Show You Qualify for the Job When You’re a Career Changer
A common problem that exists for job seekers who are trying to change careers is that they fail to properly communicate to employers how they qualify for the job. In many cases, the career changer may personally see how they qualify for the job, but there is a lack of personalization and customization to the message on the resume to inform employers. Hiring managers are left wondering: Where’s the relevance? And, ultimately, the conclusion is made that the job applicant is unqualified.
As a career changer, it’s critical to be strategic with how you present your background experience and skills. If you do not properly position yourself, the hiring manager may only see relevant experience and qualifications suitable for the last profession you held, NOT the one you are now vying for.
Here are tips to writing the resume to show you’re relevant and qualify for the new career:
Speak the same language
Every profession has terminology professionals in the field of work can relate to. When your resume incorporates such language and appropriate keywords, it gives the impression that you’re in the business and understand the business. Even if you are short on meeting all the qualifying factors, there’s a greater chance you’ll get by simply because your resume is relatable and you come across as relevant.
Present a unique background that can benefit the employer
Many job seekers changing careers may think that there’s no competing with someone with direct experience in the line of work. However, if you present your background in a manner that can showcase how your unique experiences and skills can benefit on the job, you have as great a chance as any other job applicant. Paint the picture for employers to see and understand that you’re well-rounded with a unique offering. Your unique experiences and transferable skills can produce results in the new career. There are many employers who will accept the less experienced applicant over the more experienced one simply because the applicant has shown they understand what’s necessary to do the job well and how to help drive business.
Keep your message on the new career path
It can be hard to let go of the story you’ve been telling for years about you as a professional, but choosing to retell it the same way will not work for a career change. It’ll only divert you from the path you want to go. Work on restructuring your story and finding ways to tell it so you properly position yourself for the new career, not the old one.
Know the difference between qualified with transferable skills and unqualified
The reality is when you’re changing careers you may have to start at the bottom and work your way up. In some professions, there are basic qualifications that must be met. Understand what the key qualification factors are for each the job and assess if you’ll be able to meet them. While transferable skills are beneficial, there are some things that may require you to take additional education or training. Work on fulfilling those key requirements before initiating the job search. If time and time again you are seeing the job postings indicating a certain certification is required, it’s in your best interest to work on obtaining that certification because without it you’re unable to show employers you meet the basic requirement factors of the job. For more tips to getting yourself ready for a career change, read: “Tips to Easing into a Career Change.”
For additional tips to resume writing, also read: “Tips to Get the Resume Ready for a Career Change.”