In today’s constantly evolving job market, career changes are a common and essential part of a person’s professional development. Although it can seem a daunting task to consider changing gears and moving into a new path, there are several creative ways for you to demonstrate your unique expertise to prospective employers and offer solutions for their business problems in ways that no one else can.
If you find yourself on the verge of a career change, take a look at the story your resume tells. Here are a few resume changes you need to make in order to paint a picture of a perfect candidate:
1. Know What Skills Your Target Needs
As you research your target company, find out what skills their employees have. What are their strengths? How do your skills align with theirs? This should give you an idea of how quickly you would be able to integrate with the rest of the team, and how successful you might be at landing an interview.
More importantly, however, you should find out what the company needs. Look at job postings and note the necessary skills they highlight frequently. Exercise a bit of creativity and try to find any existing skill gaps that you might fill.
2. Shape Your Future By Storytelling Your Past
Look at the strengths you exhibit in your current position, even if you believe they are not relevant to your desired field. List these strengths and begin to bridge them to the career you want. Be creative!
You may be a banker, but there are many things about your job you might relate to a career in marketing. One of the biggest challenges for marketing departments, for example, is creating and maintaining a budget. Your experience as a banker might make you uniquely qualified to meet this need.
Remember, a multi-faceted background makes you interesting. Rather than trying to hide a relative lack of experience in your desired job, use your resume to tell a fascinating story about how your career thus far has shaped you into the ideal candidate for their position.
3. Know Thine Enemy
In her riveting and witty TED talk, Amy Webb artfully describes how she met the perfect person by “hacking” the online dating scene. One of her steps toward romance included gathering data on her competitors in order to maximize her own profile.
Although you may not be looking for romance, you are courting prospective employers, so take a page out of Webb’s playbook. Find out what kind of person is applying for the job you want. How are they presenting themselves to potential employers? What are they doing to land the job that is missing from your approach? Why might a company be interested in that candidate? Use this information to tailor your resume to the job of your dreams.
4. Network More Creatively
Even if you do not have a personal connection in your target company, you can still use the Internet to help you network creatively by looking for common histories or trends among current employees.
If you notice a significant number of current employees have some experience in other industries, use this to your advantage. You know the company is open to hiring industry outsiders, so arm yourself with several examples of how your current industry has given you skills they can put to use immediately.
5. Haunt Targeted Job Listings
Industry-targeted websites can also be a useful source of information to help guide your search and resume rewriting process. At the very least, using industry specific job listings may provide an idea of what is available and what skills are most desirable.
These websites are also other great sources of information regarding companies with which you may not have been previously familiar. When on the hunt for talented professionals, many companies use smaller, industry-targeted job websites to execute a more focused search.
The risks and challenges associated with changing your career may seem daunting at first, but every challenge is best met with a bit of creativity. Know what you want, and craft a resume to highlight the assets to get you there. Use your varied background to your advantage to create the image of a unique candidate no hiring manager can resist.
What are your thoughts? Can you think of other ways to leverage your skills to your advantage during a career change?
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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