It’s no secret that today’s job market is particularly competitive. Hiring managers and executive search firms may be reviewing up to 50 resumes for just one position. Because executive recruiters have so many candidates to choose from, it can be difficult for professionals who want to apply their experience in a new field to prove that they have the skill set for the job. However, if you’re serious about making a transition into a new profession, there are strategies you can use to make yourself stand out and land the job you want.
Find the right match
While executives who have honed their skills at large enterprises or Fortune 500 companies may be hesitant to consider smaller firms and startups, CNN Money noted that this is a huge mistake. Large companies often have more rigid job descriptions and could be less willing to take a chance on an employee who doesn’t have experience in that field.
According to the source, firms that have somewhere between 100 and 300 employees are often the perfect size for an executive who’s considering a new career. They’re large enough to offer opportunities and let professionals use their managerial skills, but can still offer roles that are fluid and flexible.
Play up portable skills
CNN Money reported that one way to stand out to potential employers in a new field is to emphasize talents you have that could be transferrable. While you may have spent a long time in one specific industry, there’s a good chance you’ve developed abilities that will help you be effective in other professional areas.
“Most people have more transferable skills than they think they have,” Don Marotto, a managing director and executive career change counselor at career development firm Impact Group, told the source. “If you’ve succeeded in sales, customer service or business analysis in any industry, you can do it almost anywhere else.”
Consider reducing your demands
Even if you have transferrable skills that will serve you well in a new field, it’s possible that those talents won’t be as useful as they were in your old industry. According to The Ladders, this means that executives will occasionally need to consider scaling back their demands when moving into a new sector. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving up all seniority just to get a foot in the door, as business leaders should still aim for a position suits their skills and experience. However, the source noted that professionals who are changing industries shouldn’t insist on a pay raise or promotion – at least not right away.
Don’t get stuck on traditional search methods
Your resume and cover letter are still two of the most important factors in helping you win the position you’ve been eyeing, but in today’s technology-driven age, they’re far from the only tools to help you impress firms. Professionals today should consider unusual methods to differentiate themselves from other candidates, including having a thorough LinkedIn profile, writing articles for trade publications or starting a blog. This gives you a chance to perfect your personal brand and makes you look like a more dynamic candidate to potential employers.
About Caldwell Partners
Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.