Once you have determined your new direction (read Starting a Career Change, first, if you haven’t determined that yet), it’s time to focus more on marketing yourself to prospective employers once you have identified your career transition goals.
Your old identity and experience may no longer be a good fit for your newly selected career. So what do you do? You can’t really ditch all the experience you have, so you need to understand how to leverage and build on the experiences and skills that you have for your new career.
Here are some quick tips for moving to that new career:
- Get experience. The fastest way to gain momentum and switch fields is to obtain experience in the new career. And then, of course, portray that experience prominently on your résumé. So, if you haven’t got your feet wet in your new career field, think about how to structure some “experiments” (paid or unpaid) to expand your résumé.
- Review job descriptions and understand your target audience. Before you begin to write your résumé, you should review the job descriptions for the positions to which you are applying. You should be clear on which skills, competencies, and knowledge prospective employers are seeking. Try niche job boards in your new field for job descriptions. If all else fails, use www.Indeed.com.
- Know your Personal Brand. Your Personal Brand is the continuity that is going to ensure your success as you move from one field to another. Your Personal Brand and everything that is unique and compelling about you transfers from one field to another.
- Think about perception. How do you want to be perceived in this new arena? What is the image or picture you want to paint in the prospective employer’s mind? If you are not sure how and what to sell to your target audience, then do some informational meetings and gather this information from those who currently work in the field you are targeting.
- Identify your career accomplishments. Regardless of the focus and tack you are going to take with your résumé, you must know how you have added value and contributed to your past employers. Take an inventory of your accomplishments, and articulate your successes in concrete terms (increases in sales, cost reductions, productivity increases, improved team collaboration, etc.).
Once you know the direction you want for your new career, you can begin marshalling your resources and doing the research that will enable you to move in this new direction. This means learning more about the requirements, learning more about the industry or field, and aligning your existing experience, augmented with your new learning. People successfully implement career change often, and you can, too.
About the author…
Job-Hunt’s Career Change Expert, Randi Bussin, founder and president of Aspire!, is a career coach and counselor with more than 25 years of business, entrepreneurial, and career counseling experience, including DISC assessments. Randi has experienced several major career transitions (from corporate to small business owner to career counselor to coach) and personally understands the effort and commitment involved. She has appeared on public television’s “Job Doctor,” and is a frequent contributor to Bridgestar’s Leadership Matters newsletter, The Ladders job-search Web site (www.theladders.com) and her own blog, which offers advice on career transition, job search, and labor market trends. Follow Randi on Twitter @Aspire4Success.
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