How to Showcase Job Skills When You’re New to the Industry

Job Placement

Take a moment to sit back and imagine what life would look like if you spent your days doing what you love. What are your day-to-day responsibilities? Which job skills are you using most often? How does your daydream compare to your current career, and more importantly, what’s holding you back from turning your daydream into reality? 

Too often, we act as our own barriers to success. We assume because we are new to an industry, our job skills aren’t up to par and we’re not qualified to apply. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Hiring managers from all facets of business are constantly looking for new talent with innovative, unique job skills. Diversity is key to an organization’s strength and by engaging with candidates who offer a variety of job skills, management teams organically create a funnel for growth and future success. 

Applying for a job when you’re new to the industry is intimidating, but absolutely worth every ounce of risk and initial discomfort. Your passion alone is something to pay attention to and learn from; hiring managers want to hire team members who are passionate about what they do! Save yourself from application and interview stress by capitalizing on a few professionally-backed techniques to showcase your unique job skills, strengths, and passion.

Applicable Job Skills Are Everywhere

You don’t need to have pages of experience in the industry to land an interview. Hiring managers are looking for more than longevity in service. They want to see your character, your power as a professional, and translatable job skills that can enhance the team they’re trying to build. 

Look deeply into your volunteer experiences, life experiences, and previous professional roles. Can you find similarities between your experiences and the job skills required for the role you’re hoping to attain? Focus specifically on job skills that highlight your character, work ethic, and achievements. You may not have years of experience teaching curriculum to elementary kids in a public school setting, for example, but those 3 summers spent teaching camp kids how to swim are definitely worth highlighting! Pull out your team spirit, hard-working nature, and ability to pivot to meet your employer’s needs. Get creative and don’t be afraid to draw comparisons in innovative, unique ways. 

Education Counts

School is a fantastic place to define, practice, and perfect job skills. Education also usually translates to better compensation packages. Whether you have formal education in the form of college degrees or certifications, or you have informal education through experiences and overcoming life’s obstacles, your hard-earned, applicable lessons and job skills are important to express. Show you’ve overcome and learned from the challenges thrown your way by showcasing job skills in strategic ways. Your time in the science lab, for example, translates beautifully to understanding and following safety standards. Loss or tribulation translates to strength and adaptability. Team-based projects translate well to teamwork on the job site. 

Don’t forget to include internships and mentoring experiences. These types of educational opportunities are perhaps the most applicable forms of education to highlight when showcasing your job skills. Maybe you’ve never worked in a corporate healthcare environment before, but an internship with a hospital CFO certainly sets you apart from the competition in terms of applicable job skills and work experience. Internships and mentorships also provide great references for hiring managers to connect with. 

Set Realistic Goals

Starting a job in a new industry often requires you to realign your expectations in terms of where you begin in the organization and what you’re willing to do to prove your worth. You don’t need to work for free, but you may need to be willing to start in entry-level positions and work your way up the ladder over time. Your willingness to take a lower-level position not only provides you with additional opportunities to practice your job skills in real-time, but communicates respect to the hiring manager and allows them to see you’re willing to do whatever it takes to work with them. 

Another tactic to try when starting in a new industry is a negotiated trial period. Your potential employers are taking a risk hiring someone with no industry experience. Let your job skills speak for themselves by offering your help on a trial basis. This reduces the risk for your potential employer while giving you the opportunity to prove your worth and see if the role is a good fit.

Applying for a job in a new industry doesn’t need to cause stress and sleepless nights. Avoid yawn-filled mornings by engaging with job skills that naturally encompass the core of who you are. Pull from your past experiences, education, and mentors to reach your career goals and create the reality you’ve always dreamed about. Unsure where to start? Zoetic Resume and Writing Services is here to help. I’m passionate about helping my clients break into new career industries by showcasing their unique job skills in professional, eye-catching ways. Connect with me here to learn more about how the Zoetic Resume and Writing Services process breaks down barriers and helps you achieve your highest career goals. 

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