Career Woman

Beyond the CV: How to change careers without experience

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We all hit that point where we need to move on, and a change in career is one of those things that reinvigorates us and is a whole new start in life. But to change your career is a very difficult thing without that one 4-syllable word: experience. You see a job that you think you’ll be a great fit for, yet you don’t have the relevant experience on your CV, so there is no chance you would get selected for an interview, right? Well, not necessarily. While we may not have experience in that role, what makes us a far more suitable candidate than the person who has experience is a far more intriguing quality? Our story.

In changing careers to one that you have no experience of, you cannot lead with your CV at this stage, but it’s your story, rather than your history, that you must present as for why you should be employed. Many employers now are looking for a person that is a cultural fit, rather than someone who fits the bill on paper. So, if you are able to present that right image, one that is great at networking and is someone that people can see themselves working with, it is something that will serve you in good stead. Don’t forget, they are looking for someone who is likable enough that they will want to work with for years on end, not just a flash in the pan. The great thing about changing career regarding your story is that it identifies you as someone who is naturally curious, passionate, and someone who is willing to take risks to break into a new career.

Your CV doesn’t need to be a list of your previous jobs, and if you have spent time trying to find the right career, no doubt it will look like a mixed bag of experience. A month here, 8 months there, it doesn’t look like you can hold down a job. But if you tailor your CV to sell your story, make it focus on the skills you have acquired rather than focus on the jobs themselves. If you have to send a CV, then does it need to be a paper-based one? Be creative and think outside the box. Send a video CV or build a website, anything that can get you noticed above the standard piles of paper employers receive every day.

If you are dead set on a career that requires a very niche set of experience, then the educational route is likely to be the best bet. Luckily now, going into education doesn’t mean going back to college and sitting in a lecture theater for 3 to 5 years. You can take online courses, like the ones the University of Maryland does. That way, you don’t have to sacrifice time and money to start off on your new career. This works great if you have a family to look after or other commitments.

It’s a lot more about making, yourself a right fit for the company now, instead of looking good on paper, and you can run into issues, but it is possible to change career without the experience, it’s just about thinking beyond your CV.

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