4 Tips for Making a Career Change During Hiring Freezes
When hiring freezes are happening, it can be a tough time to make a career change. But sometimes you have to do it.
Maybe your health is suffering as a result of your job. Or, you want to make the leap now so you don’t waste any time transitioning.
Even during economic downturns and hiring freezes at companies, it’s still possible to land your dream career with some job search strategy. Use these four tips to secure a new career, no matter what types of job conditions you encounter.
1. Don’t Delay Applying
Even when a company is in the midst of a hiring freeze, recruiters and hiring managers will still continue to build up a talent pipeline for when positions open. In some cases, your unique skillset, experience and talents may be a combination that gets you hired, even during a freeze.
Make sure your resume gets through in online job banks by making it robot-scannable. Avoid creative formatting, which may cause key elements of your resume to get skipped over. If you need help formatting your resume, contact us.
If there are currently no open positions at your dream company, contact the business anyway to ask if it’d be OK for you to set up an informational interview to learn more about the company. That way, you can get more info to determine if it’s truly a good fit. And, they’ll get introduced to you so you’re at top of mind when positions do open up.
2. Refresh Your Marketing
While you’re waiting for interview requests, make sure you shine online. Take the following steps.
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords related to your experience and the new career you’re going after.
- Scan your personal social media sites and remove anything you wouldn’t want a recruiter to see. Or, set all your profiles to private.
- Create a personal website. It’s inexpensive and easy with a tool like com. Link to any news articles you’re mentioned in, write a compelling About page and feature testimonials from former coworkers, with their permission.
- Offer to guest blog on websites related to the industry you want to work in. Write free articles that demonstrate your expertise. Ask for a link back to your website in your author bio. Then add the article to your website and LinkedIn profile.
- Start a personal blog on your website. In addition to writing your own articles, you can include round-ups of industry news and interviews with industry thought leaders.
You’re in charge of your brand. Putting effort into marketing yourself can help you get noticed by recruiters as you showcase your expertise in a positive light.
3. Increase Your Knowledge
The earlier you can start learning and expanding your proficiency in your field of choice, the better. Sign up for free courses on a site like Coursera. Enroll in a community college class.
Watch webinars. Read e-books Sign up for industry newsletters so you’re in the know and are prepared to discuss your industry in interviews.
When you’re making a career change, certifications help. You can add them to your LinkedIn profile and resume to add credibility when you don’t yet have substantial professional experience.
You might also consider applying for an adult internship. Like an apprenticeship, you’ll be able to learn applicable skills and can add that experience to a resume. It might not pay well, or at all, but the experience can be valuable, especially when you’re not working at the moment.
Also, reach out to people who work in the field you want to break into for informational interviews. Set up a virtual chat or take the person to coffee to learn about their experience and get tips. Ask them for their advice for how to approach breaking into their field and if there are any resources they’d recommend.
4. Build Your Network & Be Open to All Opportunities
Changing careers without a lot of professional experience can be challenging. You may have to start out at a lower position and accept lower pay than your previous position. But you have to start somewhere. Getting that professional experience is key to advancing.
As you work on your career change, dedicate time to networking. Join industry-related groups on LinkedIn. Forge new connections when you’re genuinely interested.
Reach out to former coworkers you have a good relationship with and tell them about your new career goals. Ask them if they’d be willing to keep you in mind if they hear of any relevant opportunities or think you’d benefit from meeting one of their contacts.
Join local industry networking groups to meet professionals in person. A all-industries professional club like Toastmasters International can also help you expand your network as you hone new skills like public speaking.
You might also want to connect with recruiting firms in the industry you’re looking to break into. It’s recruiters’ jobs to provide the best candidates to their clients. A recruiter can give you tips on how to improve your likelihood of working in a new industry.
Bonus Tip: Work with a Career Coach
Changing careers is a life-changing decision. It may be the best one you’ll ever make.
Working with a career coach can help you during the transition. You can get prepared with how to stand out in a new industry, how to prepare for typical interviews and how to get the experience or certifications that can really boost your resume.
If you’re thinking about changing careers, especially when hiring freezes are common, reach out to us for a free consultation on how we may be able to help.