Since the downturn in the Oil and Gas market many candidates have considered moving into different sectors such as the renewables market, where their skills can be easily migrated and their experience can be invaluable. Transitioning to a new sector can seem daunting at first, but if you take it step by step, there’s no reason why you can’t make the move and improve your employability in the long term by broadening your experience.
The key is to determine what transferable experience you have and how it can be applied to a new employer.
Transferable disciplines include:
- Electrical Engineering (Design & Maintenance)
- Control and Instrumentation (Design & Maintenance)
- Project Management
- Site Installation
- Process Engineering
Where to start
Make sure you do your research first: identify the sort of companies you would like to work for and the key people you need to target with your application.
Tailor your cover letter with an introductory paragraph that highlights your transferable skills, your desire to take on new challenges, and your ability to adapt to different work environments. Make sure you read our advice on how to write a cover letter.
It’s important to remember however that whilst you feel your knowledge is a good fit your CV may need tweaking to convince potential employers you could make the transition. Make sure the terminology you use fits the sector you’re applying for; otherwise you may not get past the first stage of an application process. Read more about writing a CV.
Do not focus solely on the job responsibilities you had that are exclusive to the oil industry; highlight duties that apply to other fields. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate you can seamlessly move from the oil field to the industry of your choosing.
Set yourself apart
Soft skills are also very important. Good communicators who could be client-facing, and people with project management experience are attractive. Language skills are a big plus too along with willingness to travel.
Any small differentiator can help you to stand out from the crowd.
Network! Get along to industry events and talk to people. Ensure you are connected via social media to industry contacts and groups so you are made aware of opportunities when they arise. Make sure you can be found by constantly updating your profile on LinkedIn and keeping your experience fresh. Read our social media advice for more tips.
If you know someone who has previously transitioned, speak to them and find out if they have any useful tips. Someone who has recently been through this same process can often provide valuable advice about how tackle the challenge.
Keep in touch with your agency and make your recruiter aware of your intentions, they may already have opportunities they can put you forward for.