Career Change – A Successful Game Plan To Get You Started

Are you thinking of changing careers? Do you skills in one professional area complement the skill requirements in another more desirable area? If so you may have the starting foundation toward building another career.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average worker will change careers an average of five times in their lifetime. But after years of professional experience and skills developed in one area, how do you package your skills to impress an employer in another career? Your resume is an extension and reflection of you and should illustrate everything you can offer an employer.

Here are some ideas to assist you in thinking through the problem and then reworking your resume to highlight your skills and qualifications:

1.Prepare for change: What sort of preparation have you done to qualify for the career you want? It can range from self-study, additional formal education, volunteer work, part-time work and everything in between. Your new employer could care less of what you want to do-rather they want to know if you have the skill sets to do what they need you to do.

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2. Focus on the required skills: Many professionals get hung up on their job titles instead of focusing on the skills they’ve learned and acquired on their jobs. Many job skills are easily transferable across industries and careers.

Think more about the skills you’ve used to manage successful projects, develop successful campaigns, supervise staff or develop and manage a budget.

3. Don’t neglect research in your desired field: If you are not fully committed to a career transition, hiring managers many times can detect when an applicant is simply trying to escape a problem in their current job or career. The more you research the new career, and this includes interviewing those currently working in the career, the more focused you can make your resume. Further, this depth of knowledge will clearly come through in the interview.

Once you’ve identified you natural talents and abilities, combined with your research, the ideal career should be clearly revealed.

4. Don’t forget your unpaid career related experience: Volunteer work, particularly activity connected to your planned career field, will count as valuable experience. This related activity should be part of your preparation in making the change in careers. It’s also a valuable source of networking contacts.

5. Look for valuable assistance: Nothing will help more in identifying you strengths and interests than by teaming up with a career counselor or career coach. They can tell you which skills you should learn and which you should highlight on your resume. They can point out which careers match your current and projected skills.

6. Be truthful with yourself and what you are presenting: There is the story making the recruiting rounds about the applicant for a pilot’s position and their listed qualifications being that they lived at the end of the runway at a busy airport and watched a “lot” of planes land and takeoff. This may be accurate but it doesn’t pass the basic qualification test.

Present accurate information in your resume, don’t stretch the truth and be realistic about your career goals. By combining your research into the new career field, carefully developing a plan to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications (at least for the entry level position) you’ll be well on your way to successfully change careers.