Looking For A Job Outside Your Field Of Study
In the current economy, it sometimes isn't feasible to contain your job search to jobs which are only within your previous industry. If you're on unemployment, you've probably noticed that the unemployment office has directed you to broaden your job search to include other industries. How do you conduct a broader job search? How do you find jobs where you can transfer your skills? And how do you convince a hiring manager you have what it takes to enter their profession?
The first question you should ask yourself is, "What skills do I have that can easily be transferred to another industry?" The list is probably more extensive than you realize. Even if you have been doing a job which involves technical skill, odds are you have a lot of other abilities which are equally applicable in another field. Customer service skills are useful no matter what you do, and leadership skills can also translate easily to any industry. Business analysis skills and any skills which involve administration are needed in all professions. HR and marketing skills are other good examples. Sometimes IT skills can translate between industries as well. Whether the industry is healthcare or defense, analysts and computer programmers are needed to design solutions.
The next question you should ask yourself is, "What are the gaps in my skill set? What knowledge do I need which I don't currently possess?" Let's say for example you are making a jump from defense to healthcare. There is a totally different vocabulary that goes with healthcare than with defense. One way you can make yourself appear more suitable is by learning the lingo of the business and using it correctly in your cover letter and resume.
Another thing you might consider are specific skills or certifications that might be handy. Perhaps to transfer to another industry, it'd be useful for you to pick up a certification in a different programming language or to familiarize yourself with a different computer system or so forth. Grabbing a certification which is trendy and relevant may make you seem like a more feasible hire.
One more idea is to consider your motivations. Obviously you're applying for a job in an unusual industry because you need a job, and you can't find one in your own industry. That's not a sufficient motive for a hiring manager, however. You will want to come up with a reason that it makes sense for you to make the transition, one which points toward a long-term decision (regardless of whether that's the truth of the matter). Come up with some possible explanations about how it furthers your career goals, and how you are really interested in making contributions to the new field (this can go in your cover letter). Nobody wants to think that you're going to join their company only to jump ship at the first sign that you can return to your previous occupation. If you can make the move appear meaningful, you're far more likely to engage a hiring manager's attention and trust.