The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a lot of people into a confusing career pool. Should I wait it out? Can I change industries? Will my job come back? How do I make a change?
Here are some thoughts to guide your decisions and help with a transition:
Opportunity time-cycle – The basic question of “Should I stay or change?” is determined by three things: Time, cost and effort. How much time until your job/industry comes back? Do you have the financial resources to wait? How much effort is required to change? Each of these questions require some research on your part. The answers should be clear.
Transferable skills – The marketable skills you have should be derived from the results you have achieved: Increased customer satisfaction; problem-solving impediments; improved profitability; new customer expansion, subscribers, geography, or opportunity; reduced downtime; improved productivity; successfully implementing new ideas.
Basic requirements – Every potential new career has basic skills or demands, like a certification, license, technology, training, experience. Make a list of your skills and experiences, then create a plan to acquire those that you are missing: Local courses, professional on-line programs, etc. They should give you core benchmark skills.
Create your resume – Design your tailored resume to fit the position description of each job you are pursuing. Emphasize results you’ve achieved not just activities. Ask yourself, “If I were the hiring manager, what would I be looking for in a candidate”? In addition to the basic requirements, such things as dependability, honesty, integrity, communications, a “can do” attitude, and the desire to get a quality job done. Find ways to express these values, especially during an interview. Focus on results.
Expand your network – Search past connections and contacts into industries and companies that you’re interested in pursuing. Include them in your network listing. Find out what’s going on in your targeted companies. Expanding or shrinking? Check out LinkedIn and multiple job sites to find out who is hiring with your skill sets and experience. Many job opportunities come from people who you know and can introduce you.
Tailor experiences to fit – When you find a job description that you’re interested in, tailor your resume to fit. Use the same words that they used in the position description. Use action words to describe your skills, experience and results. Match as many requirements as possible. To be considered, the match should be at least the 75% level or better.
Results that matter – The results that you’ve achieved other places are the key to your next assignment. The greater the match, the greater your chances of getting an interview. Hiring managers will always prefer candidates who have had prior results in the areas that need attention. Interviews are the place to demonstrate your abilities to obtain results and fit the culture. Answer questions with stories about your past experiences and results.
Many times, a hiring manager wants someone from outside the industry to add different insights and perspectives. You might be more qualified than you think.
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