Ask a recruiter: Needed qualifications for career change
For job seekers, getting answers to job search questions can be tough, especially when you don’t know who to ask. In this, our second instalment of “Ask a Recruiter,” William Chichester, III, a seasoned recruiter and independent career & college admissions coach answers a common question on how to address skill and qualification gaps needed to switch careers: qualifications for career change
I’m looking to career switch. However, when I read the job descriptions for the positions I’m seeking, I recognize that I lack some of their minimum and or preferred qualifications. Any advice on how to meet those qualifications and obtain the skills that they’re looking for?
Given the economic downturn, employers have become increasingly more selective about who they’re pursuing for their positions. Although a candidate can meet the basic qualifications of the job, employers may not move forward with their candidacy for the position because of the abundance of highly qualified applicants that they can choose from. Thus, career switching has become increasingly more difficult. Nonetheless, to make yourself more marketable for a particular position and or career path, there are a number activities that you can do that can enhance your chances of getting a look from a recruiter and or the hiring manager. Please see below:
- Talk with professionals in your given field of interest by conducting informational overviews about your new found career interest. Ask them about how they would go about career switching, etc. Oftentimes, your new career path may have trade associations or professional networks, particularly in your local area. You should attend their events and join their organizations. This exercise alone will put you with folks who may end up being your potential colleagues or referrers.
- Volunteer (or work for minimal pay) with a non-profit/company in order to build your skills in your desired field of interest. Check out www.idealist.org for opportunities
- Get Certified. Depending on the position/career path you’re pursuing, there maybe certain credentials and or certifications for that given field. Therefore, before you pursue an expensive Masters program, consider certifications such as your CFA, CFP, Project Management, Green/Black Belt in Six Sigma, SHRM certifications for HR professionals, etc.
- Take classes at local colleges or universities or pursue an advanced degree.
Have a job search or career-related question and not sure who to ask? Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About William Chichester III:
William Chichester, III is a seasoned recruiter and a passionate, independent career & college admissions coach to students, parents and professionals. Since 2007, William has hired hundreds of students from various colleges & universities across the country into some of the nation’s largest financial firms. Today, he is wrapping up his most successful campus recruiting season by single-handedly hiring the most college graduates ever for his current employer.