It is a common question: how can I change careers if I have limited experience on my CV?
Many job-hunters feel trapped in this way but there are a few pointers that can have you rolling in the right direction.
The first thing you need is courage. It’s not a joke: a career change can take a little time and it’s one baby step at a time so be brave and keep your eye on the prize. Now, follow these three steps:
Step 1: Look At Your CV
Sooner or later you’re going to look at your CV and realise that is not fit for purpose. You will notice bland, generic statements that do not target your new career. You need to do some decent research about your new career. Google the job and pull together some related advertisements for these roles; look at the job descriptions and the person specifications; what are the related themes and keywords here? Take note of them – write it all down and familiarise youself with it: this is the industry jargon that will assist you in your career change.
Step 2: Supercharge your CV
Go over your work history with a fine tooth comb. Your job now is to match the roles in your work history to the new career you are aspiring to. You must PLAY DOWN all the elements of your duties that do not fit the bill and PLAY UP all of those that do.
Example 1: You want to apply for a job in administration. You have no administration experience. Go through each and every job in your CV and make sure that the listed duties and responsibilities for each job contain an element of administration. Remember, even if your job contained only 5% administration – include it; list that duty first. (Did you do open any mail, did you meet-and-greet?)
Example 2: You want to apply for a job in a call centre. You have no call-centre experience. Remember, many jobs contain customer service skills: go through your entire career history and bring out all of the customer-facing responsibilities. List them first and make a meal of them – particularly if you took calls from customers.
Use your CV Skills Profile to hit the target your with laser-precision.
Step 3: Get the experience
This is the bit that will really hold you back. But there’s a way around it: it’s called voluntary work. Voluntary work is not just about working in the charity shop on a Saturday. Voluntary work could be the key to unlocking the door to your new career. Take a look at these two examples:
There are always ways to tweak your CV and place you head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Never forget that: your CV should hit the target; clean and sharp.