starting over professionally

How to Start Your Job Search When Switching Career Paths

The grass is always greener on the other side – until you get there! When you’re looking to make a career change, every outside opportunity may look appealing. However, once you’re in the middle of a transition, finding a place to start your job search can be daunting. How do you search for a new beginning when your skills and experiences might not be suited for the roles that are available?

It’s time to reframe your career story! Your experiences are more widely applicable than you might think. Here are a few tips for starting your job search when switching career paths:

Think Outside of the Box

The industry and role you have been working in might feel narrow and limiting at first. Now’s the time to get creative! Try breaking down your professional experience into its most widely applicable components and start out on a new path from there. For example, if you held a role in customer service for a pharmaceutical company, you can choose to highlight your interactions with customers or your hands-on pharma experience – or both! Try exploring career paths from every angle of your past experience; the new roads you discover might just surprise you!

Rethink the Resume              

Your resume may have been tailored to your industry of interest and career path up until this point. If you’re switching gears, ditch the industry jargon on your application documents and focus on results! Numerical success is easily translated in any setting; think of how much more impactful it is seeing, “one hundred clients served” than it is reading a list of technical requirements. Now is the time to pull the most relevant skills and meaningful accomplishments into the spotlight!

With this tactic in mind, experiences outside of your everyday work can also carry a lot of weight. Nonprofit and continued education in settings other than the office can show your commitment to personal and professional development. If you’re considering a change, showing progress before making a transition can make a big difference.

As you adapt your resume, it is important to keep your objective clear. Find a new way to use your experience and approach it with confidence. Especially if you you’re entering a new industry, keep an eye on job descriptions and do your best to use terms that match the job’s keywords. Your career path is changing; your resume should be changing along with it!

Cover Letter Bridges the Gap

Once your resume is ready to reflect your new path, it’s time for your cover letter to bring it all together! At first glance, your experiences, skills and education may not tell the full story of why you’re the best candidate for the position at hand. Your cover letter is more important than ever for taking your career bullet points and turning them into the story of someone ready for a change. Let your cover letter bridge the gap between your past and the future you hope to build!

A time of transition can be scary. Before getting overwhelmed, take some time to rethink your career documents and push your search to unexpected places. You’ll never know if the grass is really greener until you take a chance!

Have any tips for finding a job in a new industry? Share career change tips in our comment section!

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