changing industry

Making The Switch – Changing Industries Without Direct Experience

changing industry

For many, the impression of switching industries is that it’s no problem to do when you’re at the early stages of your career but the longer you remain in one industry the harder it becomes to make that switch! And yes while it may be more difficult it doesn’t mean it’s not doable even if you are a senior executive who’s spent your entire career in one industry.


The key to switching industries is making your skills, competencies and experience relatable. A mistake many jobseekers make is they write their CV without thinking about the job and the company to which they are applying. They fill their CV with acronyms, lingo and jargon that is relevant to their current industry, yet many of these expressions will be of no relevance to a different industry. So how do you sell yourself to a different industry?


Research your target industry

Make a list of potential industries you would like to work in and research the following;
-Is there a demand for professionals of your ability?
-Can you find job adverts of positions that you could fit in this industry?


Once you’ve decided on an industry that you feel you can add value to, you need to know everything possible about what’s going on in the industry and at each company you apply to. Read industry blogs, learn the lingo and get an understanding of the market. Read job descriptions and find the commonalities between your current role and your target role.


Talk to people in your target industry

If you can talk to people in your target industry – do! Check your LinkedIn connections and see if any of your network, work in this industry. See how your accomplishments and skills compare to someone doing your target role. Also see how they present their experience, sometimes you could be doing the exact same tasks but they’re called something different in a different industry.


Also make connections with people in your target industry. Attend conferences, join LinkedIn groups and connect. Put yourself out there and express an interest in changing industries, you’d be surprised what leads you can get by simply talking to people.


Sell your skills

Most people do have skills that can transfer fairly easily from one industry to another but you need to spell that out to employers. The key to moving industry is packaging your current skills so they’re appropriate for the industry you’re targeting. Find a job description of a position you’d like, print it, read it and highlight every matching skill/requirement/keyword you have – these keywords are what you need to emphasise in your CV.


Show interest and enthusiasm

Finally and perhaps most importantly, show enthusiasm for a new industry. Packaging your skills the right way in your CV will get you an interview – but when it comes to the interview you need to show passion and determination to beat your competition.


Changing industries is not as hard as you may think. It just requires some strategic and creative thinking!

Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager Sigmar on 29 November 2017

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