Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hidden Job Market Networking - Secret to Get Into a New Industry

I know it's possible to change industries because I've done it several times. My secret? Networking! Here is a strategy that can be extremely useful when you would like to change industries.

It will help you in your job search networking and, as a bonus, when you interview. I had to develop this technique because throughout my career, after about 18 months in a position, I wanted a new one! Especially if it could be in an entirely new industry or function.

If you don't know this, they won't be able to figure it out!

Let's assume your career has been in Industry A and now you want to work in Industry B. Before you start networking and interviewing, think of compelling answers to these questions:

• How is your experience in industry A an advantage to a hiring manager in industry B?

• What did you learn by being in industry A that people who never have been anywhere than that industry would not have a chance to learn?

• What unique results will you be able to get for a company in Industry B because of what you learned in Industry A?

• Look at your resume, review your experience. Begin to identify any areas where you may differ from the "ideal candidate." Think through your answers to: how can the things that could be perceived as liabilities actually turn out to be assets for the company where you want to work?

The ultimate question to answer, even if they don't ask: "what is it about you and your experience that makes you a better candidate than the candidate who does have industry experience? Practice your answers to these questions. Be able to weave them easily and briefly into your career brand statement as well as the requests you make of those you are networking with.

Create a compelling case for them to hire you

If you have thought this through and have brief, powerful answers to these questions, you will be able to present a compelling case for your candidacy. People who are networking with you will feel more comfortable introducing you to people in your new target industry if you have answers to these questions.

Why the "transferable skills" claim is ignored

Many candidates who want to change industries rely on that old standard: "well, my skills are transferable". That statement without the supporting information from the questions above just puts you in with the majority of candidates who said the same thing.

In reality, it will probably really lose you the game. Most recruiters and Hiring Managers I've worked with typically ignore that argument.

If you answer the questions above, even if they don't specifically ask, you'll always beat out those who have nothing but "transferable" to talk about. You can't assume that the person you're talking to will automatically be able to see why your experience in industry A will be an asset to them in industry B.

Don't leave this quantum leap in thinking to your interviewer or person you're networking with. They will never make it. Make it for them and get the job!

By : Katherine_Moody

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