It’s very common for job seekers to apply for a variety of positions in many different industries. One place where we see this transition a lot is actually in human resources where the function of the position is generally the same, but the environment is different. The HR functions share a common thread in healthcare as they would with automotive; it is just a matter of adaptation.
We see more of this cross-over in the job market today, especially as people go back to school to further their education and end up in a field that they never thought they would be in. We’ve seen aeronautical engineers apply for teaching jobs and Wall Street bankers looking for administrative positions. Study after study keeps reporting that many of today’s workers, especially recent grads, are underemployed.
What these job seekers might not realize is that their resume needs to change when their industry does. You can’t submit the same credentials for a senior executive position in insurance as you would for an airline. So what do you need to change, especially if your only experience is 30 years in the airline industry and now you’re applying to be a bank teller?
First, you are going to have to make a list of the skills in your primary profession that will help you in your new line of work. For example, if you used to be an automotive salesman, your charisma and personality will serve you well dealing with the general public, especially if you’re applying for a public relations position. A good rule of thumb when you’re unfamiliar with all the skills in a particular field is to look them up. You may be surprised to find that you already possess a few. Also, carefully reading the job description to include the listed skills that you already have developed is important.
Some universal skills that help in almost all fields include the ability to be organized, flexible, hardworking, have excellent communication skills and a positive attitude. Of course, you don’t just want to write that you have those skills, but you want to paint a picture of how you used them in the workplace. Describe an instance where you demonstrated your positive attitude in a challenging job environment. Explain your accomplishments that reflect how you’re a hard worker.
Take a look on the Internet for industry-specific resumes if you are unsure about where to start. You will notice that the sciences are more particular than sales are and that each needs to be tailored to look a certain way. Applying for a position as a professor will be more involved than if you are looking for a part-time job at a coffee shop. Yet, you still want to ensure you tailor the resume to that specific position and/or field.
Above all you need to be sure that your resume is well written. Even the most industry specific resume is still doomed to failure if it is littered with words that have no place in a professional settings (slang) or grammatical and spelling mistakes. The delivery of your words should be clear and flow nicely and, of course, make sense.
In all cases, you need to be sure that your resume is not only both a reflection of you and your very attractive skill set and experience but that it is going to meet the needs of your prospective employer as well. Truthfully, no matter how fantastic or well written your resume is, it will fall short if it fails to convince the recruiter of what makes you the candidate who has what it takes to get the job done.