Whether you're just starting out or looking to change up your career path, finding ways to talk about your experience, when it may not be directly relevant to your job, is key to getting your foot in the door. You might look at new ways to discuss past jobs or transferable skills, or discover new ways to boost your experience level outside of your 9 to 5. Either way, don't let a lack of "past work" get you down when you want to make a change on your "future work."
Find experiences in your life.
Your volunteer work, life experience, and hobbies influence your job skills. Do you spend time outside of work helping others or maybe just exploring something you're passionate about? That's the perfect thing to use on your next job application or HR interview. When you're preparing to apply to a job or go in for an informational chat, think about ways that your current passions influence your career goals. Perhaps you work in sales, but in your free time you volunteer for a literacy program in your neighborhood. What brought you to that organization? What has been the biggest challenge and reward from your volunteer work? How do your actions, completely outside of the daily grind, shape your professional interests? You might be surprised when you start connecting those dots, and find you have a lot to relate about it to a potential employer! After all, you have a creative passion inside of you — talk about it!
Make your own experiences.
You're never stuck. You want to find a new way out of your current job and into a new career, and you can. It's possible, even when you're mid-career and trying to change tracks while both trains are in motion.
Write a resume and cover letter that makes the connection.
Find ways to talk about your experiences in your resume using keywords that will help you get past the screening software. Don't get loose with the truth, just find new ways of talking about what you're interested in, while still addressing the job you're applying for. Check out some examples and get cracking.
Your cover letter can be a great place to tell your story (quickly and to the point) and better explain how you'd be a great fit, even if your "experience" is non-traditional. Think of ways you can customize and personalize your cover letter to better fit each job you apply for. The worst thing is to make errors here (like including the wrong business name or old information), so be careful to take your time with a cover letter and let your personality shine through.
Speak confidently about your experience in your interview.
Answering those tough questions — be prepared with answers that draw on your strengths and passion for the work. Once you're in the room with HR or a potential new boss, you're already past a ton of hurdles, but you may need to better explain your career path. Take a deep breath. You wouldn't be here if you were wishy washy about the role, so make sure your answers to questions about your past work, your goals, and your passions aren't "meh" but instead, "amazing."
Find an advocate "on the inside."
Feeling more assured about your experience?
What are your passions? Have you ever made a BIG career leap with little experience in the field? Looking to make that move now? Contact our friendly recruiters and let's start talking about your next big career move!