Melissa here, owner of FindAJobPA.com, and I’m here to help you find your next job!
It’s October, and that means it’s Halloween season! Time for jack o’ lanterns, scary movies, and haunted hayrides. Speaking of scary stuff, how’s that job search going?
From my experience talking to job-seekers, oftentimes the application is the most daunting part of the job search process. There are a lot of factors that go into a job application, but at the end of the day there are three main hurdles to overcome when debating whether or not to apply for a job, and I’ll be sharing my advice to overcome them in this month’s blog post.
1. If you don’t apply, there’s a 100% chance you won’t get the job
Everybody knows this is true, but it bears repeating. If you don’t apply, there is no way you’ll get the job. So unless you know for certain there is absolutely nothing good about this particular job, it’s worth putting in the application. Especially in today’s fast-paced world, a lot of times all you need to do is upload a resume and cover letter and fill out some basic information and you’re good to go. After all, you are the job-seeker. You are the one who’s looking for something else to do, whether full-time as a new career or part-time as a side hustle.
That brings up another important point, which is the second piece of advice I have for you.
2. Switching industries can be a good thing
A lot of times when we’re looking for jobs, especially if we’ve been in the workforce for a while, we tend to concentrate on industries similar to the one we’re already in. After all, if they are looking for a certain amount of experience in that industry, you already meet those criteria, eliminating at least one variable in the application process.
However, sometimes by switching industries, you open yourself up to new opportunities and different types of experiences. And many times, work experience is transferable between industries. If you can prove on your resume and cover letter that you meet the job’s basic qualifications, most of the time a recruiter will notice that and be excited to diversify their talent pool by bringing in someone from outside that industry’s “bubble”.
Let’s walk through an example. Say you’ve worked in construction for 20 years as a plumber and you’re looking to get into a sales job for a plumbing and HVAC company. The job description says they’re looking for 5-10 years of sales experience in the plumbing/HVAC industry, and you know you don’t have that. However, you think this would be a fun career change and give you the opportunity to expand your professional skill-set.
Your cover letter could look something like this:
Sample Cover Letter for Sales Job
“Dear Joe Recruiter,
Although I do not have 5-10 years of experience requested in your job post for [xyz job], here are three reasons why I’m still a great fit for this role.
(1) I’ve spent the last 20 years working in B2C and B2B roles as a plumber, interfacing with large and small companies as well as individual consumers, so I have a vast knowledge base about the industry as well as practical applications and answers to common questions people have.
(2) I have a proven track record of dependability and customer service. Here is a link to various places including Angie’s List and my current employer’s website where you can read over 500 verified customer testimonials about my work.
(3) For the past 20 years I’ve gotten up every day ready to observe the situation, quantify what’s going wrong, and strategize the best solution for the end user. So even though I haven’t been in an official sales role, I understand the value of finding “pain points” and providing the best solution to meet those needs in the way that works best for our customers.
I look forward to talking with you more about this opportunity soon, whether in person or over the phone. My references can be found below in addition to the customer testimonials I shared earlier.
Warmest best wishes,
As we see in the example, Bob combines his past experience with the terminology of the industry he’s trying to get into, and shows how he is actually very well-qualified for the role even though he hasn’t previously worked in sales. And this brings us to our last point –
3. Worst case scenario, plan to work for a few years until you find something else
While it’s not ideal, especially if you’re looking for part-time employment, there’s nothing wrong with taking a job that maybe isn’t the perfect fit for a few years while you figure out something else to do. If your boss and co-workers are nice folks, and the work is something you don’t mind doing for a while, it’s at the very least a networking opportunity and resume builder that also puts money in your bank account. And who knows, perhaps after a few years in the industry you’ll find you actually enjoy what you’re doing and would be fine switching careers.
That’s all for now folks. Thanks so much for reading, and as always drop me a line if you have any questions, comments, or concerns I can help address, whether from a job-seeking perspective or an HR point of view.
Until next time,