Tips for career change success in 2023
Are you considering a new role or industry change in the new year?
Perhaps your career goals or values have changed; you’ve discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, or you simply wish to make more money or have more flexible hours.
Rest assured you’re not alone. During what has been dubbed the Great Reshuffle post-pandemic, The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 1.3 million people changed jobs during 2021 – the highest annual job mobility rate since 2012. And over 40% of those people changed occupation groups.
This mobility will continue well into the new year, with 1 in 3 Australian workers looking to move jobs in the next 6 months.
So what does this mean for your job search? Ultimately, the employment landscape has changed, resulting in lower job application rates and employers looking for creative ways to fill roles. With it comes a shift towards looking beyond qualifications and more towards transferable skills, which is great news for those looking to make a shift. Even LinkedIn’s CEO, Ryan Roslansky commented on the data in a recent interview with Harvard Business Review, quoting that roughly 25% of the skills that were required for a role in 2015 have changed in 2022. “And even if you aren’t changing your job, your job is most likely changing on you.”
Tips for career change success
- Evaluate your current job – Take the time to understand why you aren’t happy in your current job.
- Objectively assess your interests, skills and values – Think about the careers you could be well suited to.
- Research alternative careers – Find out as much as you can about the industries and job roles you are interested in. Linkedin is a great resource for making and reaching out to contacts in areas of interest.
- Upgrade your skills – Identify educational opportunities that could help to bridge the gap between your existing skills and the new careers you’re interested in.
- Write your career change resume and cover letter – Refocus your resume based on your new goals and write a cover letter that emphasises your transferable skills and expresses your passion for the new company or industry.
Changing careers means that you’ll need a fresh, revamped resume to accompany your job search in a new field. While creating a resume isn’t the easiest task, take heart in knowing that much of your experience, even if it’s in a completely different industry, will still be relevant. In your career change resume, you have to tell the story of your transferable skills to a hiring manager, explaining how qualifications from your previous career are still applicable and relevant. The same applies to career breaks taken to raise a family for example.
Our role as recruiters is to often ‘read between the lines’ of a resume to find nuggets of transferable skills, but here are some of our tips to help make them jump off the page in your next application.
Identify your transferable skills
Start by getting to know your new industry. Read job descriptions and industry news to gain a sense of the skills that employers require. Print out your current resume with your job history to date, and write a list of all the skills you’ve gained and used throughout your career. Then, list out the skills commonly required in your new industry and look for matches.
Think creatively: Say you’re moving from sales to teaching. What are the things these roles have in common? Both jobs require the ability to hold the attention of the room, give a strong presentation, and convey potentially complex knowledge using language that is easy to understand and remember.
And don’t forget that you can include non-professional experience on your resume, too. Do you organise bake sales for the school committee? Volunteer work, and potentially even hobbies can all be mined for evidence of your skills and experience.
Craft a killer cover letter
A great cover letter will help connect the dots for hiring managers. You can use this space to make it clear how your former career has provided you with the skills you need in your new field, and for this job in particular. Read more about how to write a cover letter here.
Add a skills section to your resume
When hiring managers scan through your resume, they might not see familiar job titles or responsibilities from their industry. So a good way to catch their attention is to use the skills section to highlight that you have the soft and hard skills required for the job that you’re applying for. You may like to break this down in the experience section as an alternative.
Changing direction in a career can be an exciting and rewarding time in our professional lives. Be sure of what it is you want to do, find the right support to help you get there, and you’ll be rewarded with a fulfilling new career.