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Cross-Industry Experience & Making Moves

Browsing through job descriptions, it’s easy to get the impression that many fields are incredibly siloed. Finance organisations all seem to want finance experience, while the technology sector seeks candidates from similar technology companies.

It begins to look a bit like competing companies are just shuffling talent around between one another – and in a lot of ways that’s exactly what they are doing. But what if you want to go against the grain and try something new? Is it worth it, what’s this cross-industry experience people keep talking about and how do you even move industries?


Should You Move Industries?

Moving industries can be very rewarding though, with multiple benefits. Offering numerous opportunities for growth, innovation, and potentially higher earning potential. Here are a few points to consider when making this decision:

High Demand: Depending on the industry you’re considering moving to, it might be rapidly growing and constantly in need of skilled professionals, offering a wide range of job opportunities.

Career Growth: Often new industries come with a whole new career trajectory with clear paths for advancement and professional development.

Higher Earning Potential: Switching industries can present roles offering competitive salaries and benefits thanks to your cross-industry experience.

changing industries


What Is Cross Industry Experience?
Put simply, cross-industry experience is when individuals have gained skills and knowledge from working in different sectors or industries. It involves applying expertise from one industry to another, which can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to new challenges.

Professionals with cross-industry experience are often valued for their diverse backgrounds, adaptability, and ability to leverage best practices from various fields to enhance performance and drive growth in a new industry.


Making Moves Across Industries

Often there exists a great opportunity to grow your career by making a cross-industry move. You may have somewhat of an uphill battle as you attempt to transition your role to a new industry, but with the tips below your move will be far easier.

1. Play up your likenesses, diminish your differences

Most organisations prefer to hire from within the industry specifically because the candidates that they bring in are guaranteed to have some legacy knowledge about their business. However, if you’re looking to make a cross-industry move, you can help bridge the gap by highlighting the similarities between your current industry and the one you’re looking to move into. For instance, both the pharmaceutical and finance industries are heavily regulated and rather compliance-driven, which makes a move between these industries a bit easier. If the organisation you’re courting is in an industry where security is paramount, make sure your resume and your interview answers play up your relevant experience in that field.

2. Be vocal about your objectives

One of the most attractive things to a hiring authority is a candidate who truly wants the job. For this reason, it will serve you well to speak early and often about what excites you about their business. Don’t be afraid to share with the hiring manager that you are actively seeking to break into a new industry. Companies like to hire candidates who want the job, so there is no sense acting aloof in this case. Bring your enthusiasm for the new industry to the table and be prepared to speak to why you want to make that move.

3. Take the initiative outside of work

The fact of the matter is that some industry barriers exist for a reason. For instance, specific tools are often only employed by select industries. While you may be certain that you could easily pick up new technologies, the fact remains that you will likely lose out on a position if there is a candidate who already knows the ropes and requires less training. You can help close the gap by taking the initiative to learn new skills that your current industry just doesn’t give you exposure to. Take a look at relevant cross-industry job descriptions. Is there a specific job-specific tool that comes up time and time again? If so, you’ll give yourself a huge advantage in the market if you are willing to learn it. You may even want to get certified in its use, to show off your skills and your commitment.

4. Preparation is key

As an industry outsider, you simply lack a lot of insider knowledge that others who’ve spent their careers in that specific job have gained. For this reason, you should expect to prepare harder than other candidates if you want to get the job. Read articles from outside of your industry, do your homework about potential employers, and most importantly don’t give up. You might knock it out of the park on your first outside-industry interview, but you might not. Even if you don’t make the industry leap the first time around, you will gain invaluable insight into what you need to successfully transition. Pay attention to the interview questions you are asked, the specific tools that are mentioned, and the skillsets that are requested. If you don’t have something they’re looking for, seek it out before your next interview. Part of preparing to make a cross-industry move is learning what’s expected of you in a different industry, so take advantage of the interview process as the great tool that it is for preparing you for the next stage in your career.


About Allen Recruitment

Allen Recruitment Consulting is an international recruitment consultancy business with offices in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium and Poland. A full-service recruitment consultancy offering temporary, permanent, contract and contingency roles in a variety of industries such as IT, Tech, Finance, Telecom, E-commerce, Engineering and more.


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