Quick, get me a new brand, pronto! That’s how fast some of us would like to change our personal brand. Just look at Tim Tebow, recently cut by the New England Patriots. The once highly touted Tebow has been cut from the team he hoped to make his home. What does he do now? The first few years in football can be challenging, between injuries and finding the right team.
What about your average Joe or Jane? They may have had a career with a company, lost their jobs due to a business downturn, like the last five years for example, and found another kind of work that suits them. How to get moving, gain credibility and momentum in the new field is a whole new challenge faced every day. When an individual sits down to look for full time jobs in this new field, how do they explain themselves? How do they justify their time? How do they put together a resume that reflects the new budding career?
First of all, you did have a career in a field; it’s alright to include mention of that on your resume. It will come at the end of course since most resumes are in reverse chronological order with the most recent activity at the top of the first page. You will need to research potential titles, descriptions of the kind of job you are looking for. Here it’s important to be specific. Where do these new skills take you? What function can you fill for a company? In order to impress a recruiter or potential employer, it’s important to speak knowledgeably about the field you are pursuing. If you don’t know the right titles, you can research them. It used to mean reading the classified ads, but all this can be done online. Go to Career Builder, Monster or any other job board and type in some words and titles, soon you will see ads with job specifications which are pretty much a job description. This should give you a good idea of the kind of job you are looking for. Make sure those words end up in your resume.
The difficulty with this is that you may not have the complete context on your desired career move. You are going to have to educate yourself in short order on the field itself, the demands, and the kinds of jobs that exist and what the average salary might be. The good news is that this is all very easily research on the web; sometime inside the job board there may be a link to www.salary.com where you can even benchmark your prospective job change. I was recently working with someone who was going through this exact change. Jim had worked in a materials management role for many years. When his job went away, he learned a new skill helping others with their job search at a local job search center. Now he wants to go into this field, but doesn’t know what to call it. I worked with Jim to identify the types of jobs that might require these new skills. It’s not easy, it takes some thinking and analyzing but with perseverance you can leverage those skills into a whole new career. It will be worth it to find rewarding work in an area you have only dreamed of.