If you’re about to change the industry you’re working in, you are not alone. Many people are shifting their perspectives about what they want to do. One of the tougher aspects of this is the difficulty of breaking into a new industry without a degree or experience behind you. This can be done, but it just takes a little more planning and preparation to put yourself on the right track. Check out some of these tips for translating skills from one industry to another if you’re not sure where to start.
Focus on the “How” of Your Accomplishments
You may be proud of many things you’ve accomplished in your previous position, but those accomplishments don’t mean as much to someone in a different industry. If you’re an accountant trying to move into advertising, for instance, companies probably won’t put as much stock into how efficient you are at balancing budgets. Focusing on the “how” means reframing these accomplishments to be more about how you got them done, rather than what exactly you did.
Don’t Forget the Soft Skills
Going off that point, explaining how you did something will often involve mentioning the soft skills it took to accomplish that goal. Traits such as perseverance, time management, problem-solving, and being a good communicator are all things that most employers look for. Emphasize how you developed these traits in your previous positions to more effectively show how you would bring them to your new job.
Focus on Results
All hiring managers place emphasis on the results you achieved, rather than what you did to achieve them. Having quantifiable results that you used your skills to achieve goes a long way to impressing someone in an interview. If you’re switching industries, your results still matter, so don’t be afraid to put them on the front lines.
Be Open To Learning
Chances are good that you’ll be moving into a lower-level position in your new industry. Entry-level jobs want you to be able to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. If you find that you have some of the skills required, but not all, you need to be open to learning more. You don’t have to do this through full-time schooling. There are plenty of ways to quickly gain skills in industries such as technology, sales, or finance.
Hopefully, these tips for translating skills between industries has helped you realize that you’re more capable than you might give yourself credit for. Any experience is good experience, so get out there and start your job hunt.