Whenever you’re considering making a career change you need to consider what’s going to happen after you’ve determined your new direction because figuring out what it is that you want to do is the easy part. The hard part is convincing recruiters and hiring managers that you’re the right person for the job when you haven’t done it before.
Branding is What Connects the Dots
This is where branding comes in. Branding is a key component to any successful job search where because it’s what allows the interviewers to easily connect the dots between your skills and experience and the responsibilities of the role. When done correctly it will drastically increase your chances of getting great job offers.
My client Lisa is a great example of how this works. 9 months ago Lisa moved to a new city and needed to reinvent herself in order to get a job as an account executive in the tech industry. She’d done work in a similar capacity but it had been in the oil industry under very different circumstances. When she went into interviews it was like she was speaking a completely different language. As a result they would pass on her every time despite having many impressive accomplishments.
Speak Their Language, Not Yours
The problem was that she didn’t realize how she was presenting herself as a square peg for roles that were round holes. We got to work on revising her resume and her personal brand so that the next time around the hiring managers would understand how to connect her past experience with the job opportunity.
It only took a few weeks for her new professional brand to make a difference. After our third session she had sailed through her interviews and received the offer she wanted. The process involved taking a close look at the job description to understand what the key components were that they were looking for and then determining what we believed their ideal candidate to look and sound like.
Find out What They’re Looking For
In this case they were looking for someone with a successful track record of selling software, who can demonstrate the ability to prospect for new business, run a full sales cycle and be a team player. Prior to our working together Lisa had been putting all of her skills and experiences on display which only served to confuse the interviewers.
By highlighting the areas of her experience which were most relevant to the role and downplaying any experience outside of those areas, Lisa was able to convey herself as a perfect fit for the role. The interviewers had a much easier time connecting the dots as well.
Show Them That You’re It
I helped her understand that talking about her success selling hardware and closing million dollar deals would actually hurt her chances since the role didn’t include hardware sales and the deal sizes they wanted to hear about were much smaller.
This example demonstrates one of the keys to successful interviewing which is to show the interviewers what they’re looking for, no more and no less. Everyone has boxes that they need to check off when it comes to skills and experience in addition to what a good culture fit would look like. Wasting precious time checking off any additional boxes is just as unhelpful as leaving some of those key boxes unchecked.
Make it Personal
Don’t forget that this is also your opportunity to show them why you’re meant for this role beyond just having the necessary skills and experience. Once you’ve gone through the process for determining your ideal job you want to make sure that the interviewers understand how this role is in fact the perfect fit for your personality and natural talents.
Gary was fed up with working in sales and having gone through the career design process with me determined that his ideal job was to be working as a customer success manager for a tech startup. It made perfect sense given how much he enjoyed playing the role of product expert, how he excelled at solving customer problems and how well he understood how software works.
Gain a Competitive Advantage
Since this role aligned so well with who Gary is and what he’s all about he was able to gain a competitive advantage by speaking very authentically and passionately. He spoke of how he successfully diagnosed and resolved issues that his customers were having and how he’s always been someone who has tinkered with technology for fun, like the time he created a gaming computer from scratch.
When you combine the ability to translate your skills and experiences for a new role with your ability to demonstrate that this is the type of role that you were born to do all of a sudden you begin to stand out from the pack of candidates. Time and time again I’ve watched job seekers start out feeling hopeless only to shift gears into a more confident version of themselves who is ready to show hiring manager why they’d be the best person for the job. The result is the same every time. They get the offer they had previously thought wasn’t possible.
Find out for Yourself
If you’re considering making a transition into a new area and you’re not sure how to present yourself as the ideal candidate then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule a free consultation to talk about a re-branding strategy that will elevate you to the top of the pack.