Making a career switch is rarely a straightforward feat. From making the initial decision to move on from your current role, researching companies that align with your wants, needs, and core values, and ultimately going through the interview process, there are several hurdles to overcome.
In today’s post, we chatted with Director of Recruiting at Q Consulting, Emily Rickson-Astry, to ask her about her top tips candidates can use to stand out amongst the competition in today’s red hot market. Emily also offers her insights on what common mistakes that someone making a career change can avoid.
Q: The labor market continues to remain red-hot with the unemployment rate being at an all-time low. What are some steps that someone looking to change careers can take to stand out from other applicants?
A: Update your LinkedIn profile with the latest and greatest of your project accomplishments, as well as certification and education updates. Add an “About You” post that highlights your experience, your strengths, and tells a story about who you are and what you are seeking. Don’t be afraid to network and connect with others in your industry that could help you on your journey. You’d be surprised how willing and excited others are to help you!
Q: What are some common job application mistakes that someone switching careers should make sure they avoid?
A: Always take the time and care to update your profile to accommodate the needs of the role you are applying for. Tailoring your profile to the company/role/project can be so beneficial and can make all the difference in standing out from the crowd. Avoid being too generic— you are a unique individual! Showcase your accomplishments and experience with meaningful information including details about the product/project and team. And, above all, make sure you have contact information on your resume in a clear location so those that are interested can reach you. It may sound silly, but it happens too often, and you don’t want the perfect opportunity to be missed because they couldn’t reach you.
Q: It isn’t uncommon for those who are transitioning in the middle of their career to face the problem of not having enough experience that directly matches a job description (but also having too much experience for junior roles). What suggestions do you have to help these candidates in the job application process?
A: First, you must land the interview, so make sure your resume and bio speaks to your eagerness to learn and grow in whatever area you are seeking. Highlight training or certifications that you’ve taken to move to this new area. Include references that would be helpful for the role or speaks to your development. Be gracious and honest about your experience and ask for help where you need it.
Q: What are some unique ways you have seen candidates stand out during the job application process and land the role?
A: A woman that really wanted a position at a large organization wrote to them every week for months without a reply. The position she was seeking was in event project management. Instead of submitting her resume to their system again, she decided to be creative. She reviewed the company’s upcoming events and instead of again emailing her resume, she went to her favorite catering company and had her resume printed on a sheet cake, which she hand-delivered to the person managing the engagement (her future boss). Her creativity, tenacity, and persistence landed her the job and a memorable first impression. Not everyone can land a job with a cake, but standing out amongst the crowd by being creative and having a go-getter attitude can go a long way. Be bold and be different!
Q: Do you have any other tips for those going through a career transition with finding more success finding a job they’re excited about?
A: Explore new opportunities by making connections, learning about what others do and how they gained experience through education and mentorship. Ask for help from a search firm, recruiting agency, or HR leadership. Don’t be afraid to ask your manager for their help and guidance. Never stop learning and growing.
To learn more tips on how to make the most out of your career transition and land a job that suits your needs, get in touch with the Q Crew today! Or, if you’d like to take a look at what opportunities we currently have available, be sure to check out our website.