So, you don't like the career path you're now on, and you want to make a change. There are so many reasons that people transition from one career to another. Maybe you lost your job or maybe, like many people, you just can’t shake the feeling that the job you have is not the job you were meant for. Either way, changing jobs or starting over in a new industry can be a difficult and daunting journey to embark on.
As you start to build your resume and compare it to job descriptions, you become overwhelmed because the roles and responsibilities just aren't matching your experience. It's normal to feel stuck and tied to the things you've always done, but there are things you can do to open the door to a new career path.
1. Identify your transferable skills.
Transferable skills are those skills and experiences that are valued in many industries and roles. They can be difficult to find, because they can be masked by our titles, duties and responsibilities. When you dig a little deeper you find that there is a long list of skills you have and that list may surprise you.
For example, let’s just say that you are now a supervisor in a specialized niche laboratory. Some of your day to day activities include creating and sending laboratory reports and overseeing laboratory staff. This list contains the responsibilities and the tasks you complete, so challenge yourself to think about the skills it takes to complete these tasks. This position actually requires significant leadership and managerial skills to supervise the lab staff, and any supervisory position requires the ability to communicate. This role also requires customer service in providing and communicating with clients about their reports. So, just by looking at two of your duties, we have been able to identify three very important transferable skills that would be valued by many employers: communication, leadership, and customer service.
2. Highlight these skills on your resume.
Once you have dissected your current resume and created a list of all those glowing transferable skills, you need to make sure they are front and center in your resume. If you are looking to make a switch, remove some of the specifics from your resume and highlight those general skills that would be appealing to a new employer.
Here is an example of a specific niche responsibility on a resume versus a way to highlight a transferable skill.
Specific: Oversee laboratory staff
General & Transferable: Develop and monitor employee performance to increase efficiency
The first one is a duty or responsibility that is very specific to the role and industry. The second example pulls out the actual skill that lies beneath and if you can do it in one industry you can do it in another.
3. Draw the line between the new role and your current role.
Even once you have identified the skills that you think are most marketable to a new employer, it helps to draw the connections for them. When you are looking at the description and job requirements for your new dream job, you need to make sure that your resume shows that you have the skills necessary to do the job. As you look at the list of job requirements, match them to the transferable skills you have already identified and connect those dots to show how you’re a great fit.
Making a change is both scary and exciting, but by giving a little extra attention to the details and adapting your resume to your ideal job, you can make the change you’ve been waiting for!