You've just spent the last forty-five minutes answering questions from a hiring manager. You gave it all you had. You think you did okay. The hiring manager seemed to smile and nod a lot when you were speaking. Then, suddenly, she asks, "Do you have any questions for me?"
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For many workers, being laid off or furloughed is a scary thought, and unfortunately this scary thought is becoming a reality for many as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
However, for some, losing their job is the push they need to change careers.
Commit To A Career Change Plan<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="44626c53ab3e93c3e20e76c22e58bcf4"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qioJplacBZk?start=75&rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Before committing to career change, make sure you're ready to close the door on your current career.</p><p>A career change should not be an impulse decision or strictly driven by the trauma of a layoff. So, it's important to take some time to really think things over.</p><p>But, if your decision comes from a prolonged period of career unhappiness, then the time may be right.</p><p>Identify the new industry that you're looking to get into and narrow down a few companies that you would like to pursue. Take a self-inventory of yourself and identify the <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/transferable-skills-job-seekers-need" target="_blank">transferable skills</a> you possess that would also apply well to this new industry. Identify where you need to upskill.</p><p>What skills are you missing for this new position? Come up with a plan for gaining these skills. Attend training courses, workshops, classes, or certification opportunities.</p><p>Many sites are offering <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/stay-positive-during-covid-19/invest-some-time-in-your-career" target="_blank">free courses</a> as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.</p>
Changing Careers Is About Who You Know<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzNDc4Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjA1MDc3Nn0.11H0zuA-r0mQZdjBvjIiZixB6pvrYMyi5X4bkfyn1kU/img.jpg?width=980" id="7d1e1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="32ebd2b3c43e1d28091f461ee7bffe70" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="A network of business professionals exchange ideas at a meeting." /><p>Now that you've drafted a career change plan, the real challenge begins: building your network.</p><p><strong>When applying to a new industry, it's not enough to just apply online and pray that you'll get an interview. You have to put the work in.</strong></p><p>Go to the company's website or LinkedIn account to identify the human resources manager and the company's key players. Try to make an actual connection. Tap into your current network to see if you already know someone working at the company or have a friend who does know a current employee.</p><p>Use any connection you make to learn more about the company and to tell your career story, where you've been, and why you are choosing to change careers. Any connection that you make is a foot in the door.</p><p>In addition to trying to secure an interview, putting in this work will also help you build networking skills and expand your professional network.</p><p>No matter where you are in your career, it always pays to network. This would also be a good time to update your <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-win-linkedin-career" target="_blank">LinkedIn profile</a>, too.</p>
Ease Your Way To Your Dream Job<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzEzNDM2OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTA4MzAwOH0.dWnKCaMvqiCCXU0ane_S2H7LrwD0UbFQRIP5--WluSM/img.jpg?width=980" id="474b3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5c218278eb4ea4d9b41734c7b55de4b8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Young professional moves into her new office." /><p>What if you could get a job at the company you want to work for, just not at the position that you wanted?</p><p>That would actually be a career victory. When it comes to career changes, very rarely can you just switch lanes and land your new <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-find-dream-job" target="_blank">dream job</a>. Sometimes you need to ease your way in.</p><p>If you're struggling to get the position you want within a certain company, research other positions inside that company to see if there are any positions that better fit into your current skill sets. If there is, apply for that position. That way you at least get a job at the company.</p><p>From there, you can figure out a way to <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/develop-your-skills-at-work" target="_blank">gain the skills that you need</a>, so that you can one day move into your dream position.</p>
Beware! Career Changes Come With Salary Implications<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzEzNDM3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDQxMDUxNn0.cLy9LsDYMCRORVVKSloZeWmMWNleGcOfNWxzO8dCmsY/img.jpg?width=980" id="92c4e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="913ce0e0f0bd59150f884e9840b26681" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Businessman ponders whether or not he should take a cut in salary." /><p>This may be hard to believe, but when it comes to career change, sometimes salary is the last thing that you think about.</p><p>That's because the career change process is so involved. It takes so much effort to come up with a plan and eventually secure an interview, salary considerations are something that get placed on the temporary back-burner. </p><p>But, if you've reached the point in the process where it's time to discuss salary, you've done something right and don't want things to unravel.</p><p>Depending on the type of industry you're going into, you'll be looking at either a salary increase, decrease, or match. It's essential that you do your research about the position and the average salary for such a position in your geographical area. Websites such as <a href="https://www.salary.com/" target="_blank">salary.com</a> and <a href="https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm" target="_blank">glassdoor.com</a> can be good resources for this information.</p><p>Having this information could be helpful in <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/salary-negotiation-in-first-interview" target="_blank">salary negotiations</a>, or at the very least mentally prepare you, particularly if you're facing a salary decrease.</p><p>It's also important not to lie when asked about your current salary in order to get a higher salary. It never pays to be dishonest.</p><p><br></p><p>Being laid off and then deciding to change careers is a lot to take on. If you're organized and committed, you can do it, but you don't have to do it alone! Check out Work It Daily's FREE <a href="https://workitdaily.lpages.co/how-to-change-careers-free-guide/" target="_blank">Career Change Guide.</a><br></p><p>In addition, Work It Daily has a number of other resources that can give you the added edge you need to make a successful career change.</p><p>Check out our free masterclass training <a href="https://workitdaily.lpages.co/how-get-job-laid-off/" target="_blank">Laid Off & Looking</a>, and then join our <a href="https://workitdaily.lpages.co/pricing/" target="_blank">career growth club</a> today and get access to <strong>one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities!</strong></p>
Writing a good cover letter is one of the most crucial parts of the job search process. Without a good cover letter, you won't even score a job interview.
