The rise of digital and social media has not only made us far more visible, it has also given us greater opportunities in how we present our experience and skills to potential employers. But what happens if, like a quarter of UK employees, you are unhappy in your current job role and want to make a drastic change of career?
Only those who can successfully rebrand themselves and market their skills and experience to a new audience are likely to make a smooth transition to a completely new role.
Revisit your CV
Obviously, you will have some accomplishments and skills that are transferrable to your new role, but to get an Employer to choose you over someone with more relevant experience will be a challenge. You can start by reworking your CV to make it more relevant to your chosen industry.
Do you have qualities and abilities that were not essential in your previous career, but are vital for your new one? Make sure they are highlighted and given prominence on your CV. Most CVs are also structured to concentrate on your most recent role – if you have past experience that is more relevant to your new sector, you may want to use that as a focal point, or draw attention to it in a cover letter.
Turn attitudes around
One of the most effective ways to get past gatekeepers in your chosen industry is to present your experience in a different sector as an advantage, rather than a shortcoming. This is particularly effective when an organisation is looking to create a shift in their corporate culture. By employing you, the Employer will get someone with a new and fresh viewpoint to disrupt the status quo and introduce innovation, rather than a member of staff who’ll simply stick to the industry standards.
A classic example is switching from the private sector to a not for profit organisation. If that organisation is looking to make themselves more efficient and streamlined, having a commercial mindset focused on the end goal can be a distinct advantage.
If your experience is in the same industry, but in a different function, you can focus on how your background of working in a different department could help teams work together more efficiently, improve communications and break down silos.
Join the dots
To bring all the different roles in your work history together with your desired new job, it’s important to have a common thread that connects all your roles together. Focus on the way you’ve worked throughout your career, rather than what you’ve done. For example, if you’ve been constantly focussed on innovation and introducing new and better ways of working, that could be the way you unite your experience.
Giving your career path a narrative in this way makes it much easier for potential employers to visualise you in your new role.
Consider an internal move
In some cases, it may be easier to switch careers by staying with your current Employer. After all, they already know and value you and your work and could well decide to support your career ambitions rather than risk losing you. However, you’ll still need to get buy-in from senior management to make the move, so will need to make a case for your ability to add more value in your new role.
In some cases however, the company may prefer to keep you where you are, so an external move will be necessary to make your desired switch.
Give your rebrand substance
When you’ve made a decision to embark upon a new career path, it’s important to try and get up to speed in that area as quickly as possible. Do some training, read the industry press and find relevant professional networking groups and join them. Getting familiar with industry standard and the latest news in your new field will allow you to demonstrate your awareness of and enthusiasm for the sector.
Once you’ve put some work into learning about your new role, you could use that to produce some blogs or social media posts which will showcase that knowledge to potential new employers.
If you’d like some individual advice on rebranding your career, or information on potential future job opportunities, get in touch on 01865 335 600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.