Probably everyone who ever had a job will agree that today’s job market is not just full but actually oversaturated with talent. This fact makes it extremely hard for young and even established professionals to land the positions they are interested in, let alone candidates that are in the middle of changing careers.
No matter how great you did at your past job if you decided to switch your occupation – get ready for multiple challenges to appear in your way. Without solid experience and relevant education, convincing potential employers to hire you can be a real challenge. The good news is that, even in this situation, it’s possible to succeed. But, only if you know exactly what you are doing.
For everyone who is determined to make a change and land a dream job, this article will be your ultimate guide for a successful career switch!
First, Define Where You Are Going
If you are not sure where to start, start with the basics! The first step towards your better future should include a thorough self-reflection and assessment of your own strengths and needs.
Here is a thing. Individuals who are changing careers typically can’t boast of any professional experience relevant to the occupations they are pursuing. This is what makes it hard to find the right triggers to engage and impress recruiters, and that’s why self-assessment is a vital stage of the process.
At this stage, you basically need to do two things:
- Evaluate your past experiences, knowledge, and hands-on experiences to identify your core strengths and skills. To do this, analyze yourself and write down all your abilities and positive attributes. Also, feel free to use the available resources such as books like Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath or career quizzes.
- Reflect on your personal needs and cravings. This step is vital if you want to make the right choice of a career field. To handle this step, be sure to ask yourself a few basic questions to understand what you want out of your next job, what you enjoy doing, etc.
Prepare Your Application Package
Once you have a clear understanding of which way you are heading, move on to the creation of your application package.
As you should already know, in order to apply for a job you will need a solid resume and an inspiring cover letter. However, you should also know that applying for a job as a career-changer implies certain different rules in terms of writing your resume and cover letter.
If you want to get a 100% guarantee of acceptance, consider entrusting your resume and cover letter to a professional service – SkillHub – its writers know exactly how to make you look like a worthy applicant even if you have zero experience. But, if you want to do everything yourself, here are some handy resume tips for success:
- Always read the job description before you write a resume to know the demands for candidates;
- Tailor your resume to the specific duties;
- Make a killer summary or objective to focus the recruiter’s attention;
- Focus on your strongest transferable skills;
- Use relevant keywords.
As for the cover letter, use it as another chance to introduce yourself to a recruiter. Include a bit of information about your past experience. Be sure to emphasize your skills. And, most importantly, use a cover letter to show your enthusiasm and passion.
Revamp Your Experience and Skills
Does your resume look a bit too empty? Or maybe the occupation you’ve chosen requires having at least some experience or some specific skills? If you answer yes, this is your next step.
If you want to make a successful career change, it may require you to go the extra mile in order to acquire some basic experience and skills. We have to say that landing a job in an entirely different industry is possible. But, you will get some extra points if you manage to showcase something more than just a set of transferable skills.
How can you enhance your application? Today, there are plenty of opportunities for professional and personal growth. You can undertake some relevant training or seek out volunteer work in the field you are looking to enter. Also, you can consider taking a short-term or long-term course to fill in the knowledge gap, and this is an especially good idea if you only have a high school diploma and no higher education.
If you follow any of these pieces of advice, you will be able to expand your skill set and gain a bit of work experience in the industry. This will definitely give companies another reason to employ you.
Finally, the last step towards your successful career change is networking. When you are looking to enter an industry that is completely new to you, it is never a bad idea to start building a network within that industry.
This can give you multiple advantages. First of all, by networking with the right people you will be able to learn more about your target industry from the inside. Besides, attending relevant networking events and meeting people from the needed industry can significantly expand your future job opportunities.
The Bottom Line
Although many are convinced that changing careers isn’t easy, it can turn out to be much simpler than you could imagine if you know what to do. Basically, as we discuss in our guide, there are only four main stages that are setting you apart from success:
- Defining your goal;
- Shaping a strong application;
- Filling the gaps in knowledge or skills;
If you follow all the tips discussed earlier, you will reach your goal!
And, lastly, one final tip we want to give you is not to be afraid to dream big. Changing your occupation can be a lucky ticket to a happier and more successful future. But what would it change if you won’t allow yourself to follow your dreams? Thus, don’t be afraid to pick something you are truly passionate about and go for it!