An increasing number of people are changing careers nowadays. The change could be for various reasons: maybe now their children are in school and they’re looking for a chance to get back into the working world. Maybe they are looking for a new challenge, have been laid off, or just fancy a change. Whatever the reason, starting a new career can be a challenge if you’re unprepared. With more applicants than available positions, it’s important to make your application stand out. This includes your newly focused resume and cover letter. If you’re considering changing careers, here are some hints and tips to help you achieve your goal:
1. Capitalize on Relevant Experience
One of the most important things about deciding to change careers is that you are able to capitalize on any life experiences you’ve had that are relevant. Think about the skills necessary to be effective in your new career path, and how you’ve demonstrated those skills. Here are some examples:
• Mentoring and Training
• Time Management
• Creativity and Imagination
• Problem Solving
• Team Building
In your cover letter, describe the practical ways in which you have demonstrated and continue to develop these skills daily.
2. Demonstrate Awareness of Issues and Trends
Demonstrate an awareness of current issues and trends in your chosen field. Speak to friends who are in the field or work with those in the field to ask them about the hot topics in the industry. Or, think about subscribing to an industry magazine or newsletter. Spend time on the websites of some of the companies in your area. However you choose to gather information, it’s important to show that you have an understanding of what’s currently going on.
3. Arrange Volunteer Work
If you have any relevant work experience, it’s important to mention that in your cover letter—if not, it’s a very good idea to try to arrange some volunteer opportunities. Remember, if you make a good impression at a company or organization, you may be able to ask for a reference to include in your application.
It’s vital for prospective professionals to have excellent standards of literacy and proofreading skills, so submitting a cover letter with spelling or grammatical errors is the worst thing you can do. Your cover letter should be typed rather than hand written, and it’s crucial that you have it proofread for errors. Ask someone you trust to read over your letter before you submit it and ensure that it’s absolutely perfect—you don’t want to ruin your chances before you’ve even started!
5. Use Your Network
If you know someone who has previously transitioned into a new career, speak to them and find out if they can offer you any additional tips. Someone who has recently been through the application process can often offer valuable information about what’s particularly important to include.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!
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