If you wake up in the morning dreading going to work every day, feel like your job is sucking the life out of you or feel the work you do is not worth the pay you’re getting, it may be time to consider a career change. Although you may want to quit your current job immediately in search of a more fulfilling or higher paid field, the process takes time and should be considered carefully. Follow these helpful tips when considering a career change.
Take your time:
Changing careers generally doesn’t happen overnight. There is a lot of preparation needed before you up and quit your current job and expect to find another one in a completely different industry. Once you make the decision that you’d like to change careers, be patient and take the time to make contacts, do your research and get the basic qualifications you’ll need in order to make the switch.
Do your research:
Unfortunately if you’re a nurse and wake up one day and decide your true calling is to be a lawyer, you won’t get anywhere without first doing some research to figure out what you actually need to pursue that profession. Before you make any definite decisions, conduct extensive research on the field you’re interested in. Talk to any contacts you know in the field or contact professionals in the industry to get more information, review industry websites, related news and learn about the qualifications needed for entry level positions as well as the industry outlook.
Be willing to make some sacrifices:
Unfortunately when you switch careers, you’ll usually have to make sacrifices in order to do it. You’ll need to start closer to the bottom again and work your way up. This may mean taking a cut in pay, losing seniority privileges or having fewer benefits. You may also need to consider volunteering for a few hours each week in the field that interests you to make sure that you actually know what you’re getting into, gain some relevant experience and make sure that this is the right path for you.
Have a plan:
When you decide to make a career change it’s important to have a solid plan in place. Depending on what career you’re changing to, you may need to go back to school for further education, enroll in a training program or gain basic experience through part time or voluntary work. You’ll also need to start networking with other industry professionals in order to gain valuable insights and increase your chances of successfully making the transition.
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Specialist in Achievement Based Resume Writing, Cover Letter Writing & LinkedIn Profile Development & Optimization
The journey to finding your dream job starts with a brand new resume
We’ve all heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” Well when it comes to resumes, “numbers speak louder than words.” When you start changing your resume to be achievement based rather than duty based, a great thing to focus on is quantifiable experience. Wherever possible, try to use numbers in order to make your resume shine.
When adding quantifiable experience to your expert resume, always ask yourself “How Many?” or “How Much?” for each of the tasks you performed. Obviously you might not be able to do this for every job function but approaching your resume writing this way will help you to develop a strong, quantifiable document. You can do this by including:
It’s always best to first think about the number of reports, files, clients, etc that you dealt with in previous jobs. Numbers almost always sound more impressive than generic statements of tasks you performed. If, for example, you worked at a restaurant as a waiter and were a shift leader, you could say it in 2 different ways:
“Waited on tables in a high-paced restaurant environment and supervised fellow waiters”
“Waited on over 50 customers per night in a high-paced restaurant environment and supervised 10 waiters per shift”
The first example tells you, while the second shows you through numbers. Which example sounds more like someone you’d want to hire?
Using percentages can be a great way to highlight your achievements and demonstrate your success in previous positions. Percentages can also be helpful when the numbers themselves don’t sound that impressive but compared to what they previously were, they are. For example, if you were in charge of social media at your previous company and increased followers from 300 to 1000, you could either say:
“Increased social media followers by 700”
“Increased social media followers by over 300%”
Both are achievement statements but percentages can sometimes sound more impressive than hard numbers or give context to your numbers if employers might not be familiar with examples.
You may not realize it but ordinary tasks can sound completely different when you put them into context. Maybe you performed some mediocre tasks in previous positions but at high-volume rates. If you worked at a call-center, for example, answering calls and responding to customer complaints, you could either say:
“Answered incoming calls and responded to customer complaints”
“Managed incoming calls and responded to over 200 customer complaints per day.”
The second sounds much more impressive.
We don’t always realize the achievements we’ve made in our past work experience. Thinking about numbers can help put these achievements into perspective and demonstrate our professional success to employers.
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/
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#1 for Australian Resume Writing
Have you switched careers several times in the past ten years, worked several short-term positions, or been retrenched and forced to find new work? If you’ve held several different positions in the past 5-10 years, you may be sending a message to employers that you’re a job hopper, not staying in positions for very long. Hiring managers confess that if a candidate looks like a job hopper, they will automatically discard their resume, assuming that they’re either not reliable, get bored easily in positions or have been terminated by past employers. Whether employers’ perceptions are accurate or not, you don’t want to be labeled a job hopper and lose a good opportunity.
