Are you sick of being pigeonholed in the same old role? Finding it hard to make the move to a different sector or industry?
You are not alone! On a daily basis we hear from disgruntled employees who are ready for a change but don’t know where to start or how to get noticed when it comes to changing roles. Often employers find it easier to hire new staff with the same skill set that just slot straight into their opening. Which makes it hard for applicants with great skills & experience in a different sector or industry to get noticed when they are in competition with a candidate that has currently been doing the same role who needs no training.
What can you do to rectify this situation?
1. Do your research
Find out what systems or knowledge you need in the sector or industry you are looking to join.
• Troll through job ads taking note of systems & skills that are required.
• Approach a colleague internally who may work in the sector you wish to join and ask for some feedback about what is required.
• Join LinkedIn groups in specific to the sector or industry you wish to join – this will put you in touch with the lingo and terminology required for that sector.
• Improve your general knowledge on the sector e.g cruising or inbound travel or perhaps a specific destination.
2. Reinvent yourself
Adapt your resume & cover letter to the sector or industry you are looking to join. Identify the core skills required and outline your experience using these skills even though they may be in another sector or industry, the core skill (e.g. planning, building rapport etc.) will still deliver the same outcome.
Ensure you have a WOW factor! You want to stand out from your competition and show your worth! In todays’ market everything is driven by ROI (return on investment) so show your potential employer what you can add to their business. Don’t just list qualifications & skills on your resume; show how you mastered them e.g.
• You call on travel agents in the VIC region – big deal – “You increased sales by 37% in the VIC region gaining 3 new accounts in the process!”
• You hold a Degree in Marketing – so does your competition – “You finished in the top 10 percentile for your Marketing & Communications degree”
• You might have won a competition or had your work published or taken amazing photos on a recent trip to Brazil that may be relevant to the sector you are trying to join. Include a link to your work on your resume or cover letter.
3. Volunteer/ gain some hands on experience
Approach decision makers in the sector or industry you wish to join and ask if you can volunteer your time for a few hours or days a week to gain hands on experience. You will often find that you may be presented with a job offer off the back of work experience. It gives employers a chance to see your capabilities first hand. Include this experience in your resume of cover letter when applying for new jobs in travel or hotel jobs, event jobs or tourism careers.
You more than likely will have to undertake some further study or training to gain the skills or systems knowledge you need to change industries or sectors. Gaining this before you have made the switch can look favourable to an employer, that you are committed to changing sectors or industries.
4. Put yourself out there!
Let people know you are looking. Utilise your network. Do you know someone working at company you wish to join or in a position of authority? A personal recommendation goes a long way to getting your foot in the door or even to obtain an interview.
Don’t wait for the job to be advertised, approach companies direct in the field you want to join, or better still use a recruiter that specialises in the area you want to work (like TMS Talent or other travel recruitment agencies), a recruiter will already have the contacts and if you impress them they will vouch for you and help you gain an interview.
Go the extra mile, follow-up your resume with a phone call – putting a personality to your paper file will increase your chances of gaining an interview.
Tell your future employer what you can bring to their business – impress them, leave them wanting to hear more!
Sometimes the hardest part can be taking that first step. With a little effort and determination you should be well on your way to a new career!
Need some inspiration on different sections of the industry you may not have considered?
Author - Kristi Gomm