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Making A Career Change

By Dan Gomez-Palacio
Director of the Grossnickle Career Services Center
Published Summer 2019, Affinity magazine

Often in the Grossnickle Career Services Center, we are asked to help students and alumni who are looking to transition to a new career. Whether it’s moving from an hourly position or shifting to a new profession, it can be a difficult path to navigate. If you are thinking of moving to a new industry or changing up your current responsibilities, consider these strategies to help make the transition smoother.

Step 1
Take stock of your skill set. Look through job descriptions of your aspired field and find trends in both hard and soft skills that employers seek. Which skills can you demonstrably show that are needed in the field? Pull from your past work experience, education and volunteer work and show that you have taken concrete steps to ready yourself for this change.

Step 2
Rewrite your resumé and adjust your LinkedIn profile. Chances are, your resumé is written toward your current field, and it will contain skills, wording and accomplishments that are specific to your previous career. Carefully read through your resumé and decide what skills are better suited to your previous industry and what needs to be adjusted. Add in specific skills, classes and accomplishments that will speak to new employers. Make the same changes to your LinkedIn profile. For instance, let’s say you are hoping to go into Human Resources after years in retail. Your current resumé might be more aimed at tasks that are needed in your current job — whether it’s customer service, cash handling or inventory.

Human Resources will require different skills, so think about industry-important tasks such as training new staff, taking part in interviews and dealing with safety issues that might be a part of your job. Ensure that your resumé and LinkedIn profile demonstrate these skills and allow the reader to understand the skills you have developed.

Step 3
Research the latest trends in the field. Find the appropriate professional associations, LinkedIn groups and industry publications to see what people are talking about in the field. What are some of the hot-button issues that are happening? This will allow you to show an interviewer that you are up-to-date and dedicated to the industry.

Transitioning to a new career field is challenging, but with the right preparation, you can push yourself forward. Remember that the Grossnickle Career Services Center is available to all students and alumni. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Career counseling, networking and resumé assistance are available free of charge to all students and alumni through the Grossnickle Career Services Center. To get started, contact (800) 231-2391 ext. 7425 or visit