Landing the Career You Want and Deserve
When it comes to switching career fields, everything involved is exciting – until you start looking at job postings, and are repeatedly met with pesky iterations of “experience in a similar position preferred” under every heading.
The paradoxical nature of the job market may seem defeating, but don’t worry: you can still land that job. With some dedication and a good Internet connection, career change is possible. In fact, nowadays, most people switch careers between three and seven times! With the rise of online technology, many things are changing, and the job market is no exception; you can use this to your advantage. Here’s how:
Skim Online Job Postings
Don’t spend too long on this; it can be easy to get intimidated by the lofty qualifications that employers ask for and end up putting off the actual application process. Here’s the thing, however: you don’t actually need to meet all the requirements listed when applying for a job. In fact, hiring managers will sometimes assume that most applicants don’t. Nevertheless, looking through these postings will help you get a feel for the job availability in the field you’re switching to, and what qualities hiring managers are likely to find most attractive in applicants. Once you’ve got a sense of what they’re looking for, you can start brainstorming how your unique set of skills can be applied to that field, and be sure to play that up in your cover letter.
Networking on social media does not have to be limited to LinkedIn. If you’ve got professional connections on Facebook, Twitter, etc., you can work those too. Don’t bombard people, of course, but a polite hello and a friend request rarely go amiss. When making the initial switch from field to field, your résumé will have trouble looking attractive to employers on its own, so networking will be your best friend. Make connections with people you admire, post things that show you’re passionate about the career you want, and be sure to double-proofread that LinkedIn summary!
Take Online Classes
If, while scoping out the job field you want, you find you don’t have the know-how you need, don’t panic. It’s never too late to learn new skills, especially with online classes being only a quick search away. Not all of them will break the bank either – some of them are even free – and many are offered by well-respected universities that have decided to make some of their curriculum available online. Who knows? Perhaps you took a class from your hiring manager’s alma mater. Either way, employers will be impressed by your willingness to educate yourself. Your fresh and up-to-date education, combined with your experience in the professional world, will definitely be considered a plus. Plus, if you’re looking for a career in the medical field, many medical transcriptionist courses are now available online.
Many employers consider volunteer experience just as important as work experience when looking over a new résumé. It makes sense, when you think about it: the experience was just as valuable, even if you weren’t getting paid for it, and it shows you’re dedication to a good cause. Don’t be discouraged if there isn’t a field-specific call to action in your area. There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities you can do remotely, online. Meaning you can pick and choose the field you volunteer in to some degree. Even if it’s not specifically applicable to your career of choice, most employers still like to see a well-rounded résumé that shows you’re passionate about a cause.
Take Advantage of Online Resources
Feeling daunted by all the writing ahead of you? Don’t. Yes, there are résumé entries, LinkedIn snippets, and cover letter upon cover letter to write. But there is also lots of help available to you, and this work will go much more quickly once you get the hang of it. Dozens of experts all over the internet have published their templates, examples, and advice about how you can make your job application the best it can be. It’s just for people like you, feeling discouraged by the job market.
Career Change IS Possible!
So, above all, don’t despair. Switching to a new career with no experience in that field is a very intimidating endeavor, but with the right online tools, it can be done. You’ll be glad you put in the effort when you have the job of your dreams!