5 Tips to Make a Faster Career Change as a Professional or Executive

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Have you been thinking about making a career change? Avoid the attitude that you will do it tomorrow, next week, next month, when your bonus arrives, etc. Be aware that “not now” soon becomes never.

Here are my 5 tips to make a faster career change as a professional or executive.

    1. Power up your confidence. Managers hire those who are passionate about their job, and confident they’ll perform it successfully. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, hiring managers won’t either. Let go of any career setbacks. Take pride in all of your strengths, talents and career successes – and go after those jobs that you know you can do well! (Confidence is a must, but arrogance is a showstopper!)

 

    1. Think up, down and sideways. A lot of people get stuck in a rut looking for the same job title as their last job. But you can double your options by looking at smaller and larger companies. The smaller company may have the same job role listed but with a bigger title (like a Director of VP-level), and the larger company may have a smaller title (like a manager or specialist) – but it’s the same major responsibilities.Also, apply for jobs outside of your industry. There are a lot of job roles that you can do in just about any industry. For example, if you’re in a marketing role, or finance role, or sales – they need these types of employees across all industries!

      So start reading trade publications and the Business Journal to learn which industries are hiring, what the hot jobs are, and where you can fit in.

 

    1. Leverage your transferable skills. If you’re finding that there are very few job openings for the kind of job role you want, then expand your scope. You can switch into a different job role by leveraging your transferable skills (those are skills that transfer from job role to job role.) For example, managing clients, managing teams, managing projects – a lot of these skills can transfer into different roles.So start reading job descriptions for a variety of jobs – and determine which roles are a good fit for you! This is a terrific way to get your foot in the door at a new company and make a start fresh in your career!

 

  1. Create a job search plan. So many people post their resume up on Monster.com, or they register with a headhunter and then sit back and wait for the phone to ring! It doesn’t happen that way! With this tight job market, you need to have a plan that includes:
    1. Your wish list of companies that you want to work for and check out their website every week.
    2. A list of on-line job boards like CareerBuilder.com and Career Journal.com that you check every week. A lot of these job boards have different niches that they serve best (such as a specific job industry, or salary level.) So you want to do some research and google, the job role, industry and location that you want, such as “Radio Sales in Phoenix.” Then, search through the first three or four pages of results and bookmark those job boards that meet your criteria. Those are the job boards that you’ll want to check back with every week for job openings.
    3. LinkedIn.com – joining different industry groups so that you can keep current on hot topics, network with influencers in those groups, and learn about job openings.
    4. 2-3 Networking events that you attend every week. Those could be industry conferences, association meetings, training seminars, and business networking events. These are events you go to meet people in the same industry, or they type of company where you want to work. Statistics show that 70% of jobs are going to people who have referrals within an organization – so networking with other professionals and executives is critical to changing your career. Stay away from job fairs – they tend to target lower end jobs and have too much competition.

     

  2. If you’re stuck – get professional help! You never want your career to be sitting on shelf longer than it has to – it means thousands of dollars every month in missed income that you should be making! So if you’re not getting results, then invest in some professional advice wherever you need it –
    1. A Professional resume writer, or
    2. An interview coach, or
    3. Or a career coach

    These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

3 Tips to Create a Rock Star Resume to get noticed, get hired and even get a higher starting salary

Prefer to listen to the podcast version of this post?
You can also subscribe to our Career Coaching 360 podcast RSS feed. Career Coaching 360 podcasts are also available on iTunes.

I want to give you a very simple piece of advice – and that is… if you’re sending out your resume and NOT hearing back from companies – then you need a stronger resume. It’s just that simple. It’s a good problem to have because it’s completely FIXABLE! If you’re going after jobs that you’re qualified for – but not hearing back from hiring managers or HR managers – then your resume stinks!! You need a stronger resume.

Did you know that your resume can do 3 things

  1. It can get you MORE INTERVIEWS.
  2. It can get you interviews for those jobs that YOU REALLY WANT. And I’m talking about those jobs that make your heart flutter a little bit.
  3. It can help you get a HIGHER STARTING SALARY.

I help clients every day by writing their resume and giving them my step-by-step career strategies. The reason my clients are able to successfully reinvent themselves and transition into a new career is because I give them the exact same strategies that I’ve personally used when I reinvented my own career and successfully transitioned into the radio, TV, professional sports and high tech industries.
So here are my top 3 resume tips to help you get noticed, get hired and even get a higher salary!

    1. Showcase key words. Key words are those skills in the job postings that are listed as the “job requirements”. Key words are different for every job, so you need to look closely at the job description – and what I do is pull out a highlighter and go through the job posting and highlight all of those requirements. And then, I take all of those requirements that I meet – and showcase those KEY WORDS, or those KEY SKILLS right at the top of my resume. Underneath my “Objective” in my resume, I have a section that I call “Key Strengths” and I list in bullet format – those requirements, or key skills, that I have. So that’s #1 – showcasing key words.

