It’s a question nearly every one of us gets asked at some point during our school life by a teacher, “What do you want to do/be when you grow up?”. And whilst that answer can change a million times from the age of five till about 12, it’s really after that stage that people really take into consideration the career path they want to follow.
Take me for example. An eight-year-old Ushma would have happily answered that she wanted to be a midwife because of my obsession with babies at the time. I loved them and would happily coo and play with any small person I came in to contact with. But fast forward just two years later and the answer to that question had completely changed – thanks partly to my obsession with American boy band ‘New Kids on the Block’ and the opportunity I was given to interview them backstage at one of their UK concerts. At the age of 10, I had a double-page spread and a byline in a popular British teen magazine called ‘Look-In’.
And from then on I knew I wanted to be a journalist and set about sculpting my education towards that goal. At the age of 10, I was able to change my choice of career a dozen times without it having any kind of detrimental effect on me. But what if your candidate has done what I did and followed an educational and work experience path towards that one career they set their mind on for them to want to change it? How easy is it to do this and be taken seriously?
How can your candidate show experience or interest in a field so potential employers would give them a job in that area where they have very little of it?
One of the first places potential employers and recruiters look is a candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Yes, a CV is also a very handy tool for your candidate to impress future employers but with most people having access to LinkedIn it’s the most obvious place your candidate should start.
So how do you get the LinkedIn profile for the job you want, not the job you’ve got?
Here 4 recruiting experts give us their tips
1. Jon Gregory, blogger and editor of Win-that-job.com, says:
Where a candidate lacks direct experience of a specific role they are chasing, they need to focus on identifying the full range of competencies that the role would require and then prop up a solid example of each on their profile summary in bullet point format. That ensures key boxes will end up ticked, securing the candidate fuller consideration. If an employer is determined to recruit someone from the same industry who has already been in the exact same role, there is nothing a candidate can do, except look for more enlightened and switched-on employers who want to go places, rather than stay stuck in the mud.
2. Lysha Holmes, Director of Qui Recruitment, says:
I would suggest that you mirror the language used by those you aspire to be like and find extra curricular experience if possible as this should demonstrate your desire to move into the area/specialism: it also allows you to establish the pattern which shows your passion for the area you want to go into.
3. James Nathan, of Jamesnathan.com, says:
This is never an easy thing to do, but ensure that you highlight the transferable skills you have and write from the reader’s perspective.
4. Liz Sebag-Montefiore, C0-founder of 10Eighty, says:
Craft a good elevator pitch: keep your introduction strong to catch the listener’s attention, then focus on points that are your strengths and talk about why you’d like to work for the company.
Changing careers shouldn’t be a frightening experience, in fact, it could improve your candidate’s life, particularly if they’re really unhappy doing the job they’re in. While completely changing careers may mean they need extra training or qualifications, more often than not all they need is some self-belief and a lot of determination. Because as the saying goes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”