The COVID-19 health crisis has already resulted in record-breaking unemployment numbers, leaving millions of Americans out of work. So many Americans now find themselves thrown into an unforeseeable job search environment, often forced to navigate a Coronavirus-induced career transition.
Today I’m sharing 3 fundamentals for anyone who needs to find a job in a completely different industry.
1. Reset your direction
When setting course on a new career direction, you need to consider your industries carefully. Right now it’s especially important to think about who’s hiring – and who’s been hit hardest.
So first up, which industries have been hardest hit by the COVID19 crisis? Here’s a few you’ll want to avoid for a while:
- Retail & Restaurants
- Events & Conventions
- Transportation & Travel
- Entertainment & Gambling
- Oil & Gas
And here are the industries with the most hiring happening now:
- Shipping & Delivery Companies
- Online Learning
- Grocery Stores
- Remote Meeting & Communication
- Operations / Manufacturing
- Cleaning Services
Want to track which companies are hiring and which haven instituted hiring freezes in real time? Candor.co, a company that helps tech workers negotiate their salaries, has organized this great resource keeping tabs on the latest companies who are hiring and who have instituted hiring freezes.
2. Map your skills
When you’re setting course on a new career direction, it’s important to take stock of your skills. If you’ve been keeping a running brag book, this is a great time to refer back to it. But even if you have tracked your accomplishments effectively, it’s sometimes difficult to match up your skills in one domain (say, the hospitality industry) in terms of how that might translate to a whole different industry (like working for a SaaS tech company).
Here’s a quick reflection exercise that can help:
- List out all the skills you currently perform in your job (or did at your last job)
- List out any and all other skills/abilities that you’ve developed in the past
- List skills you’d like to develop if given the chance
Now look back at this list and put yourself in the position of your target employers. Which of the skills that you listed matter most to your next boss? How might they see value in your skills as they translate over from one industry to the other?
Now, as you start exploring job postings in your new target industry, you may start to worry about being unqualified. Don’t let that anxiety paralyze you. Instead, get clear on where there may indeed be a skills gap – a difference between the skills you have and the skills you need – so you can start seeking out opportunities to develop those very skills right away.
3. Highlight your transferable skills
Now, once you’ve identified your most transferable skills, it’s important to communicate them clearly on your resume.
The CAR Method can be a very persuasive way to incorporate storytelling into how you describe your skills on your resume.
The CAR Method is an acronym that stands Challenge, Action, Result.
By sharing a challenge you faced, the actions you took to overcome it, and the results you achieved through your process, you’ll make your whole point much more explicit.
Most resume-writers list out their achievements by simply stating the action, for example:
- “Wrote 57 fundraising emails.”
But what can we deduce from this line on a resume? Well, I suppose we can conclude that this person wrote a lot of fundraising emails, but not much more than that.
Now let’s explore how much stronger this point can be when you incorporate the full CAR Method:
- “Created our first small-dollar fundraising program and raised $34,089 over 6 months by writing 57 fundraising emails that grew our individual donor base by 237%.”
Now, the reader of this resume can draw all kinds of conclusions about this applicant: that she’s an innovator who isn’t afraid to institute something entirely new, that she’s data-driven and focused on the results of her efforts, and that she can write effective, donation-inducing emails that inspire new donors to get off the sidelines and give. This tells us so much more about this candidate, and it’s not just because she incorporated more numbers – it’s about the story those numbers tell.