PART 1: FOR WHEN YOU ARE CHANGING JOBS OR CAREERS
My parents always told me, “get a good education, get a job, work hard and make sure you STAY at that job.” I do value education and hard work and getting a good job as much as the next person. However things are different now. As an HR manager I have come across a wealth of CVs (resumes) and one thing that always comes across is how rare it is to find an applicant that has been at one job for more than 5 years. It would seem a lot of people are not keen on staying put at one job for one reason or another, high on that list being the fact that they don’t feel like there is any real value the job or career path they are currently pursuing is adding to their overall life and career goals. Maybe it is a millennial thing, maybe it’s not but for whatever reason if you ever do find yourself wanting to apply for a new job and leave your current one or the extreme of changing your career path entirely, I hope that these tips will help guide you as you make that transition.
- Aim high, but be realistic about what your next move should be. Ask yourself these questions and make sure you have the answers to them before moving on from your current job or career path because they will help you decide which direction to take and whether or not you are really prepared for a change.
- What tactics are you going to use to find a new job?
- When is the best time to start applying for a new job?
- How soon do you want to leave your current employment?
- Who can you talk to off-the-record about your next move?
- Are you clear on your career and lifestyle priorities?
- Are you prepared to relocate in your country or abroad?
- Present your experience in a way that will be attractive to the people in the new sector or job you are trying to get into. You want to seem relatable and like a good fit for them, so speak their language, do your research and tailor your CV accordingly. Although the focus is on your career achievements, it may be helpful to highlight your personal achievements and interests where relevant as they may help spark the interest of the employer. Also show the employer how your skills and experience can be transferred to this new career path or job. Do not waste yours and the employer’s time and energy by adding a bunch of irrelevant information. With the overwhelming numbers of applications received for each position, no one has time to sieve through your CV for the good stuff.
- Always speak positively about your working experiences. This is not the time to be modest. State your achievements clearly and back them up with evidence for example statistics and figures. Never embellish. Always be honest about your achievements.
- Do not include reasons for leaving a job in your CV unless your goal, is you know , NOT to get hired. If the employer is interested in this information, he or she will ask at the interview.
- Take advantage of all the professional and social contacts you have made over the years. You never know what doors they may help get you in or the invaluable insight and advice they may offer.
- Use past tense in your CV. For example “hired” will read better than “hiring”. It conjures up an image of an experienced person who gets the job done.
- Be clear in your own mind of your worth to a prospective employer. Highlight your relevant core skills and confidently tell the employer what you can do. Audit your career and emphasize those skills that will be attractive to an employer.
- Make sure that you are seen to be making a career change for all the right reasons. You never want to give your potential employer a reason to doubt your intentions and motivation. If a potential employer is satisfied with your reasons for a career change, they will be confident in your ability to deliver on the job. Including a clear career objective statement may give the employer a better understanding of your reasons for a career change and make you an attractive candidate for the job.
Daunting as it may be, look at a new start as an opportunity to make the most of the skills you enjoy.
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You might also be interested in my previous article on how to land your dream job. Be sure to check it out.
Happy Job Hunting!