Are you looking to explore a new career opportunity? Well, you’re not alone. At RETS Associates, we often receive inquiries from candidates who want to make a major change in their career and we applaud these folks for going after what they want. However, no matter how great you are, recruiters must ensure they present candidates with the necessary training and experience. To do otherwise can be incredibly risky.
This doesn’t mean that a career change is not an option. It means that you must be willing to put in the work to make a smooth and successful transition. Whether you’re unhappy with your career or your passion lies elsewhere, here are a few tips to make an effective career change:
- Do Your Homework: Start by reading news, trends and reports on the career or industry you want to pursue. Set up Google Alerts to keep track of who’s making headlines in the industry. In addition, get connected on social media. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and follow the right businesses, publications and influencers on Twitter to stay up to date.
- Network, Network, Network: In the workforce, the phrase “it’s all about who you know” remains true. While it’s not the only deciding factor for hiring a candidate, being well connected in any industry is always a plus. We encourage you to attend local networking events hosted by professional and industry organizations. When you attend these events, prepare questions for the professionals you will meet and engage in conversation with speakers, panelists and other attendees. This allows you to build relationships with prospective colleagues and employers. Remember, meeting people face-to-face gives you the power to present yourself and your skills in a way that your resume cannot.
- Upgrade Your Skill Set: Consider attending seminars and workshops or taking online courses to upgrade your skills or add a new skill to your repertoire. Not only will you expand your knowledge of the career or industry you want to pursue, but it’s another way to tap into an industry-related network. There are a lot of free online courses for a variety of industries that can get you up to speed and moving in a new direction. Remember, the more you learn and connect with industry professionals, the more opportunities you will have.
- Update Your LinkedIn Profile: As the world’s largest professional networking site, LinkedIn has become an essential personal branding tool for job seekers and a top resource for recruiting and hiring managers. Prior to your job search, be sure to update your resume and consider polishing your LinkedIn profile with the following: a professional headshot, recommendations, skills and endorsements, multimedia to visually showcase your work and a compelling headline.
This may seem like an exhaustive process, but if you’re serious about making a transition, then relying on “cold applying” won’t cut it. Once you’ve put in the work and your resume and LinkedIn profile reflect your new experience or training, we encourage you to contact a recruiter to help finalize the next step in your career.