Career change? Here are some tips
Making a career switch to a different industry can be daunting, especially when you have no track record to prove yourself.
Ms Shauna Li Roolvink, from YourPersonalBrand.com, shows you the way.
Q: I am a regional sales manager of a computer- software company. I'm planning to make a career switch and apply to a logistics firm. What are the best ways to communicate my capabilities in my CV and during the interview, even though I lack experience in logistics?
A: We assume that you will still have a customer-facing role, such as in business development or account management, in the logistics company.
Unless you have obtained a degree in that area, making a complete switch to a new field, such as being a logistics specialist or planner, can be quite challenging.
Assuming that you are applying for a customer-facing role, you can develop a strong summary for your CV or LinkedIn profile by stating the relevant skills you have developed in the IT company which are applicable to any customer-facing roles.
These skills may include client-relationship building, attention to detail, listening skills, responsiveness and problem-solving. In any company or industry, these skills are of great value.
If you have served logistics clients in the IT company, make sure you highlight those in your CV. This can convey your understanding of that sector.
USE SIMPLE AND CONCISE LANGUAGE
Instead of including lengthy and wordy details in your CV, use numbers to support your statements, such as the amount of sales closed in a year, the number of repeat customers or lead salesmen in your team.
It should be straight to the point and let the hiring manager immediately know the type of value you can offer the company.
Mention your non-work related activities or hobbies, which can help paint a fuller picture of who you are, particularly if there are any that are related to logistics, such as heading the community drive-delivery system.
Also, LinkedIn is a great platform with many innovative features. State your skills and try to get customers and colleagues to endorse them.
They can also recommend you on your profile. This will improve the credibility of your profile and capabilities.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
This is exceptionally crucial. Check out websites, newspaper articles and LinkedIn profiles of the target company. This is an efficient way of learning more about the firm and its people, and will help you prepare for the interview and ask intelligent questions about the company, the sector and your role.
Also, use the interview as a chance to show that the career change has been well thought out.
Before the interview, prepare key points to answer why and how you came to the decision for a career switch. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be to answer any questions.
If you know who your interviewer will be, do research on that person and try to find any common ground (for example, shared LinkedIn members, schools, hobbies or interests) to break the ice during the interview process.
Good luck, and do not forget to smile during the interview.
Do you have a question related to your job, career or workplace? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (with "Ask The Career Coach" as the subject header) and we will help you ask industry experts for advice.
For information on career opportunities, visit the website of recruitment and human-resource consultancy The GMP Group at www.gmprecruit.com