People choose to switch careers for a variety of reasons. Maybe you were unhappy in your industry, or your job didn’t offer enough flexibility, or you just needed a change. No matter what your reasons, making a career switch can be tricky, especially if you’ve already branded yourself as an expert and professional in an entirely different field.
But the process isn’t impossible. There are a variety of ways you can work to rebrand yourself to impress employers in a new industry, and many of them involve leveraging the skills you’ve already got. Check out these tips for rebranding yourself after making a career switch:
1. Assess your transferable skills.
This is the first step to making a successful rebranding effort. First, identify what skills and abilities are required in your new field by doing a bit of research. Consider conducting an informational interview with someone in the industry, and pick their brain about how they learned to demonstrate the skills necessary to succeed in that field. Chances are, you already possess some of these qualities, so look at your resume and determine which you’ve already demonstrated in your past employment positions. Identify specific examples of ways you demonstrated those strengths, and rework your resume to include these details.
2. Rework your online presence.
Start revamping your online presence to reflect your new career goals. Begin to slowly pivot your tweets to include news and updates about the field you’re looking to get into. Follow industry leaders on Twitter and connect with them on LinkedIn. “Like” company pages on Facebook, and see what information they’re sharing. Rework your LinkedIn bio to reflect your new career goals. Employers are highly likely to Google you upon receiving your job application, so pay close attention to this step. Social media is an excellent way to showcase your dedication to your work.
3. Start a blog.
A blog can show employers you’re dedicated to learning about the industry, and you have relevant insight to share. Don’t portray yourself as an expert right off the bat—let your audience know you’re still learning, and as you try out new things, share what you’ve learned with your readers. Employers will appreciate that you’re taking the effort to become a trusted professional in your field.
4. Network in your new industry.
If all of your networking contacts are still grounded in your old career field, you need to start meeting others to mentor and guide you on your new path. Old contacts can still be valuable if you’re moving to a related industry, but don’t skimp on building new relationships. Look for networking events, have coffee with a professional you admire, or interact with others via LinkedIn groups. Take the opportunity to enhance your professional reach even further, and reap the benefits as you move forward on your new path.
It can be hard to find the motivation to rebrand yourself, but it doesn’t always mean starting from scratch. If you leverage your existing knowledge and abilities, the process becomes much simpler. Good luck!
Have you ever had to rebrand yourself in your career? How did you go about doing so? Share your thoughts below.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.