Whatever your reasons are for frequently changing positions (and there are a lot of totally legitimate reasons nowadays to choose, or circumstantially need to change jobs), you don’t want to be automatically discarded for positions you apply for. Try these helpful tips to avoid being labeled a ‘Job Hopper’ and eliminated from consideration.
Categorize your work experience differently
If you have several short-term, consulting or temporary work assignments, you may want to consider categorizing them under one heading such as “Consultant” and list the various projects you worked on and accomplishments under that, so it appears more as a whole set instead of separate assignments. You can also include two separate headings for your work experience if you’ve transitioned between industries a lot. Put “Relevant Work Experience” with the positions you’ve held that are directly related to the position you’re applying to, and “Other,” or “Additional Work Experience” below that to account for large gaps of time.
Leave out irrelevant jobs
Your resume is essentially a marketing tool to demonstrate your qualifications for a particular position or industry. If you have short-term, contract or part-time experiences that you don’t feel are relevant to the position you’re applying for, it is entirely okay to leave it out. You will, however, need to include it if a company asks for your full work experience.
De-emphasize dates of employment
If your dates of employment are choppy, you can try downplaying the dates in different ways. You can try leaving out the months of employment and only including the years, so it’s not as obvious. You can also include the dates in parenthesis after your job title, or below your achievements.
Focus on resume achievements and qualifications
Employers are mainly concerned with your success in past positions. If you can demonstrate you made significant contributions to your previous employers, even if they were short-term positions, employers will be more likely to overlook it. You can even emphasize accomplishments and skills you’ve acquired through your diverse roles, such as being a fast learner, adapting to new work environments and industry trends, and yielding high results.
Use your cover letter to briefly explain your work history, putting a positive spin on it and expressing your interest in a long-term position
If you feel like your resume screams Job Hopper, you may want to add a brief explanation for why you’ve changed jobs so frequently in your cover letter, or highlight the unique skills and perspective you’ve gained through your diverse experiences. Make sure to stay positive about your past circumstances though and try not to sound like you’re making excuses for every position you’ve left. It’s important to also express your interest in a long-term position with the company to help put employers’ fears at ease.
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For the past decade, the team at RedStarResume has been creating award winning resumes that get noticed by hiring managers. Under our guidance, our clients have achieved successes in over 35 different industries. From the college student looking to break into his or her first job to the seasoned professional and CEO level candidate, our custom-made, high impact resumes are written specifically to match the goals and objectives of our clients.
If you’re not used to interviewing, you may not know what to expect. We’ve listened to hiring managers, career experts, job recruiters and even our very own team of resume writers to find out some of the biggest interview mistakes job seekers make! Some are common, while others most of us would never dream of doing. Check the list and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes!
Showing up half an hour late. Hiring managers and interviewers are busy people. If you waste their time by being late to the interview, you’re not going to make a good impression. Many interviewers will discard your application just for being late.
Wearing jeans to your interview. Surprisingly, some people actually wear jeans and shorts to interviews. Even if the industry you’re applying to is casual, you should still wear dress pants and a formal top. Dressing too casual is a sign you’re not serious about the position.
Asking about salary and vacation time during the first interview. Of course we all care about how much the salary is and can’t wait to get those days off, however if you bring this up before an offer has been made, employers will question your interest in the position and think you don’t care what job you take as long as you get a paycheck.
Questionable social media content. Believe it or not, over 50% of employers do briefly check your social media sites. Having revealing photos, being intoxicated or having very bad grammar in your posts may cause alarm for employers. Be sure to clean up your sites before you interview.
Talking extensively about your personal life. You should be personable and provide details about questions asked, however there’s nothing worse for interviewers than candidates talking too much about irrelevant information, keeping the interview from progressing. Try not to bring up too many personal details unless prompted to by the interviewer.
Bad-mouthing a former boss or employer. Ever heard the phrase “it’s a small world”? In many industries, people have worked with many different professionals over the years. Don’t risk making yourself look bad by talking negatively about a former boss or employer who may know or have ties to this new company. If you do this, it also worries employers that you may speak badly about them in the future.
Not doing your research ahead of time. This is one of the most frequent complaints made by employers. Many candidates don’t know much about the company they’re interviewing for, making employers question how much they really want the position. A little research goes a long way. At least check out the website, board members and an annual report before you go for your interview.
Not asking enough questions. If you’re not asking questions, employers don’t think you’re serious about the position. Ask questions that show you’ve done your research and that relate to the position you’re applying for.
Stating that you’re only applying for the position as a last resort. Employers assume you’re applying for other positions as well, but don’t make it seem like you’re applying anywhere and everywhere. Try to limit sharing that you’re looking at other positions unless specifically asked.
