Need to start your career over and reinvent yourself? Don’t fret. Here’s how you can repackage your career to land the job you want.
You graduated college, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. You envisioned the position you were going to pursue. You began working in an entry-level position and were promoted a few times — either earning that desired position or feeling as though you were on track for it.
Five years deep into a career you thought you were meant for, you realize your professional development was aimed in a direction you no longer wish to pursue. Now you have to start over… or more effectively, repackage yourself. To do that, you’ll have to relate your current professional marketing pieces to your future role.
This may seem daunting, but focus on the process that helped you land your first position. The key here is relatable reflection.
To connect the pieces of your past, present and future, evaluate yourself
Effectively redirecting yourself takes a bit of soul searching to discover the areas you want to improve. Think about what you want to learn to do, what kind of lifestyle you want to lead and the past experiences you’ve excelled in.
In five years, what will you have gained? Which of your talents and/or skills do you want to further develop? Once you’ve identified the direction you want to move, you can include the reasons for repackaging yourself within your story. ( to tweet this quote.)
With your cover letter, resume, interview and personal brand, you have the opportunity to look back at what you’ve accomplished and how those accomplishments can benefit the new position (or industry) you’re interested in. Examining these pieces will help you identify duties and positions you enjoyed — or those you’ll likely never try again.
Use your cover letter to your advantage
As a piece that describes why you’re interested in the company and what you can do for them, your cover letter is a chance to emphasize your abilities and how your background can positively affect the company.
As you begin your letter, always refer to the recipient by formal name. Going the length of addressing the individual shows you’ve done the work of finding out who your position affects, unlike reverting to the generic “To Whom it May Concern:” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”
If you’re moving into a position completely different from your previous work, use the to let your potential employer know what you’re doing to prepare for the new position and what you aim to continuously improve upon moving forward.
Ensure the employer you’re focused on the desired position by being specific about responsibilities and roles you’re interested in carrying out. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing assistant position, note that you understand and accept the responsibility of carrying out successful social media campaigns.
Highlight transferable skills on your resume
Your resume usually includes the positions you’ve held in the past, but since you’re focusing on a new direction, you’ll want to highlight your . Soft skills are great to display on your resume — such as your demeanor, manners, organizational skills, management skills and work ethic.
While you don’t want your resume to only consist of soft skills, think about the role you’ll be moving into. What skills have you acquired through past experiences and how do those skills, and the nature of them, benefit your new position?
For instance, if your past position was in human resources and you’re entering the marketing world, explain how you posted and advertised for open positions at your previous company and how you built relationships with employees of the company.
Businesses and organizations use mission statements or values statements to describe the reasons for doing what they do. Your version of a mission statement is your objective, which traditionally is placed at the top of your resume — so make sure it accurately and emphatically describes your core values, abilities and aspirations.
These should be genuinely similar to those of your potential future employer. Your listed references should be considered with this transition as well. Offer the contact information of past managers, supervisors and coworkers who will be able to speak about the skills you’ve used that’ll benefit your new direction.
Revitalize your personal brand
Your is how you package and represent yourself. Your aesthetic, values and skills tell your future employer who you are, your level of expertise, what defines your motives and what makes you memorable.
You can make yourself visually memorable by incorporating a logo to your resume and business card that’s simple, yet gives clues to what you’re all about. You also want to update profile pictures to accommodate your new potential position.
Use your analytical skills to highlight your areas of expertise in relation to your future position. Determine what will work in your favor and be beneficial for your new career. If you’re not sure which skills to highlight, search online with the job description of the new position and scout forums with conversations from people within the profession to see what kinds of situations they’re in.
Think back to times when you carried out similar tasks or handled situations. Which of your abilities did you use to solve problems? Don’t be afraid to face your weaknesses. Understanding and speaking about your weaknesses shows you’re self-aware, authentic and relatable.
It also tells the potential employer you’ve honed in on your areas of improvement in your new career. We’re all works in progress, so be able to clearly state what you’re doing to improve areas not your strong suits.
Repackaging yourself, or updating your resume, cover letter and professional narrative will build the bridge between your current position and your future path. Once you’ve established the new presentation of you, it’s time to put yourself out there with confidence. Best of luck to you in your new career.
Ashley Swinehart is a graduate from Youngstown State University with five years of recruitment experience. She works in conjunction with based out of Uniontown, Ohio.