By Katie Roth
Making a career change can be daunting. But often workers already have the skills they need to succeed in a new field—they just need to know what they are and how to highlight them for potential new companies.
Here are four tips to help you take best advantage of the experience and abilities you already have.
Take stock of your skills—all of them
Set aside time to write down a list of your skills. Be as thorough as possible; things you do every day and take for granted, like regular communication with clients or summarizing reports, may be valuable in other professions. Enlist a friend or trusted colleague to help you review the list and point out any gaps you may have missed. Getting an outside perspective will ensure you don’t undervalue the work you do each day; seemingly small things like pitching in to help an overworked teammate or consistently hitting quotas help illustrate your skillset.
Don’t let terminology pen you in
If you’ve worked in one field for awhile, your brain is predisposed to its jargon. Don’t leave opportunities on the table just because the job titles or requirements don’t precisely match what you’ve done before. If, for example, you’ve worked in public-facing positions, you can excel in customer service and call-center roles—great places to get your foot in the door of a new industry. Keeping in mind your list of skills, widen the types of roles you apply to for a greater chance of landing a gig.
Make the connection for the employer
After listing your skills and broadening your search, you’ll need to sell yourself on hiring managers. Look at the description for the job you want and sketch out how your background matches up with the needed qualifications. Then make that connection explicit in your resume and cover letter. Explain why you’re interested in the position and how your background applies. And take the time to describe how your past successes will translate to positive outcomes for their company.
ABL—Always Be Learning
As you search for jobs, continue to expand your skillset within your current position. That can mean signing up for new trainings, asking for additional responsibilities that help you grow and stretch, or using your free time to gain volunteer experience in the industry you hope to transfer to. Informational interviews with people in your desired field can help you understand what employers are looking for and where to direct your energy.
If you’re looking for a new career, RC Search group can help you emphasize your experience to find the perfect fit. Reach out to us by calling 515-505-4768.