A common issue you can face when applying for a position is thinking you have irrelevant work experience on your resume. This can be for many reasons. Perhaps you’re only a few years into your career with only a few job experiences or maybe you’re an established professional who is looking to make a career change.
This is a common set of circumstances. You know the type of job you’d like to have, but your experiences don’t seem like they’re going to help you land it.
Luckily, this is not the end of the world and there are a number of ways you can interpret your experiences on your resume allowing them to be applicable to the job you want.
Take an In-Depth Look at the Job Description
Before you can curtail your past experiences to fit the job, it’s necessary to have a good grasp of what the new job will require. What is the company looking for and expecting out of the ideal candidate? What are the main responsibilities of the job and what skills will be required? Once you know these things, you’ll be able to better extract skills and experiences you’ve acquired that will translate well to the new job.
Don’t Let Your Past Job Titles Define What You Did There
Once you have the new job description narrowed down, it’s time to focus on your past experience. What jobs have you had and what were your main responsibilities in those roles?
When you do this; you will naturally think about your job title and the daily tasks that went along with it. This is fine but also think outside the box a little. What tasks and projects did you take on that were a bit different from your day-to-day operations. It’s possible that some of these unique experiences can translate well to the new job.
Add a Qualification Section to Your Resume
After going back and considering the relevant experiences you’ve had that can help you in the new job, it’s time to make sure they make their way to your resume. This is optional, but it an effort to be more direct with the hiring manager or recruiter, consider adding a qualification section to your resume. A good place for this can be at the top so the person is able to see right away that you are qualified. In this section include 4-5 bullets that summarize why you are a qualified candidate for the position. This gets the most important thing out of the way for the hiring manager because he won’t have to see if you’re qualified through your various job experiences.
Boast Your Accomplishments
While appearing relevant and qualified is always important when applying for a job, it doesn’t complete the package. On your resume it’s always a promising idea to list your accomplishments regardless of whether they translate to the new position or not.
Share that new training program you implemented at your past employer or tell them of the budgeting plan you developed to save the company thousands. Regardless of their relevance, your accomplishments are your accomplishments and they will still impress hiring managers.