I recently spent some time picking the brains of two hiring managers.
We got to talking about jobseekers, resumes, approaches to resumes, what they looked for in a resume, and job descriptions.
Something they both mentioned as a common frustration is when the candidate’s resume doesn’t match the position they are interviewing for. The job is for a VP of Product Development, but you have spent your career in procurement.
They understood that sometimes people want to transition out of what they are doing. They want to change industries, change positions, want to do something different, or just do something they’ve always been interested in.
But if that’s what you want to do, you need to make a case for yourself.
Prove to the hiring manager why you are the right fit even if your experience has been slightly different. Don’t make them search for it–because they won’t.
Do you have what they need?🤔
Many of my clients and the jobseekers I talk to struggle with what should be on their resume. Do they add ALL of their information? Older info as well, if it was relevant to the role? Less? More? Help!!!
Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:
✅ 𝗥𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. First, do you really have the experience the position asks for? Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to waste your time or the hiring manager’s time if you really don’t have experience (or transferable skills) in that role. If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.
✅ 𝗞𝗘𝗬𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? You can sprinkle them throughout your resume, but keep your focus on “above the fold”. This is the area that when someone is reading a document on a computer screen, the words above the bottom of the screen are what stand out first. Many times, if what is above the fold doesn’t interest/pertain to them and what they need, they’ll move on.
✅ 𝗦𝗞𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗧. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cybersecurity? Again, refer to the position description. What skills of yours do you see in that description? You may have more than you realize. There may be things you do every day that pertain to that new role. Make sure to add these things to your resume, as well.
✅ 𝗩𝗔𝗟𝗨𝗘. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? In what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced?
Offer proof by adding numbers $ or percentages % wherever possible.
It’s not impossible to switch careers mid-career. When you have the skills that the role calls for, make sure they are easy to find on your resume. That will make the decision to call you in for an interview that much easier.
Career Change Can Happen at Any Time…Will YOU Be Ready?
Recently, I was speaking with a client who was eager to get out of the industry she had worked in for 20+ years to follow her dreams of becoming an Interior Design/Home Improvement/House Flipping professional. As she had spent her entire career as a Purchasing Agent in the Automotive industry, she wasn’t sure how to start her journey into a more creative field, especially when she had been in the same one for so many years.
It’s actually quite easy. When making a career change, especially to a completely new industry, it’s important to focus on highlighting your transferrable skills and some of your biggest career accomplishments on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Here are some quick steps to get you moving forward to the job of your dreams:
Change up the format of your current resume – create a format that makes your transferrable skills stand out (don’t let the need to follow tradition scare you!) and ensure that those skills and best leadership qualifications are highlighted in your career summary, branding statement, and keyword list (areas of expertise, core competencies, etc.).
Transferrable skills – so many clients have told me “this is what I want to do, but I don’t think I’m qualified”, when actually – they really are. It just requires some thought and creative writing (which is why she hired a professional service). When making a career change, it’s imperative that you include skills you’ve used in your current field that could be applied to the next one. Organizational Development, Brand Development & Promotion, Project Management, Budget Administration, Process Improvement, Team Collaboration, Vendor Relations, Inventory Procurement, Cost Control, Negotiation Strategies, etc. These are all areas of expertise used across industries.
Show where you have made an impact – at any point in your career, you should be able to show where you’ve made an impact to the organization(s) you’ve worked for. Quantifiable results work well when you highlight your accomplishments in a “Career Highlights” section on your resume. Sales goals? Cost savings initiatives? Process or program improvements? Building partnerships that result in revenue growth for your company? Add financial or numerical values where you can, and show the impact you’ve made on the organization’s bottom line!
Education and credentials – this is another one that holds people back. Just because your degree is in one area doesn’t mean you can’t excel in another! Don’t let a label from 20 years ago hold you back! On-the-job training, experience, professional development, etc. are all things that can show you have diversity in what you know and what you are capable of doing in any field! There are also tons of online certifications and skill development you can get to prepare for and show you’re eager to learn about your new field. For this particular client, she was getting her real estate license to get some more experience in the industry, staging, client relations, etc. which will make her a more marketable asset for her clients, etc.
LinkedIn – As with your resume, your LinkedIn profile is your tool for getting noticed – but more importantly, this platform allows you to get noticed on a global scale with basically a click of a mouse. Make sure your profile is optimized with key terms and highlights using language recognized in your future industry. Even if you don’t have the licensing or certifications you need right away, you can still show that you are working toward those goals. Include links to projects you’ve completed to give readers a visual view of your creative style, published works, projects, etc. There is a lot of room for information on LinkedIn, and you need to ensure you are using the site to showcase you in the best ways possible. NOTE: LinkedIn is a huge source for not only finding jobs and connecting with colleagues and other friends, but also for networking and joining groups within your new industry. The more you network and learn, the faster you will grow in your field.
Social Media – in addition to LinkedIn, you can market your skills, experience, and accomplishments on multiple sites to get your name out there. Start a business page, use creative content, and be sure to brand yourself appropriately – even when you are limited in the character amounts you can use – you can still find something short and sweet to speak to your abilities. Effective branding is key in getting noticed and pulling the reader in to want to learn more about you!
Don’t let age, lack of formal experience, or anything else keep you from pursuing your dream job. If you’re willing to learn and work hard, you can do whatever you want in your career and in life – you just need to prepare for the change, ramp up all of your marketing tools, and hit the ground running with a positive “I’ve got this” attitude.
