hunting methods differ when career changing. Many of the
traditional job hunting methods won’t work when you’re trying to change
and contacting recruiters are not likely to be effective if you're
changing careers. The most likely people to take a leap of faith with
you if you're changing careers is someone who already knows and loves
You need to think differently when you're
changing careers. You may feel that your skills are easily
transferable, but employers generally aren't as comfortable hiring
someone with no experience in their field.
are ineffective. Recruiters, particularly
retained recruiters who are filling senior positions, are paid to fill
with someone doing almost exactly the same job in the same industry.
not interested in helping you make a career change. In today’s economy,
are holding them to even stricter standards. A retainer recruiter will
sometimes put one wild card candidate into the panel – someone with a
background or from a different industry who is interesting, has
credentials and is well-known to the firm (often this is done as a
past favors from the candidate). At times, this is done merely to fill
panel – to add a third or fourth candidate to the group when the firm
a tough time finding enough candidates in the industry, or is too busy
so, and wants to put on a good show for the client. In my experience,
unfortunately, it is rare when the wild card gets hired. Clients
normally go to
the candidate with industry experience when given the choice.
ads won’t help. Ads are getting heavy responses
these days, and some of the candidates who apply are likely to have a
background that is at least fairly close to that of the organization
running the ad. If you’re trying to make a radical career change, you
even be considered. If you’re trying to make a radical industry change
moving from being the CFO of a manufacturer to being the head of
finance of a
non-government agency), there is an outside shot that you may be
are two ways for you to get a job when career
changing – networking, and getting there before anyone with a closer
does. In other words, to use a cliché, entering the hidden job market.
Direct mail can work – sometimes. If you have an
engineering background, and will consider moving into technical sales
industry in which you’ve worked for 15 years, then a resume and cover
that lands on the hiring manager’s desk before an ad is placed or a
is hired could work. If you’re aiming for a more radical change, such
from being the director of business development at an IT consulting
becoming the manager of public works in a municipality, then you are
unlikely to be successful via direct mail.
mail campaigns will certainly need to be much
larger if you’re changing careers than if you were trying to stick more
to your prior career path, because there are many employers who won’t
a career changer.
is king. This statement should come as no
surprise to you, because networking is the number one way of finding
When you’re changing careers, it becomes all the more important. Hiring
career changer is risky – many wash out. Those who are most likely to
leap of faith for you are people who know you.