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Changing your career path? Job hunting techniques and resume tips for career shifters

Changing your career path? Job hunting techniques and resume tips for career shifters

What should I write? Will they find this interesting? Is this important to them? Maybe I shouldn’t submit this. Maybe this is not for me. Maybe I’m stuck here.

Questions turn to doubts as we try to come up with the perfect resume.

This is true for anybody, but most especially for those who have zero experience or, worst, an unrelated work-experience – those in a middle of a career shift.

Fresh graduates often get the advantage of starting with a clean slate. That they can be groomed into the role.

Career shifters do not.

So, what can you do? Should you just scratch the experience off your resume and pretend it didn’t happen. Come up with some crazy story to make up for that lost time.

NO! You can still make that experience still to your advantage.

It is a case of improving your branding as an employee.


What you did does not matter

…as much as how you did them and the lessons you took away.

The key, I believe, is to focus on the skills and behaviours, not simply on the tasks.

I’ve reviewed so many resumes that focused too much on the actual tasks:

  • I did so-and-so task
  • I prepared a monthly report for my manager
  • I operated the cash register and took orders from customers

Don’t get me wrong, these are wonderful things but they may not necessarily translate to anything in that new role you are applying for.


Transferrable Skills

You need to highlight the transferrable skills you have acquired from your past experience.

A transferable skill is expertise that you can use across a wide range of industries. These are skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across different areas of life: socially, professionally and at school.

Some call these ‘portable skills’.

There’s a long list of transferrable skills out there but my favourites are:


Effective communication skills are vital in almost every industry. The ability to articulate your ideas and explain them to other stakeholders in the company. This includes being a good listener as well.


Attending and learning from trainings is great, but this can only take you so far. The ability to come up with new solutions by solving different problems that clients face daily is more useful than any training out there. The ability to think analytically and critically is certainly essential in any role.


Although not everyone will be in leadership positions, most roles often have require some aspect of leadership. The ability to take responsibility, delegate tasks effectively as well as set priorities or yourself and other team members is clearly beneficial for any team / company.


How do I let recruiters know this?

Let’s go back to our example earlier but, this time, go beyond the tasks.

  • I did so-and-so task that helped our counterparts so-and-so.

This shows an awareness of the purpose of the task, not just its completion

  • I compiled and analyzed monthly data that allowed me to prepare recommendations for my manager

This shows both analytical as well as communication skills

  • I communicated directly with customers, helping them with their orders and making sure that they have a great experience at our store

This shows both communication skills and some leadership skills – taking responsibility for the customer’s experience


One final tip: Good managers love people who always look for ways to improve on things. identifying concrete ways you have helped improve your team’s current process is always a plus.

Use these job hunting techniques and make sure your resume is designed in a smart way – that’s your shortcut in the career path!

Best of Luck!

Ryan Salvanera is the co-founder and chief tech guy of Wissen Solomon, a consulting firm that aims to create abundance through the empowerment and growth of MSMEs. Ryan is also a personal coach at Coach Rye and specializes in coaching high-performing leaders and entrepreneurs.

Ryan Salvanera

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