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Relating Past Experiences When Changing Careers


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Jill writes: I recently graduated with a BS in social psychology at 41 years of age. The past 10 years I have been in the clerical field and now more than anything want to work with teenagers. In my cover letter and resume how do I relate my past experiences with the changing career choice I would like to make? Any information would be appreciated.
The Career Doctor responds: There are a few keys to making the successful transition. In terms of your cover letter and resume, you need to sit down and think about the skills you have learned and used and how they can apply to your new career field. For example, organizational skills are extremely important in the clerical field, and working with teens requires organizational skills as well. Read more about the topic by visiting Quintessential Careers: Transferable Skills. The next key to success is to review the job descriptions of the types of jobs you are considering. How does your education and experience match up with the requirements? Can you position yourself to fit these requirements? If not, you may need to take some additional courses or look at different types of jobs. Finally, I would encourage you to talk with people who currently have jobs that are similar to what you want to be doing or are supervising people who are doing the type of job you want to be doing. We call these informational interviews, and they are an extremely valuable resource for gaining knowledge, making contacts, and networking. Get the scoop by visiting Quintessential Careers: Informational Interviewing Tutorial.