Is Fiddling With Your CV Actually Sabotaging Your Career Change?
When you're looking for a career change, tinkering with your CV is the worst place you can start! Yet most career changers do just this – in the vain hope that re-formatting their resumé will be the magic dust that lands them their perfect job.
In reality, preparing your CV for the opportunity you have in your sights is actually one of the final steps in an effective career change process. I agree that it’s important to be able to represent your skills, experience and your personal attributes in a style and format that chime with your target industry – but that comes when you are crystal clear on what you’re aiming for!
Unless you know your strengths, your motivations, your real interests, your personality, your values, your achievements - in fact everything you need to bring you fulfillment in your next role and that can offer real value to your employer or clients - how can you know that you're aiming in the right direction?
So instead of tweaking your CV yet again, start with something far more crucial - YOU.
3 Better Ways to Launch Your Career Change
Step 1: Know Yourself Better
If you know what makes you tick, what talents you possess, what motivates you to produce your best, what values need to be honoured to give you fulfillment, what really engages you, and where you have achieved success or fulfillment in the past, you will then know a) what you need in the next role and b) what you can offer.
Only then can you start to reflect this in your career research, job search and finally, your CV!
To really kick-started your career change, make a list for each of these factors:
Your personality + your motivations + your interests + your values + your achievements- these will lead you towards what you’re looking for in your ideal work.
Another way to get into action is to download my free guide to ‘Finding Your Flow – The Work that Energise You’ - available at Freestyle Careers (scroll to the bottom of the page!)
Step 2: Know What You’re Looking For
Many people say they’ll know it when they see it! But what if you’re looking in the wrong direction? How about putting in the work now to get clearer on what your ideal role actually looks like?
What are you really looking for in your working life? What are essentials, which would be nice-to-haves, and what is actually up for negotiation? Try dedicating 15 minutes to writing a list for each – and remember to bring in all you have learnt about yourself in Step 1.
But before you then rush to the jobs board, this is a perfect time to ask an even bigger question – what do you want your life to look like? Your job is just one part of your life; are there actually other aspects of how you live that you could bring into this re-design? Would working from home, working in another country, going part-time to start your own business, or giving yourself a gap year – would one of these be what you really need right now?
Step 3: Know How to Open Doors
So now you know more about yourself and what your ideal work might look like, how do you start getting greater clarity on what this might mean for your next steps?
The best answer lies in people! Talking to people working in your target role or industry is the key to a double win – first you find out more about what the work is really like, and secondly, you gain valuable contacts in a new sector. Oh and thirdly, you meet some cool people who are happy to talk about their work and might share more resources or contacts!
Start now! Who do you know in one of the roles you are thinking about? Trawl your Linkedin contacts, your facebook friends, your family, their friends, your co-workers – I can guarantee that someone in your wider circle of friends, family and contacts will have a lead. Just ask!
Be sure to set this up as a no-pressure situation – a coffee & chat, a 15-minute meeting – and it is NEVER about asking for a job.
You should now have some priceless information about yourself and what you’re looking for to bring you a more fulfilling life and career. You have a way of moving towards that life. Good luck and have fun in your exploration!
And if you need some help to dig deep, to keep on task, someone to cheer you on, brainstorm options and strategies, energise and coach you through the whole process, why not find out more about my Career Change Programmes? They’re designed to help people like you re-design your life to include work that uses your best talents and brings you deeper fulfillment. We can also work on your CV – when you know what you need it to do for you!
I’d love to hear your stories – what’s worked for you in your career change?