How to Translate Your Skills from One Industry to Another

resumeAuthor: Kat Boogaard
Source: The Muse

You’ve decided you want to make a career change, and you know that you’re going to need a polished resume to do so.

You sit down to make the updates, and it isn’t long before you feel stuck. The blinking cursor on that blank page has been taunting you for at least a half hour now. You have no idea how to translate your existing experience and skills in a way that will grab the attention of a hiring manager in this entirely new industry.

The job search is always a little intimidating, especially so when you’re aiming to make a switch. But rest assured, you absolutely can transfer your existing expertise and competencies to a brand new field—whether it feels that way or not.

Here’s what you need to know to prove you’re the perfect fit.

1. Identify Your Qualifications

The best place to start is reading the description for the position that you want and asking yourself: What boxes do I already check?

We’re assuming that you aren’t a former software developer applying for a role as a neurosurgeon or an airline pilot. So, even if this career change feels like a bit of a stretch, chances are good that you already possess at least a couple of straightforward qualifications that this role requires.

Pull out the requirements that you meet without a doubt—the ones where there’s no need for you to draw any parallels or offer any explanations for the hiring manager, because you satisfy those qualifications without any questions asked.

Maybe you have those 10 years of leadership experience under your belt. Or, maybe you’re a skilled public speaker as the job description requests. Put those things on your list.

This step is important, as it will arm you with the things that you want to draw the most attention to within your resume. Zoning in on those qualities that make you an obvious fit will help you present yourself as a seamless hire—even with your less traditional experience.

2. Emphasize Results

Employers everywhere—regardless of specific industry—appreciate an employee who’s able to get things done and produce results. That’s universal.

For that reason, it’s smart to highlight the results you achieved in your past positions—rather than simply listing the duties that you were responsible for. Particularly when you’re changing industries, prospective employers will care more about what you actually accomplished, and less about how you specifically did it.

Let’s look at an example for some added clarity. Kate previously worked in administration for a regional hospital, and is now aiming to make a change by applying for a sales position with a healthcare software company. She knows that her experience in the medical field will benefit her. But considering she’s never worked in sales before, she’s nervous about her perceived lack of qualifications.

Here’s a bullet point from Kate’s existing resume:

Responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the annual hospital black tie gala.

To emphasize results, Kate should quantify that point with some numbers while also tying it back to a larger, company-wide objective. In doing so, that bullet point could look like this:

Strengthened the hospital’s relationship with 500+ donors, board members, and other external stakeholders by coordinating and executing the annual black tie gala.

Not only is that second option far more impressive, it also touches on some qualities that would also be important in a sales career—including relationship-building and organization.

3. Connect the Dots

When applying for a role in a different industry, your duty as the job seeker is to make your previous experience appear as relevant as possible. Often, this means that you need to quite literally connect the dots for the hiring manager and bridge the gap between what you possess and what that position requires.

In some cases, this means cutting out things that won’t be applicable in your new industry—such as highly technical skills or specific pieces of software.

Then, challenge yourself to relate your existing experiences to this other field. Let’s look back again at Kate. Based on her research, she knows that meeting quotas are a key part of success in sales. While she didn’t need to meet specific sales goals in her previous role, she does have experience hitting fundraising goals. She could emphasize that in a bullet point like this one:

Consistently achieved the hospital’s yearly fundraising goal of $100,000 through successful relationship building, grant requests, and community events.

This statement proves a few important things about Kate that make her a fit for a sales role: She’s inspired by difficult-to-reach objectives, she recognizes the importance of relationships, and she’s comfortable making requests.

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What To Do If Your Job Is Killing You

killingjobAuthor: Stav Ziv
Source: The Muse

If Jeffrey Pfeffer had to sum up his latest book in one sentence, he’d say that “the workplace is killing us and nobody cares.” Take a minute, because that’s quite a summary.

You should care, obviously. Employees, employers, governments, and societies all suffer from the effects of toxic work environments.

“If I work you to a point where you’re so sick physically or psychologically you can no longer work…you become the public’s problem,” says Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business whose research has focused on organization theory and human resource management. Companies are squandering money via medical costs, lost productivity, and high turnover, and governments and societies have to deal with the long-term consequences and costs to the public health and welfare systems.

In the U.S., 120,000 deaths a year could be attributed to work environments, according to Pfeffer’s book, Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do About It, racking up about $180 billion in health-care costs. He estimates that about half the deaths and a third of the costs could be prevented.

So once you know and care, what can you do to fight back?

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Using Recruiters for your Job Search: Pros and Cons

should-use-recruiter-job-searchAuthor: Pamela Rossow
Source: Careerealism

If you are searching for a new career or you are an eLearner earning your college degree online, you may have wondered if a recruiter could help you find employment more easily than if you take on the challenge by yourself. What might assist you in making the decision whether or not to utilize a recruiter’s services? Here are some pros and cons…

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How to Spot a Great Place to Work

happy-work-e1452693980599Author: Gill Buchanan
Source: Undercover Recruiter

If you’re looking for a new job, remember it isn’t just the job description you should focus on. It’s just as important to look for an organisation which will be a good fit for you, making it a great place to work. It’s where you will spend a significant amount of time and, outside of your family, work is said to be the biggest thing to influence how happy you are. Plus, the more comfortable you are in your workplace, the better you’ll be at your job.

We champion the ‘best employers’ initiative which highlights those companies which are great places to work by actively engaging, inspiring and motivating their employees, as this helps to attract the best talent to an organisation. But how can job seekers find out more about a company’s culture and whether they are likely to be happy there before accepting a job?

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Interested In A New Career? Small Steps Can Lead To A Big Change

steppingstonesAuthor: Gwen Knowles
Source: CareerShifters.com

Whether you know what your ideal job is or not, it probably feels a really long way away right now.

If you’re a Goalfinder (you’re looking for your ‘what’), you feel like you can’t take real action on your career change until you’ve figured out what you want to move into. And you’re so drained by your current job that you rarely have the headspace to give it any meaningful attention.

And if you’re a Pathfinder (looking for your ‘how’), the fact that your dream career feels a million miles away from your current reality is paralyzing. Making a big leap feels too risky, yet you don’t have the resources to take it slow.

If either is true for you, there is a type of role you can move to that will help you move wholeheartedly in the right direction for your career and lifestyle. I call it a stepping-stone role – and it can create that much-needed space to give your career transition the attention it deserves.

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