Because of the pressure associated with writing the cover letter, some people dread writing them. However, with the right attitude, writing a cover letter can actually be enjoyable.
If You're Applying For The Right Job, Writing A Cover Letter Should Be Easy<div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:60%;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/2juvZoQ3oLa4U" width="100%" height="100%" style="position:absolute" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe></div><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/2juvZoQ3oLa4U">via GIPHY</a></p><p>If you truly want the position you're applying for, understand the position, and do your <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-research-a-company" target="_blank">research about the company,</a> then writing a cover letter shouldn't be too difficult. When you're excited and pumped up about something, it's usually pretty fun to share that excitement with others, and explain how that excitement came to be.</p><p>In some ways, writing a cover letter is like having a conversation. When you know a lot about a particular topic of conversation, you're able to continually contribute to it and keep it going. If you're applying for a job that you're excited about, you should easily be able to give multiple examples of why the job appeals to you, and why you would be a good fit for it.</p><p>If you're struggling to convey interest for the job and how you would be a good fit, it's very possible that you're applying to the job for the wrong reasons or don't really understand the job you're applying for.</p><p>How easy, or difficult, the cover letter is to write says a lot about whether you're pursuing the right opportunity. If the job is a good fit, you'll welcome the opportunity to write the cover letter.</p>
This Is Your Opportunity To Be Disruptive<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ad4f172011be9c5d5c63e1aade3e561f"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kdUafTx82OM?start=74&rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>How often in life are you actually encouraged to be disruptive? </strong>Writing a cover letter gives you a chance to do just that.</p><p>A <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/writing-disruptive-cover-letter" target="_blank">disruptive cover letter</a> is a cover letter that gets an emotional reaction from the recruiter. The response is so strong that the recruiter is more focused on the person than the piece of paper.</p><p>The best way to generate this type of response is by sharing a story about why you feel a personal connection to the company that you're applying to. It could be a personal life experience that you feel connects you with the company's brand, or a story about a personal experience you had with the company and how it molded your professional goals.</p><p>By capturing the recruiter's heart and mind, you'll create a connection with them that will give you an edge in securing a job interview.</p>
Just Remember To Avoid These Cover Letter Mistakes<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNjA0NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjM5MTg2OX0.OpR1g7GJXBb-tgWIKrCi0BemFr66_IYqXyzBweLR1sc/img.jpg?width=980" id="808f0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fb8555c3aa630c3cd13a1587f3c453a9" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Businesswoman show frustration over a mistake she made in her cover letter." /><p>To ensure that your disruptive cover letter has the desired effect, make sure you proofread multiple times to avoid grammatical errors. It may be a good idea to have a friend or trusted mentor give the letter a read for both grammar and content. <strong>An additional set of eyes is never a bad idea.</strong></p><p>It's also important to make sure the cover letter doesn't mirror your resume. In addition to making a personal connection, you can use your cover letter to give specific examples of why you <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-determine-job-good-fit" target="_blank">fit the position</a>, but it should be unique from what is already on your resume.</p><p>Make sure you don't use the same cover letter for applying to different jobs. Each cover letter should be unique to the position and company that you're applying for. You'll also want to personalize the cover letter. Do some research about who will be receiving the cover letter. It's usually best to avoid the phrase "to whom it may be concerned." </p>
Writing A Good Cover Letter Can Lead To New Opportunities<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDA0MDYxNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDE2NTg3NX0.wynXMmJ7cglZd155RCjivfbpVNcc4uc3vg2i8lBfHQE/img.jpg?width=980" id="ab71f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dab5a8f40223d3c056569d6532b514bd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="A human resources manager shakes hands with a job seeker during an interview." /><p>It's possible to write a good cover letter, get a job interview or two, not get the job, and still win!</p><p>If you were able to secure multiple interviews with a company that means you were a strong candidate. There was just another candidate who may have been a better fit at that time.</p><p>Thank the company for the opportunity, ask them to keep you in mind for future opportunities, and keep in touch.</p><p>Writing a strong cover letter got you in the door and on the company's radar. As a result, you made some new connections within your desired industry. <strong>Be excited about this!</strong></p><p>Perhaps most importantly, by writing a strong cover letter you hopefully learned a little more about yourself and what excites you professionally. This will help you tailor future job searches and give you confidence for future cover letters. </p><p><strong>That's a lot of positives from one letter.</strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p>Check out these <strong>FREE</strong> <a href="https://workitdaily.lpages.co/how-to-write-cover-letter-samples/" target="_blank">Cover Letter Samples!</a></p><p>Looking for additional help with your job search? Join <a href="https://workitdaily.lpages.co/pricing/" target="_blank">Work It Daily</a> today and use coaching, courses, and community to help you find a job quicker!</p>
I've had the privilege of chatting with a lot of students and recent grads (young professionals) on my book tour, and one of the questions I often get asked is: "How can I make myself stand out when a lot of other applicants have more education and professional experience?"