 

    1. Emphasize results. This is the single biggest difference in making your resume stand out from your competition. Don’t talk about responsibilities. That’s boring. Instead, talk about what you achieved for an organization, or what you’ve helped the organization achieve.

      This is how I transitioned into different industries. This is how I got into the Fortune 100 Companies. Because my resume did NOT focus on responsibilities – instead, I focused on results.

      For example, don’t just say that you managed a team of 9 people in the sales department. Instead, say that you led a sales team that generated $250,000 a year for the past 3 years! Or say that your marketing campaign helped generate 3-percent of additional annual revenue, or that you helped resolve an average of 6 customer complaints a day for the past two years!

      That says that you take your job seriously, and take your career seriously! Quantify each of your career highlights in terms of dollars, numbers or percentages.

 

  1. Show leadership and teamwork. Hiring managers look for candidates who are strong contributors and strong leaders (or at least leadership potential.) Talk about projects or teams that you’ve led – and what the results were. If you haven’t led any projects or teams in your professional life, then highlight any leadership experience you’ve had in professional organizations, sports leagues, church activities or community events.

Career Reinvention: 5-Step Action Plan for Changing Job Roles, Industries or Professional Goals

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There are times in everyone’s career that you feel like running away and starting all over again, and I’m here to say that you can do it!

I’ve successfully reinvented my own career four times including being in radio, television, professional sports, high tech, and now a successful entrepreneur and business owner.

Now one of the things I get asked most often is, “Can I reinvent my career without taking a step down in salary?” Every time I’ve reinvented my career, I’ve received between 20 to 45% increase in my salary. So you can move into a NEW career AND INCREASE your salary.

So let me share with you my five step action plan for reinventing your career AND getting a salary increase…

  1. Find your passion. What gets you excited? What gets you jazzed? The first step in reinventing your career is to identifying where you want to go. In which industry would you like to work? Advertising? Finance? Health Care? When I wanted to stop being a disc jockey, I knew that I wanted to go into television. And after a successful career in television, I then set my sights on getting into Corporate America. I wasn’t sure what kind of job role I wanted (or could get!), but the first step was determining the industry where I wanted to work.

    If you’re not sure where you want to go then start reading trade magazines, industry publications, on-line job sites, even classified ads in your local newspaper. The key is to figure out what lights your fire and inspires you.

  2. Identify your transferable skills. These are skills that transition from industry to industry or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, or proposing and implementing ideas that generate money, save money, or help the company be more competitive.

    Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership or risk taking, training or mentoring team members, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All kinds of industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.

  3. Matching your transferable skills to job roles. Read job descriptions posted on CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as the classified ads in industry magazines, trade journals, and local newspapers. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.

    Match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the required skills and the skills that you currently have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, freelancing, consulting, or even volunteering.

    Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, responsibilities, and advice for how to break into the business.

  4. Blow up your resume. The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I need to land my next job is like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.

    Showcase only those jobs, responsibilities and successes that relate to the job you want. The hiring manager doesn’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know if you can do their job. You may also want to get a professional resume critique to help you customize your resume and identify your transferable skills.

  5. Attitude is the key ingredient! I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion. I’ve never walked into an interview having met all of the job requirements. In fact, for the television interview, I lacked the two biggest requirements which were a minimum of two years experience in television, and a tape to show my TV work.

    To compensate, I focused on my transferable skills which were being highly creative and a solid copywriter. That got my foot in the door for the interview. But to get the job offer and beat out the other 4 job candidates, I was passionate about the company and the job! I also told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job!

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside. A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing. When you transition into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your talent but your attitude that counts!

Think Up, Down and Sideways

When it comes to getting your next job you need to think outside the box. The biggest mistake job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same job title they had in their last job. To increase your job opportunities, consider looking at smaller companies and going one-level up (i.e. from a manager to a Director), as well as larger companies and going one-level down (from a Director to a manager.)

Want even more job opportunities? Then start thinking “sideways.” Some companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function. So if you’ve been in sales, finance, engineering, or administration in a specific industry (such as health care, high tech, or construction), start applying for those same job roles in other industries.

For example, after working in an advertising agency, I searched for my next career move and included organizations that had in-house advertising, marketing and communications departments. In less than 60 days, I was hired as a Regional Marketing Manager at a Fortune 500 company in an industry that was completely new to me!

Also, it’s not mandatory that you meet 100-percent of the requirements in the job description. In fact, I only met about 50-75% of the job requirements each time I reinvented my career! My secrets? Focusing on transferable skills, passion and confidence! A good rule of thumb is to have at least 75-percent of the skills and experience required, and express in your cover letter and interviews that you’re a quick learner, flexible, and passionate about the position and the company!

For more career strategies, or to get personalized strategies based on your unique career situation, challenges and goals visit my career coaching web page.