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How to Market Yourself for a Career Change

With an increase in technological advancements, globalization and the size of a consumer basket, there is a surge in the number of careers that were once non-existent. With the increase in a number of options, changing career is lot easier than it was a few decades ago.

According to a survey conducted for the University of Phoenix in Arizona, only 14% people believed they had perfect jobs and more than half of them said they wanted to change their work profile. Just as changing career was stigmatized initially, it is widely accepted these days. People today are looking for changes and are open to exploring different options that are available, while there are people who want to forge their own paths by implementing ideas that they always wanted to.

Even if the prospect for a change may be promising, taking the leap still involves an element of risk. Therefore, in order to take that step, it is essential to have a proper plan in place. Doing thorough research of the field you wish to pursue, along with weighing in the pros and cons, is a good step to begin with. Proper study and analysis of the job and the industry will equip you with the qualities that are critical in the new job profile.

However, being the right fit for the job isn’t always enough; just as building a good product doesn’t ensure its success, the way that product is marketed is equally important. Similarly, you need to adapt techniques that can help you market better for a career change.

Announce it

An article in the New York Times narrates a story about Ted Greenberg, a man who left the field of suicide research to become a stand-up comedian. The interesting thing that was written about him is the way in which he announced his decision to his coworkers and his family members. In a mass e-mail, he announced his will to quit his job and a desire to pursue a career in comedy.

Most of us wouldn’t have made this information public when it’s in its nascent stage since it would raise a lot of eyebrows,  but Mr. Greenberg chose to do otherwise. If you think about it pragmatically, announcing your decision to switch career can also be a good marketing technique. By announcing it, who knows you might accidentally bump into a friend or acquaintance of yours who might be looking for someone to do the same job. Also, by sharing you can reach out in order to seek guidance from the people who have gone through such career transformations. Of course, don’t announce anything before you give your workplace notice that you are leaving.

Acquire the necessary skills

Employers can be skeptical when it comes to offering roles to people looking to completely change industries and have little to no experience in the desired field. The odds are highly against you if you are looking towards a career change without any requisite skills. Your previous work experience and skills hardly carry any significance on your resume. Of course, the relevance of your past experience really depends on the job you are interested in pursuing – some skills are transferrable (particularly soft skills) and can be used to get your foot in the door, while other roles may require additional training and accolades.

In order to promote yourself in the job market, it is necessary that you possess all the required skills, which you can highlight to market yourself. Acquiring the necessary skills is not just enough, but incorporating them into your resume and LinkedIn profile is vital. Furthermore, along with a resume, you’ll want to create a cover letter that highlights your expertise and offers examples on why your skills will benefit the employer. Therefore, a good cover letter and a strong resume can be effective marketing tools for a successful career change.

Network

Networking can get you in touch with the right people. Using professional networking websites like LinkedIn can be a good way of marketing yourself. You can easily get in touch with people of the same job profile you are looking for, which can help you to gain insight into the new profession and what the day-to-day job entails. You can even ask professionals in your field of interest for an informational interview to get all of these details.

According to LinkedIn, 70% of people that were surveyed were hired by a company they had a connection with. Whereas, 30% said that casual conversations on the professional networking website opened up new opportunities for them. So, get out there and start making connections!

While looking for a career change, the purpose or the need for the change is something which you should be focusing on. You must be very clear about the factors that are driving you to make that change. On having a reasonable explanation about the need and purpose, it is very important that you make a blueprint of the action plan and steps that are necessary in achieving the desired objective.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help navigate your career change? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Sandy Dsouza

Sandy Dsouza is a freelance author and blogger and is always eager to share her knowledge on various topics like resume, career development and career change. Her significant contributions to BSR: Resume Examples has aided many aspiring job candidates and students to develop their careers.

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