Chewing gum or answering your phone during the interview. Believe it or not, some people actually take a phone call during the interview. Needless to say, this will NOT win you any brownie points with interviewers! You should also be sure to spit out your gum before the interview. It’s distracting and takes away from your professionalism.
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com.au/
Amanda Ryan is a Program Development Associate & Resume Writing specialist at RedStarResume.
Need the help of a professional resume writer with expert resume writing skills? Contact the team at RedStarResume!
We have all been there (and if you say you haven’t – I think you might be telling porky pies) your phone has just rung, it is a potential employer asking you to come in for your first job interview in 2/4/6/years or possibly ever at 9am the following morning. You are elated and excited then suddenly – a slight bit of fear sets in as you think – WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR!
Dressing for interviews is not as straight forward as it seems – especially when you are interviewing for a job outside of the corporate arena. The corporate arena dress code for interviews is very obvious however it can be harder for people outside of this area to always know what to wear. At JobFlex we believe it is very important to errr on the side of caution when choosing your clothes for an interview.
If you are working in retail, hospitality, trades and services, healthcare or another related industry – it is vital to appear as professionally polished dress wise as you possibly can i.e If you own a suit (we are talking a men or women here), this is the time to bring it out. We strongly believe at JobFlex, that if have a suit in your wardrobe, it is great to wear it for any type of job interview.
However, if you don’t own a suit and are interviewing for a position outside of the corporate sphere then please don’t panic, race out to buy one or even borrow one that doesn’t fit properly just for the sake of wearing one (we told you dressing for interviews is not as straight forward as you think!!).
If this is the case then we recommend the following dress should be adhered to:
Chino style pants – most definitely not JEANS. We DO recommend you go and purchase a pair if you do not own them. If your budget is more Kmart than Country Road, that’s fine – however make sure they fit properly (ie not too long dragging along the ground!).
Collared long sleeve shirt –Classic and simple is the key here. Business blue or white works well otherwise an understated, simple pattern is fine. Nothing loud, overly bright or obnoxious. Remember you want to make an impression based on your skills, experience and personality not via your shirt!
Shoes – again, dress shoes are best. Most definitely not thongs or sneakers! As dressy shoes as you own
Other important elements to remember are a belt, plain coloured dark socks (leave all cartoon character+ sporting team socks in the cupboard) neat and tidy hairstyle, remove all obvious piercings, apply subtle aftershave.
Tailored or fitted pants/skirt – again, under no circumstances wear denim! If you are wearing a skirt, ensure it is of an appropriate length and if you opt for pants, ensure they are not too long or with scruffy ends. Think neat and tidy!
Neat and simple blouse/shirt – stay clear of any crazy fashion trends here, as minimal and fuss free as possible. Singlets are not appropriate to wear to an interview – make sure your shoulders are covered up!
Shoes – closed in toe is always the rule here. No sandals or thongs and on the other hand no towering chunky platforms, a neat ballet flat or a simple pump is preferred.
Other important elements to remember are a belt, simple and natural make up, subtle perfume, a neat and tidy hairstyle and remove all obvious piercings.
Remember, first impressions last. The very first thing an interviewer is going to notice when you walk into a room are the clothes you are wearing. You could be the perfect candidate for a role – you don’t want what you are wearing (or not wearing) to put a dent in your chances of securing the job!
Article written by the team at Jobflex
This blog is based primarily on anecdotal evidence gained from my interactions with thousands of fresh graduates over a number of years, and I hope it will provide a little insight from the employer’s perspective that may be useful in your own job search. I know in this day and age, getting feedback isn’t always easy!
Every graduate starts working life with no experience and at some point we all take the jump from the protective world of university into professional life. The major shift is obviously your relationship with the institution.
One of the major changes in moving to work is suddenly it’s not quite so much about what your university can do for you (where you are technically the customer!), but in the world of work it’s about what you can do for your employer!
Most companies will offer you great salaries, benefits, commissions and promotion in return for your hard work, but all commercial companies need to make money to exist and whatever your role within a business you will be contributing to that in some form.
This is stating the blindingly obvious but it is worth a little time to acknowledge or contemplate the differences as they affect everything from your career direction to the impression you make on potential employers. Having a commercial understanding of your employers business needs is a key component to being a valued asset. The old adage of “you don’t get something for nothing” has never rung truer than in today’s world economy regardless of the role that you play in your company’s day to day operation.
Take an active interest in how your current or future employers business works, and you will in turn appreciate what part you do or can, play in building success for the company and a career for yourself!
Written by: Dan Stargatt - http://www.project-resource.co.uk/