There is always debate regarding the employability of specialists versus generalists and how best to position yourself when job searching.

As a specialist – your key strength is your knowledge and expertise in your specific area.  Your point of difference is that you know a lot about your thing.  This can be an advantage when job searching.

As a specialist you have an area of expertise where you are motivated and excel, this gives opportunity to create a single powerful message that establishes your expertise. Clearly state your expertise on the top of your CV and as your LinkedIn tag line.  Be the specialist, be invested in your area, develop a deep and recognised skills set.  Demonstrate your expertise and share your knowledge. You want to be known as the go to person – the expert. Fortune favours the bold, be bold!

Whilst it is likely you will be employed for your expertise; employers appreciate complementary and supporting skills. Technical specialists can find it challenging if they need to demonstrate leadership. Determine people leadership from project leadership in your CV and include on the front page of your CV.

  • Diligent Project Manager successfully led a multi-disciplined team of 15 through all phases of high-profile digital project.

Be a Specialist – be the specialist with demonstrated leadership or people management skills. Show depth

As a specialist it can be assumed your focus is limited to your area of expertise and therefore you might not be aware of what is going on outside of your space.  Identify what else is important in your work, maybe commercial awareness, or strategic understanding.  Demonstrate this in your CV

  • Substantially reduced project costs through managing robust tender process, boosting management confidence with contracting team.
  • Creates a continuous improvement culture, combines strategic focus and knowledge of market trends and benchmarking to identify new ‘best practice’ solutions.

Be a specialist with demonstrated strategic or commercial awareness.

Finally – communication, engagement and client management will be important in most specialist roles.  Demonstrate your ability to speak with both technical and non-technical professionals, bring the client on board, or solve a problem through collaboration.

  • Implements and drives continuous improvements, successfully aligned 12 different business units into the one Safety Management Plan through effective communication strategy.
  • Promoted stakeholder buy-in through small group targeted training.


As a specialist, you will have an area of expertise, but be aware of the complimentary skills employers will be looking for.  Ensure they are demonstrated adequately in your marketing documents.