If you’re starting to think about your first job post-school, or changing a job you may already have, something as simple as your CV might be holding you back.
Companies are increasingly using an automated computer system to pluck keywords from the hundreds of applications flooding their inboxes.
“That could be where investing in a resume writing service might be helpful if you are finding you’re not getting to the interview stage,” says Cloud-based human resources start-up Employment Hero chief people officer Alex Hattingh.
Although those keywords may be hard to nail down depending on the position, Hattingh says sticking to clear language and the wording used in the advertisement could be critical.
“Do your research,” the former Google executive says.
“[Look at] either a careers page on a company or even LinkedIn — even if the job’s not advertised on LinkedIn — it’s a great place to do research around what the company’s looking for and what their culture is.”
Don’t be afraid to get creative by making a video to highlight your skills or even an animated movie taking the listener through the history of your career.
Your dream job however, may not be listed or could get snapped up before it’s advertised, so Hattingh said it’s vital to put yourself out there and network with like-minded people who work in your industry or at a particular companies.
“Knowing someone in the right position can be everything,” she said.
“Meetup is actually a really great [website] and can be everything from something that’s professional to working mums or new dads.
“You might come across people who are working for companies where they can make an introduction to you or a referral if you discover that that company is really supporting what those people are looking for.”
Hattingh suggests jobseekers take the time to research potential jobs and think long and hard about what their dream job will look like.
“A dream job can appear to be a dream job until you start it, so really know what you want and make sure you ask those questions during the interview process,” Hattingh told news.com.au.
“You would be surprised at the number of candidates who, when you ask, ‘Do you have any questions for us,’ their questions either aren’t well thought through or they’re a bit too apprehensive to ask any of the tough questions.”
The dream job might be inside your company and Hattingh said inspired professionals shouldn’t underestimate the opportunities available once they speak up.
“You would be surprised at the internal opportunities that get overlooked because people haven’t been vocal and managers just assume they’re on a linear path upwards within their own department,” she said.
“So they haven’t necessarily thought of them as being someone that might want to step outside the department.”
Tips from industry leaders
Mark MacLeod, entrepreneur and founder of Roll-it Super:
1. Know your stuff
Career-switching is hard and asking an employer or customer to trust that you have aptitude and can do an exceptional job with no experience is a big risk. You should respect that trust and educate yourself so you know your stuff — without relying on the goodwill of your employer or customer.
2. Don’t burn your bridges
No matter how you might feel about your previous role, employer, manager or industry never trash talk them. If you need to vent, save it for friends, family and old colleagues. It is common to be unhappy about your previous career (that is why you are looking for a change). It is not healthy or helpful when you are trying to breathe life into a new career to take this baggage with you.
3. Be honest with yourself
This is not meant as a self-help cliche, but it is human nature to internally tell yourself stories about who you are and what you are good at that are not entirely balanced. If you are a career switcher, you are probably comfortable with taking risks and have confidence in yourself that you can pull it off. The hardest thing to do is be open to feedback about your weaknesses and areas for improvement.