhere, but particularly in agency land. Agencies are known for being fast paced. You’ll be juggling multiple projects across multiple clients and tight deadlines, so if you’re good under pressure or when there’s a time crunch, shout it out!



Relationship management

This one is super important if you’re applying for roles in an agency. Not only will you need to have good relationships with your team and across different departments, but managing the relationship with the clients you’ll be working with is a number one priority. You want to show you can build trust and respect with people so you can collaborate with them effectively.


Attention to detail

The little things are often the most important. If an email is going out to 10,000 people or an ad is going to be on a public billboard for three months (and a decent amount of money is being spent on it), you wanna make sure it’s perfect. Noticing those details and picking up on any mistakes before things go live will take you far.



Things can change fast working in this space. A client has decided that they don’t like the work you’ve produced and their campaign goes live in a couple of days? You gotta come up with a new concept fast! Your boss has told you that you need to be across the latest trend, like yesterday? Hop to it!




To engage everyone – clients, coworkers or other stakeholders – in the creative process, clarity is key here. Clear and concise communication helps to convey ideas, gather feedback and ensure that the vision is executed accurately. You don’t want your message to be lost in translation.


Of course, there are plenty of other transferable skills that will help when applying for a job in the creative industry (and make sure to highlight those too!), but if you can feature these on your resume or mention them in a job interview, it’ll go a long way to help you nail a job in a new industry.


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