You know the phrase…”it’s never too late to teach a dog new tricks”…it became a popular phrase for a reason. Take ownership of that mindset and rock your new career!
Businesses are hungry for remote workers open to taking on the clients that once belonged to the full-time employees who have since departed from their teams. This desperation from businesses implies that your professional background does not matter as much as your sense of commitment, your work ethic, and the degree of loyalty and responsibility that you put into your work.
The reality of the matter is that companies are willing to hire and train new employees, remote workers, and independent contractors, as long as they show that they are up to the task. This is the world we live in, and with so much uncertainty, it’s perhaps easier to get a job today, now that employers are starting to become more open-minded to a number of different backgrounds and kinds of experience.
Today, we live in a world where everyone truly needs everyone if we are going to make it through. Here are seven skills to add to your resume during COVID-19 that show just how dedicated you will be to your next potential employer and demonstrate how much they’ll need you.
1. Advocate for your Articulateness
People are impressed by those who know how to speak articulately. Bring this way of speaking into your interview, but on paper, highlight those activities that bring this skill to life. Have you written anything that’s been published? Have you given a speech at an important event? Are seminars part of your background work experience? Are you a proficient speller?
Consider the ways in which your words have served you in your professional life and write these examples down. Employers want to hire staff with the ability to connect with clients in confident ways that eloquently represent their company — it’s one of the top qualities employers look for.
2. Showcase your Discipline
Demanding jobs require workers willing to put up with challenging tasks. Do you have a history of working in labor or construction? Perhaps you are an exceptional landscaper or have the grades of a genius. Maybe you were a committed athlete throughout college.
Find those areas of sheer discipline that you have executed throughout your life and mark them down as examples of your skill. Employers are most interested in working with staff that can consistently provide what they need at standard levels. The more disciplined you are, the more likely you can give them what it is they need.
3. Indicate your Cultural Competence
As e-Commerce takes the stage, more and more businesses are introducing clients from other countries. Understanding the cultural etiquette of different parts of the world is crucial to creating positive business relationships with others dissimilar to you.
Show your potential employer that you are culturally aware by listing any travel or business experience where you were exposed to different kinds of people. These can include volunteer efforts as well. The more diverse you seem, the more of an asset you are to employers looking to make cross-cultural connections with businesses and clients from around the world.
4. Show Digital Proficiency
Today is the information age, and tech knowledge is something employers will find very hard to pass up. List all software and programs you are familiar with and explain how they have served you in your professional life. Indicate your strengths with these applications and provide ways that including these strengths into the job you’re applying for will benefit the company. If you took any computer science classes or digital design classes during college or on your own, explain what you know well and how it may be of service to the position you are applying for. The more you know, the better.
5. Include Humanitarian Involvements
Employers who can see that compassion is one of your strengths will really appreciate this quality. Having a sense of altruistic character in their workers will make the company environment more positive and will improve client interactions. Being a kind thoughtful person goes a long way in terms of the communications aspects of a company. It also highlights that you likely have a great deal of patience, which is needed when working in social environments. List any volunteer work you have completed, pointing back to skills you may have used that would benefit a potential employer. It may also help to explain why you chose to participate in these activities, as your employer may appreciate your genuine interest in helping others.
6. Showcase your Adaptability
Hectic work environments require staff members to adjust accordingly. Share professional stories where you had to think fast and make important decisions. Seeing that you are strong in the area of problem-solving will intrigue possible employers, as coming up with solutions is an essential part of any serious position.
7. Indicate your Competence Working Alone
Today, more than ever, the ability to work independently has become a crucial need for employers and individuals alike. Give your potential employer a list of jobs or tasks you have completed on your own during, lockdown or prior, that display your ability to handle things by yourself. Seeing that you can manage things alone will give your potential employer confidence in your ability to complete work independently when needed.
The skills you want to think about adding are those that reflect the changes that 2020 has instilled in all of us. It’s true. Those who are succeeding right now exude independence, dependability, and digital proficiency to an insane degree, as these dark times call for nothing short of incredible, superhuman strength. So, put on your heroic red cape and do your very best to advocate for yourself during your next job interview. Write down this set of skills to prove that you too, are a well-prepared leader in this strange new world.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips.
What are transferable skills? They are the skills and abilities that transfer from job to job no matter which position you have held in the past. One of the things that make these skills so valuable is that they can be used in such a wide array of work settings. For instance, everyone needs problem solving skills, whether you are a general contractor or a financial analyst. That skill transfers from position to position regardless of what the job title is. How can this be used to benefit your resume and your job search in general? When you create or revise your resume, there are a number of things to consider. The first and most important consideration is how you are going to ensure that your resume specifically speaks to the prospective employer’s needs. This could be if you are qualified to do the job, can you get along well with people, mutually agreed on salary and will you stay with the company.
As is true with all aspects of writing a resume, each and every word on your resume should be tailored to the position you are applying for. If you are seeking a job as a computer programmer, you probably will not want to list your public speaking ability. You would, however, want to emphasize your ability to organize, plan and/or work well under pressure. Each job has certain qualifications that are best suited to it. Job duties may differ from job to job, but there are a myriad of skills needed that transfer well from one to another. Being able to identify and clearly relate those transferable skills to a prospective employer is a huge benefit to you. When you can incorporate these transferable skills into your resume and cover letter, you will be making the job of a hiring manager much easier. He or she will see that you have a lot to offer that will be over and above your specific job qualifications.