Career Transition: Where to Begin

People often ask me for advice when they’re trying to switch careers or enter a new field. Here are a few tips:

  • Be sure your resume uses terms applicable to the industry you want to enter. If you’re transitioning from teaching to corporate training, for example, instead of using words like curriculum development, lesson planning and students, use terms such as instructional design and participants or attendees. Show your resume to someone in your industry of interest and ask them to point out any terms that aren’t relevant for that particular field.
  • Don’t lie about having done things that aren’t true, but let people know what you CAN do, rather than only the things you’ve done in the past. Look at the tasks in a job description that sounds interesting and go to YouTube or Wikipedia to teach yourself some of those concepts. Be ready to speak about them in an interview if asked. You can list in your resume or online profile some areas that you feel confident you could learn quickly and that interest you.
  • Use LinkedIn daily. Many recruiters aren’t searching for talent on job boards any longer because they want to find people who are gainfully employed and aren’t so unhappy with their current job that they’ve taken the time to post their resume online. These recruiters search for specific key words in LinkedIn to find people with the right skills, so be sure your profile online includes the areas you’d like to try or are currently learning!

Transitioning isn’t always easy, but finding someone who’s already at your destination can certainly smooth out the process, so seek guidance and ask lots of questions!

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