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How Do I Transition Into an Industry With No Direct Experience?

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran -- The classic Catch-22: you have the will to go after the job opportunity; you're just not sure if you have the way when it comes to experience. Here's how to assess whether or not you have a chance at getting the position, and steps to take if you're not certain how to proceed.

There are several things you need to do to step into this kind of transition.

1. Do some research to discover the most relevant required experience and skills for the position you want to move into. You can look through job descriptions on job boards as well as the Occupational Outlook in the internet (you can Google this to find it). You want to create almost a punch list of requirements that seem consistent.

2. Go through that list and make notes of your skills and experience that correlate. You'll probably be surprised at how many transferable skills you have that would work. Also highlight those things you are clearly missing.

3. With the items you are missing, you have a few things to do. The first is to decide if this list is too big and there are too many missing items in your background to consider making an immediate move. The second if you think you have some "gap to fill" is to start figuring out how you can garner that experience. Such things might be: school; volunteer work; interning; starting at an entry-level position. You need to fully understand how big the gap is and how you will intend to close it so it's no longer a show stopper.

4. I would also consider speaking to a few people in this industry to help round out your conclusions and to seek their counsel on your possible next steps. (People have been known to receive job offers doing this. I did.)

5. If you think you could pursue the position, this analysis you did should help you to form your resume as these things need to dominate your resume so it will read well for a new industry. The analogy for this is if you want a leg, I'll take a picture of my leg but if you want a foot, I'll snap a picture of my foot.

Both still mine, both still part of what makes up me but simply offering you the information you will find the most value. That's how you want to think of your resume. All too often we get so caught up in "I must list everything" on the resume that we forget that we're using it to communicate to someone who really only wants to see what's relevant to them and their needs.

The great thing about doing this research and analysis is that it helps YOU figure out what you bring right now to that world or what you need to do to retool yourself. Armed with that clarity you job search will be more effective.


With over 21 years in management at Intel and diverse staff mix, Dorothy Tannahill Moran has coached, guided and trained others at all levels to go on to achieve impressive results and careers. As a change practitioner, she is certified to guide individuals and organizations at a personal or professional level to make meaningful changes that stick. Bottomline, Dorothy Tannahill Moran is dedicated to helping you accelerate your career -- to achieve what you want by connecting you with your Free Instant Access to 5 Video series The 5 Most Common Ways Introverts Commit Career Self-Sabotage and How to Avoid Them. Unique and practical advice you can start using today. Go here to get them:

© 2015 Dorothy Tannahill-Moran

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