Brand Yourself For the Job You Want, Not the Ones You’ve Had!
“I know I can do the job, I haven’t done the exact work before but I’ve shown that I can achieve similar results. How can I show the employer that I am capable of doing the job?”
Not getting a call back? Feel like your resume looks unqualified? Not getting the opportunities you want? Does your job search feel like a dead end? Make sure your resume and cover letter are branded for the job you want, not just the ones you’ve previously had!
Here at PACE, we see a lot of candidates who apply for jobs that at first glance they don’t appear qualified for. Because we are a company that considers every candidate and loves finding transferable skills, we go the extra mile to connect the dots and see why that candidate may be a fit for the position. Unfortunately, most employers won’t put in this effort to put the pieces together on their own. On average, recruiters only spend 7-10 seconds scanning a resume before making a decision to move forward or not with that candidate.
Typically, candidates are advised to create a resume and personal brand rooted in their biggest successes and impact. Regardless of what their career goals are, what job they are applying for and who will be considering them. When you are branching out into a new career or new industry or simply have an unconventional background, it can be difficult to not be trapped by your resume and past experience. But, if you find a job that really sparks your interest, it’s worth the time to make a couple of adjustments to your resume and create a cover letter explaining how your previous experience has prepared you to take on new and different responsibilities.
“But Why Would an Employer Want to Hire Someone With Transferable Skills When Other Candidates Being Considered Have the Exact Experience Requested?”
Employers poised to create high-performing teams and avoid hiring mistakes (like PACE!) often hire based on talent rather than skills and experience. This makes room for unconventional candidates! It often requires a bit of work on your end, you’ve got to put the pieces together and help them understand why your skills and experience are different but perfect for this role. Give them the opportunity to say YES!
Now, back to the initial question. The answer is – examine what a company is looking for and build your resume and cover letter backwards from that.
First, perform a dissection of the job description, with a focus on hard skills over soft. Find examples and results you’ve achieved in your previous experience that closely align with the responsibilities outlined in the job description. For example, if the job description notes they are looking for someone with “experience in a high-volume call center and ability to simultaneously document while speaking to the customer” however you have only worked as a Receptionist but received large amounts of inbound calls while assisting customers in-person simultaneously. You can align the elements of your responsibilities with those of the job description by noting things like: amount of calls received per hour, the nature of the calls/requests you needed to resolve, your level of multi-tasking.
Building your resume using the job description as the foundation rather than a foundation of your experience will not only help you if you do not have the exact “right” experience, but also ensure that your resume contains enough keywords relevant to the position to not immediately get disqualified from the company’s AI!
Crafting a helpful cover letter that addresses their business need as described in the job description while also identifying your transferable and applicable skills and experience is a great addition to the adjustments made to your resume because it allows you to speak directly to the employer.
What do we mean by transferable skills? They are skills and abilities that can be transferred across many different jobs and career paths. They can be acquired through jobs you’ve worked, school, internships, hobbies, and volunteering. What are potential employers looking for? Let’s say an employer is looking for someone who can juggle multiple tasks to support the distribution of medical supplies. You may not have done that exactly, but you have multitasked in a previous position compiling tax documents from many companies at a CPA firm, that is a transferable skill.
Make sure to quantify every responsibility and accomplishment; this includes volume of tasks performed, amount of money you generated for the company, amount of money you saved the company, etc. This will focus the interviewer or person viewing your resume and cover letter on your ability alone and outside of the unlike role or industry you performed them in.
What Should You Not Include in Your Resume and Cover Letter?
Industry or role specific achievements, circumstances that are specific to your previous role (keep them general and aligned with what is listed in the job description of the role you are interested in), and qualitative results.
If you are a candidate with an unconventional background or are looking to flex your transferable skills into a new space, we may be able to help. PACE is a recruiting company that thinks outside the box. We see your unique skills and where you may have not thought of applying them. We have a different way of looking at things. We see your potential. Your transferable skills. Your needs. Where you’ll find the right fit.
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years.
A 5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE provides multiple placement options….
- Direct Placement – Full or Part Time
- Temp to Hire Auditions
- Short or Long Term Temporary or Contract Assignments – Full or Part Time
Our services for job seekers include….
- Resume reviews and consultations
- Access to the “Hidden Job Market”
- Insider intros to TOP Employers HIRING NOW
- Confidential Job Searches
- Professional Career Guidance
To learn more about how one 2-minute application can open doors to a full range of PACE placement services plus introductions to local employers hiring now, contact PACE’s Candidate Services team at 425-637-3301 or Email.