It’s time! You’re going to make a career change
. You know the job you want. Now what? There are many paths to finding the right job
, and these four actions will help ensure you position yourself to get noticed in your new industry:
1. Get to know your strengths.
Knowing what you are good at is so important in your job search and beyond. Those who understand their strengths can more easily identify opportunities that play to those strengths and talk about themselves confidently in interviews. As resources to help you identify your strengths, I recommend taking a look at the articles I have written on tools and questions to identify your strengths as well as the book StrengthsFinder 2.0.
When reading job descriptions for your perfect role, do you see skills you don’t have or programs you don’t know? It’s time to start to fill in those gaps. Of course you can’t become an expert in a few weeks, but you can certainly familiarize yourself and make progress. There are endless tutorials on YouTube or other online platforms. Did you know that Lynda.com is free for many Public Library cardholders? See if your local library can provide access to Lynda’s wide range of courses and sharpen your skills for your new career.
3. Mirror the job description language in your application.
Tune in to industry jargon. Are there terms you see over and over when reading job descriptions or industry publications? Make sure you use those terms in your cover letter and resume. Did you know that Hulu calls their employees hooligans? I recently spoke with Lauren McGoodwin, founder of Career Contessa and former recruiter at Hulu. She shared that when people used that term in interviews, she knew they’d done their homework and researched the company. Find the phrases that will make the difference for you.
4. Take informational interviews.
An informational interview
is when you seek out a potential colleague or hiring manager in your new industry to learn more about their roles, companies or the industry in general. These interviews are so important because you’ll learn from someone who is experienced in your new field. Oftentimes career changers
are leaving a bad situation, so to them, any other job looks wonderful. Informational interviews allow you to fully understand the ins and outs of your new path and determine if it truly is right for you. These meetings are also an opportunity for you to shine in front of a potential employer without the pressure of a formal interview. You’ll expand your reach in a way that you can’t do with simply a resume and cover letter and stay top of mind when opportunities arise.
Changing careers can feel daunting. Taking these four actions will ensure that you are setting yourself up for success in your new industry.
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Alyson Garrido is passionate about helping people advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Learn more at www.alysongarrido.com.