Not everyone has a typical work history. Certain individuals spent years or even decades developing skills and knowledge within a certain industry. However, at some later point in their life, circumstances force them to change industries. This may seem like a tough situation for many job candidates. How do you sell that unusual skill set to an employer during the recruitment process? Below are some tips that can help.
Show That Your Skills Translate to the Job in Question
Specific skills may be tied to a certain kind of work. However, that does not mean they can’t also be applied to other industries or career fields. If you worked a long series of construction jobs, for example, your ability to organize a job site and work with your hands could translate to a job in the manufacturing industry.
Emphasize Leadership Skills
Something that is required in nearly every industry is leadership. Even if your previous career was vastly different to the one you are applying for, leadership is certainly valued by that employer. Show different ways you were a leader, collaborated with others and worked with a team to succeed at your previous job. If you can demonstrate your leadership ability clearly, it will be sure to impress any employer. This is one of the reasons why military veterans are sought after by job recruiters.
Show That Your Skills Are Valuable
Another angle you might want to consider is showcasing the fact that your skills are indeed unusual but they are also something that employer needs that they don’t have currently. If you were a taxi driver, for example, you could offer skills to an employer that currently does not have a driver, delivery person or door to door salesperson. Many businesses could certainly benefit from someone with that skill set.
Show That You Can Adapt
One thing that employers worry about regarding candidates with unique skill sets is that they won’t be able to adapt to the new job and may require a lot of expensive training. You should try to show that’s not really the case. Explain how you had to adapt to all different kinds of situations and kinds of work in your previous career. That should alleviate such fears.
Don’t be afraid to change career fields. It’s something most people do multiple times during their lives. Just because the skills required are different does not mean you can’t be an asset to a new employer. Try to show that you can adapt and that your unique skills could greatly benefit the new company.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.