How do you change industries without experience? The short answer is networking. We’ll explain why.
If you want a job in a new field, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start at the bottom. Talk to someone in the field who’s in the position you want to obtain. (Chatting with two or three people is even better.)
Find out how they got experience. Have they seen people without the necessary experience getting a job with their company or another? What would it take for their firm to make an exception for that kind of role? Ask these types of questions and provide value to these people however you can, so they can become a trusted part of your network (and vice-versa).
If you show how your skills and past experience are similar to what the company wants, the people in your network could even refer you for a job with their company, thanks to the attitude you demonstrated and your background.
CAREEREALISM founder J.T. O’Donnell talks to hiring managers every day that say they can’t find talent. There are many capable unemployed people, but what they need is more involved than that. They define talent as someone that can give them exactly what they need. Nobody knows who the real talent is without interviewing them, so any candidate that doesn’t get an interview doesn’t have the chance to prove they’re the talent the company is looking for.
In An Interview…
When you’re in an interview, you’re being evaluated on three things: Personality, Aptitude, and Experience. It’s initially done in that order.
You are immediately being judged on your personality. Could the interviewer see working with you each and every day? Do they feel connected to you? If something’s off, you don’t make the initial cut
As you describe how you’ve done the things you have, they’ll examine your aptitude. Is that how they do [a certain task]? Would you be able to adapt to their situation? Do you have the transferable skill sets that can make it work between the two of you?
After all of that, they look at your experience. Have you done this before? Do you have enough knowledge of the industry?
In each phase of the hiring process, those three things come into play and even intensify. Hiring someone is an expensive purchase, so you absolutely need to get along with people, figure out how to do things and not need a lot of learning based on your past experience.
What is outdated about job application these days? You send a resume with your past experience on it! That has almost nothing to do with your personality or aptitude, because it’s very hard to have them shine through (even on a great resume).
This goes to show why networking is so important. It’s a way for you to exhibit your personality and aptitude, so you don’t get discounted because of your experience. There are plenty of people with enough experience, but not enough of the first two qualities.
Networking is the solution to get into a field you don’t have prior experience in, for all of the above reasons. When you share how you dealt with problems (or opportunities) in the past, you’re exhibiting your aptitude. If you can communicate well with the people you’ve networked with, you have the right personality.
Before they know anything about your experience (regardless of how much you have), you have already satisfied the two biggest requirements of any new hire. You might get the chance to learn how to do the job best with tools the company provides if you don’t have prior experience, so they can pick someone who will grow into the role, assuming you have the personality and aptitude to make it happen.
Enjoy this article? You’ve got time for another! Check out these related articles:
- Video Tip: The Surprising Key To The Hidden Job Market
- How To Mention Unrelated Work Experience On Your Resume
- Using Military Experience in a Job Search
Photo Credit: Shutterstock