1. Request Informational Interviews<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNTA3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTQ3NTU5NH0.a_i3PUNM6WHG8E3ij-sLWCtZbNreCK56T_nDHpMAkog/img.jpg?width=980" id="a7140" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3d991330dfcda84314332a74293d9de3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Young professional requests an informational interview with a company" /><p>The best, and most strategic, way young professionals can stand out in a crowded job market is to request informational interviews with leaders in your target companies BEFORE they post jobs you want to apply for. Fortunately for you, it's much easier to be granted an informational interview when you play the "I'm a recent graduate" card.</p><p>During your informational interview, make sure to ask questions that show you really understand the company, its culture, and be clear on how you can provide the kind of results they're looking for. This will give you an inside connection when a job does emerge.</p><p>Don't forget to <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/what-to-say-when-connecting-on-linkedin" target="_blank">connect with those you meet at these companies on LinkedIn</a>!</p>
2. Position Yourself As An Emerging Leader<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNTEwMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjc4ODAyMH0.U2z6hg6XMugsYQpz9R641I6WrrlMvOur3XOK7nw4aRI/img.jpg?width=980" id="523c2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9fb0aa986bfb159d52c3b7466f223fdf" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Young leader smiles at the camera" /><p>Young professionals can position themselves as emerging leaders in their field by creating a content-rich blog and strong <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/social-media-job-search-prep" target="_blank">social media</a> presence.</p><p>Connect with leaders in your field by citing their work and interviewing them in your posts. As relationships develop, make yourself irresistibly attractive by asking them how you can help them. And when they most likely ask you the same question, don't be afraid to let them know who and what you are looking to connect to.</p>
3. Hone In On Your Greatest Strengths<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNTExMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTA0OTI4MX0.QC4KE2BdQZYU075c5xhqHTYpUm6yoxSWBUMYVFxhaP8/img.jpg?width=980" id="4c5e7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e274bd54cdcf3766d0e907d703705484" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of young professionals work together using their different strengths" /><p>When it comes time for you to apply for a job, hone in on your two to three greatest strengths and link them to the primary responsibilities and expectations of your prospective position.</p><p>In the event you <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/get-resume-past-ats" target="_blank">get your resume past the ATS</a> and land an interview with the company, watch the tendency to have lengthy answers to questions about weaknesses. Remember, it's your strengths you want to emphasize and have a prospective employer walk away remembering! No need to over-explain what you're working on improving about yourself as a young professional. </p>
4. Show You're A Sponge<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNTExOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDk3Nzc0M30.OYv33FdMLZ1Fm5qn5vGS-K9BLdpVw2-oZdslms0uye0/img.jpg?width=980" id="98dea" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3d103d533e4aefb2141af627b99346a8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Young professional learns something new at work" /><p>Most importantly, show you're a sponge. In your networking, <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/writing-disruptive-cover-letter" target="_blank">cover letters</a>/resumes, and interviews, display your commitment to absorbing new information quickly, your desire to learn and grow in your role, and always be able to cite examples of how you have done this in the past.</p><p>Use the Experience + Learn = Grow framework in the interview process, and you'll be sure to impress employers and stand out from the competition. </p>
As the job search advances one of the top questions becomes "what salary do I ask for?"
So, let's talk about salary! This is going to be awkward. You see, when a candidate meets a company and falls in love with their dream job, they need to have some awkward conversations before they can commit to each other and start having fun together. Salary is one of those conversations. Ugh. Okay, talking about salary doesn't have to be awkward.