No matter what your position, it’s likely that your current or previous roles gave you lots of experience and different types of expertise. Perhaps you were an Office Administrator who had to learn QuickBooks for your role or you were a Sales Associate who ended up focusing heavily on social media and marketing. Many of us acquire a huge variety of skills over time and when it comes time to switch industries or make a change in your career trajectory, those skills are vital. Equally important is knowing how to package and present your career history and skillset to apply to a range of positions. So, whether you’re changing departments within your current company or leaving your industry entirely, consider the following as you rebrand your professional introduction.
Identify Key Skills
Your job is to make your resume as easy to review as possible. While you might see the connection between your work as an Operations Manager at a small firm and an open role as an Office Manager at a larger company, it might not be entirely clear to the recruiter. So, do your research and identify which skills are required in job postings for Office Managers. While you shouldn’t copy these directly or list skills that you don’t have, it’s a good exercise to see which of your areas of expertise line up. This can help you to revise the Skills section of your resume and can help you rephrase existing action bullet points throughout your resume. Also, consider researching industry specific methods for how to make your resume stand out and get seen. Whether that’s keywords or switching templates, read up on the latest trends as you rebrand.
Come Up with Examples
Now that you have your revised resume, be prepared to give thoughtful, real-world examples of how your experience lines up with a role that’s different than those you held in the past. Take note of the most important requirements for a new job and then see if you can think of examples from your own professional experience that are similar. That way, when you make it to the interview stage, you can feel prepared to make those connections and explain how your experience (while different from more traditional candidates) is a smart fit for the role.
Anticipate Recruiter’s Questions
When you’re rebranding professionally, it’s possible that your recruiter or interviewer is not familiar with your previous industry or company. Prepare to educate and inform while highlighting the natural transition between your current role and the new role. Think ahead and even ask your interviewer questions such as, “Are you familiar with ________ role? I’d love to give you a bit of background” or, “Before we dive in, I’d be happy to give you some background on my previous role, which I feel translates well to ______ position.”
Highlight How Your Diverse Experience Makes You a Great Fit
It’s easy to think that hiring managers who are hiring for a role want to see a very specific resume. For instance, if hiring for a Marketing Manager role, you might think that hiring managers want to see experience like Social Media Intern, Marketing Assistant, etc. However, don’t assume that your background wouldn’t be a good fit, just because your titles were Sales Associate or Administrative Assistant. Even address it in your cover letter or during an interview and highlight how your experiences in prior positions lead you to develop skills across departments.
As you rebrand, take these tips into account and take the time to make your transition mindful and researched. You are likely more qualified than you think and you have the power to position yourself effectively in the job hunt!
This article was written by Rachel Ludwig.
Rachel Ludwig is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn. Samples of her work can be found at raludwig.com.