You have come across a career opportunity that’s a perfect fit for your skills, experience and interests. However, as you read the job requirements, you realize that your resume isn’t a perfect match for what the organization is looking for.
Don’t give up on that opportunity yet just because your resume doesn’t check all the boxes!
Transitioning your career may seem intimidating but the good news is that with the right strategy, you can get that dream job by leveraging the experiences and expertise you have under your belt.
How’s how you can strategically position yourself for a successful career transition:
How To Reframe Your Resume For Career Transition
To favorably present your extensive experience and expertise for the new role, you can use a technique called “reframing” to justify and amplify your existing skills. Here’s how:
Set the Stage with a Stellar Summary Statement
The summary statement at the top of the resume is the first thing hiring managers see. Use the opportunity to set the stage with an attention-grabbing opening. Highlight why you’re an excellent match for the job and emphasize how your skill- or industry-specific experiences make you a qualified candidate.
Consider how the breadth and depth of your past work can contribute a unique perspective to this new position and direct the readers’ attention to accomplishments that showcase how you can adapt your knowledge to new situations.
For example, if you have years of marketing experience in the fashion industry and you’re applying for a position in the consumer electronics industry, you can use the summary statement to highlight your in-depth knowledge of consumer trends.
Connect the Dots
One of the key challenges you’d face during a career transition is to demonstrate that your experience is relevant to the position you’re applying for.
While having a laundry list of all your experiences and expertise may be sufficient for a typical job application, you should go one step further to show explicitly the link between what your potential employer is looking for and what your knowledge and experiences can offer.
Many qualities required for managerial and executive positions (e.g., leadership, communication, analytics, strategic thinking) are transferrable skills. Highlight the versatility of your skillset in your resume and focus on how they can help you succeed in the new role.
For example, instead of the details of a marketing campaign, you can focus on how you used your leadership skills to achieve specific results — directing the readers’ attention to your managerial ability.
Use the Right Language
If you’re transitioning to a new industry, you may need to use different verbiage to describe what you have accomplished in your current and past positions. This will help you communicate how your experience is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Do your research and familiarize yourself with the language used in the industry or job function you want to pursue. When you speak your audience’s language, you enable them to better understand how your experience and expertise are relevant to helping them achieve the desired outcomes.
Focus on Your Strong Qualifications
If you’re applying for a position that’s a great fit for you, chances are that some of your skills and experiences will be highly relevant and desirable to the employer.
Your resume should highlight these strengths and show how your unique skills match the requirements of the position. Craft compelling stories to demonstrate how the values you bring to the table outweigh any perceived shortcomings.
Focus on how the combination of your experiences and knowledge will enable you to create the outcomes your potential employer is looking for. Remember, organizations want to hire people who can succeed in their roles so the key is to demonstrate that you have the ability to deliver results.
For example, you can highlight your expertise in using data analytics to understand consumer trends and generate actionable insights. This is a highly valuable skill that can be applied to any industry, regardless of the vertical of your past employment.
Many of today’s occupations didn’t exist 10, 20, or 30 years ago. The job market is constantly evolving and more employers are seeking candidates who have the right transferrable skill and flexibility that allow them to adapt to the fast-evolving business environment.
While a list of job requirements may seem “set in stone,” don’t interpret the company’s wish list of ideal qualifications too literally. Most employers are flexible if you can demonstrate the tremendous value you bring to the table.
It’s perfectly fine to apply for a job even if you don’t match all the requirements. The key to overcoming any perceived shortcoming is to show how your knowledge and experience is relevant to helping your potential employer accomplish results.
Reframing gives you the mindset and language to showcase your accomplishments so you can put your best foot forward and stand out.
While it may not always be easy to put yourself out there and pursue an opportunity for which you don’t check all the boxes, you’ll stand a good chance if you demonstrate that you have the right mix of past experience and transferrable skills to succeed at the job.