I recently had an interesting email sent in regarding an individual that was seeking a job in Manchester and homewares. This particular person (let’s call her Sammy) was seeking to transfer from a career in caring, so whilst it wasn’t the biggest transition the world has seen – it was a sizeable task to accomplish. I outlined a step-by-step plan for Sammy to help maximise her chances of landing a job, and she just recently informed me that she’s taken on a new position and is delighted with the new career she has ventured into.
Below you’ll find an excerpt of the plan offered to Sammy, this can of course be adapted to different career opportunities.
Tailoring Your Resume - Sammy presented me with what was a rather generic and outdated resume. Whilst she’d made reference to organisations she’d worked with in caring, she took little care in specifying areas relevant to both Manchester and homewares within her resume and cover letter – this was the first area we needed to rectify. Sammy had no direct experience within the Manchester industry, however, she, like many other mothers had bought an entire household worth of linen and had become well aware of older brands including Actil, and the giants such as Sheridan. She knew their differing traits, their product selection and was essentially stunned when I made reference to this – she had NO idea she knew so much about their products and the industry. Whilst she kept her previous workplaces within the past roles section, she made specific mention to her knowledge of Manchester, including her skill set and background and how this directly related to what she could do within the industry.
I instructed her to leverage her experience – the caring industry is no easy feat; it’s an incredibly demanding (both in time and patience) industry. Sammy made reference to the excellent customer service skills she’d developed in her industry and how these could be transferred over to her new career.
Networking - I recommended she take a look at a local expo that focused on homewares and had a number of products on show. I made this suggestion to firstly become well acquainted with the marketing techniques used by vendors in the industry – but also as a key networking source. Expos often bring forth a number of smaller companies that are more willing to take on older, more experienced workers than larger organizations. I encouraged her to speak about instances in which she’d bought doona covers or bed linen online, these were easy conversation starters and it was easy for her to begin networking and relating to a complete stranger.
Research - When making a career change it’s important to become up-to-date with all the technical jargon and get a feel for what is current and what is outdated. Take action and work towards becoming more acquainted with the industry each day, speak to people in-the-know and understand concerns and advantages surrounding the industry.
One thing I highly recommend in your job search is networking – there is an abundance of power in being in-the-know and speaking to people within the same industry as you. I’ve had clients land jobs based on this facet alone – in that the person they began networking with was actually looking to hire someone and they came across as an excellent, well-spoken candidate. Make an effort to speak to as many people as possible, leave your contact details with them should anything of interest arise.
During the Interview - Throughout the interview I suggested Sammy be herself – to conduct herself in a professional manner and illustrate her enthusiasm and intent to enter a new industry, transferring her ideas over. I instructed her to take notice of areas of the business that were lacking, and come up with new suggestions to address these issues. One area businesses often lack in is their online web presence – making mention of how you can resurrect this for them at a fraction of the cost of a web development company puts you in the good books with a potential employer. It shows that you are forward-thinking and not a generic, outdated, bland employment prospect. Remember, businesses want to know how you can make and save them money – they need to make a profit at the end of the day!
Don’t become discouraged if you aren’t able to find something right away. Maintain an upbeat attitude and continue working towards making your career change.