How Do You Get Your Foot In The Door In A New Career?
At some point in our lives, most of us think about switching careers.
Perhaps you began working life without a major plan, drifted into a couple of jobs and now feel stuck on a path that wasn’t intentional. Or maybe you’ve been working away at something, only to find it isn’t really fulfilling you. Or it may be that you’ve stumbled across another career path that you feel you should have taken in the first place.
It can feel like making the change is impossible if you don’t have prior experience in the field you want to move into, but there are certain tactics you can utilize when making a career move.
Making A Shift In Careers
When trying to shift industries, it's essential to approach the process differently from how you would if you wished to remain in the same general field.
Whether you want to get into IT careers, nursing, marketing or even corporate finances, work strategically to ensure that you are really drawing out your transferable skills, your personality, and what you can bring to the industry rather than focusing more on past career experiences.
You may not get overnight results, but with a little perseverance, you can change the way that potential employers respond to your applications, and finally manage to get your foot in the door.
Tailor Your Applications
Many find that the first barrier to getting into their dream job is the unalterable fact that they don’t have direct comparative experience in a previous role to add to their applications.
Most job adverts, after all, make a point of stressing how many years of previous experience they expect applicants to have – even for entry-level positions. It's a huge barrier that puts off many talented and enthusiastic applicants. You should never try to avoid confronting the lack of direct experience but keep it to an acknowledgment in the introductory section, and then focus on what you can bring to the role.
Using the right wording, you can take facts which could possibly be read negatively and turn them into huge positives for the business you’re aiming at. Take the time to read the job description thoroughly, pull out exactly what you can do and bring to each point through transferable skills and talk about that.
What the organization wants and what you can help it to do better are things which don’t have to be tied to job roles that you’ve done before.
Get The Timing Right
When do employers become more open-minded about the types of candidates they are willing to interview? Well, right around day 10 of a job advert going life it seems. The longer a vacancy is out there, generally, the more flexible an employer will have to become about who may be able to fill it.
Most organizations start out with too strict a criteria when writing their job adverts, and in an effort to find someone who ticks every box on paper, they may miss out on those who could storm the role, but don’t fit into a tickbox. That reality, however, can take a while to filter through. If you apply straight away, you’re likely to run up against these slightly unrealistic initial expectations while they are caught in a flurry of initial applications.
Once things have calmed down, the business may be willing to take a slightly different approach to get the right person – which is where you come in. A more open-minded recruiter paired with some well-timed messages from your about transferable skills are more likely to get you in front of the right people.
Work With A Recruitment Professional
Recruitment agents can be a huge benefit to a jobseeker looking to switch industries. They have the contacts and the time-weathered relationships to make it happen for you, and are more likely to have success pitching you if you have the inexact experience, but they have a successful existing track record with the organization.
Approach recruiters who are active in your target industry and pitch to them. State why you believe you would work well in the roles you want and briefly set out your relevant experience – then appeal to them to meet you and help you to place within the field that you want. If you show them that you’re smart and willing, then they may think of you when they have a harder to recruit for a role or something where you would really shine due to other past experience.