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Changing Career Paths - Top 5 Tips

Job Seeker Blog

changing careers - advice

Finding a new job can be really tough at the best of times. It can be even further disheartening if you want to change the direction your career, as you may find that employers and recruiters are always looking for experience.  This may be a little or a lot of experience, but either way, they are recruiting to a job brief, and if you lack what they require you probably won’t get a look in.

The recruiters who are screening your CV don’t know you, or anything about your past.  Currently, you are one applicant amongst many who have applied for the job. This is why you need to stand out.  When a recruiter reads your CV, they’re not reading your mind, so on the basis of a career change, they need to know why you have applied for the job and what is inspiring you to change career paths.  

Consider the impact of your application if you included a short and informative explanation that explains why you are looking to change career paths.  Realistically, who is going to interview an experienced chef as a payroll clerk, if there is no substance in the reason for applying?

There are a number of really simple but effective points you could include on your application, which all too frequently get ignored. Don’t forget that if you are going to make each application count, then you will need to tailor each CV and/or covering letter to that particular vacancy.  Being organised will certainly help you keep track of your job hunt efforts too.


1. Explain why. As highlighted above, you will need to explain why the sudden desire to change career.  Without any explanation, it will appear to be a pointless application to the recruiter.  However, if you have a desire for a future within that line of work and there is a good, strong reason why you have not taken a job in that career path yet, it is imperative you inform the recruiter of your reasons.


2. Why them? From a recruiters perspective, it is always eye-catching when a candidate knows about the business, so when you’re applying for a job make sure to add a section relating to what you know about them. Tell them what it is about the company that intrigued you and explain about one of their achievements that made caught your attention. The fact that you’ve shown an interest in the company and know about your potential new employer, will speak volumes about your genuine and honest desire to work for the organisation.


3. Previous experience. Go into detail about previous experience and skills that will relate to the role in question. For example, someone who works in warehousing and has applied for an office administration job appears to be an applicant with no relevant experience. Be that as it may, they will have strong organisational and timekeeping skills, they are able to follow procedures and compliance and have an understanding of documentation and filing. In addition, they are aware of different service level requirements and the flexibility required to full fill each customer’s objectives. Suddenly, there are specific areas of experience and skills that can be demonstrated and transferred from one job to the next, regardless of the different nature of the two roles.


4. How is your social? Regularly a recruiter will search your details on Google and social media, you must ask yourself; how do I look? If the recruiter was to find your LinkedIn profile, Facebook or Twitter profile, do you come across as employable to the recruiter? If you have applied for an HR position, would your LinkedIn profile reflect a genuine interest in Human Resources? Or, are you following irrelevant & unrelated groups? If so, it will not appear that you have any desire or that you are able to demonstrate an understanding of this vocation. Therefore, the recruiter may find your application questionable.  There are many telltale signs surrounding the information you publically promote and your associated activity on social sites, which may or may not help your cause in changing careers.


5. Keep in contact. Contact the recruiter and introduce yourself. You could call or email and give them a personal introduction as to who you are and why you would like the job. The fact that you are interested in your application and have gone out of your way to introduce yourself, makes you more personable and memorable to the recruiter. It shows you have a genuine interest and that you’re taking your application to their organisation seriously.


By following these short steps, your CV will fight strongly in your favour. You have explained the reasons for your application in a personal and professional manner, providing a better understanding to the employer. Suddenly, you have just stepped forward out of an inexperienced crowd and into the potentials.


A Final Note

Don’t sound desperate! If you sound desperate for a job, it can come across rather needy and unprofessional and therefore off-putting to the recruiter. However, it is incredibly important to sound genuinely interested in the role and getting the balance right is critical. 

Remember you are an engaging and prospective applicant, who has done their homework and is solely focused on being a successful candidate with that organisation.  You have the transferable skills required for the position and you can demonstrate this with your online persona. 


If you’d like any further tips, check out these blogs: 

• How to Write a Cover Letter

• Top 5 cover Letter Mistakes

• How to Write a CV


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