Changing your career trajectory isn’t easy. There’s quite a bit written about how challenging it can be to alter your path and not enough on how possible it is to make significant career changes at any stage in life. Morphing is possible. And happens literally every day as clients get interviews for positions outside of what they had before and get opportunities to join organizations doing something they had never done before. But it takes tremendous hard work and loads of preparation.
Truth is for someone morphing the process of landing a great role at a great organization is just harder. Think of it this way, every time we apply for a job, we must believe there are internal candidates, and we have to be strong enough to beat out every one of them. We must believe there are applicants whose career is deep in the field we are trying to get into and have more experience than we do. And we must believe there are candidates who are at least as good as we are. That’s the competition.
And to get the interview, we need to be able to articulate in writing a better case for choosing us over them. There’s an overemphasis on resume templates and ATS systems and not much of discussion on how at some level this a highly competitive process is — much more like securing a seat an Ivy League school than one at a Community College. Sure, the template matters. And so does the ability to get the computer to see you as qualified. But there’s a human coming next to scrutinize your application. And that person needs to be convinced to devote time to talking to you. Making that case can be incredibly hard for most people seeking to morph; making it in 90 seconds (the average time a recruiter looks at applicant) is impossible for most job seekers. The result: endless rejections.
And many seeking to change functions or industries, or both interpret those rejections as clear evidence that employers do not want them (in their current state) for that role. This could be true.
➡️ It also could be true that work needs to be done on what’s in that cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile, and application.
➡️ It could also be true that there’s a lack of follow-up, or follow-up that hurt your chances instead of increasing your chances.
➡️ It could also be true that you are not picking jobs very well. That you are not seeing that some of these roles you believed you are qualified to do just don’t meet your existing qualifications at all. And that some you aren’t even applying to do.
I know that was true in a ton of situations we saw at JobMorph — because when we altered the application materials, the follow-up, and the jobs selected, interviews started happening.
But getting that initial conversation is a long way from securing an offer. With coaching, 90% of our clients can move from initial conversation to the next rounds. But before JobMorph, this wasn’t happening for many of them. Before JobMorph what was happening (and what happens for many people) is that the recruiter was thanking them for their time and promising to get back and they were never hearing from them again OR the recruiter was transparent and told them right there, “you are not a fit.”
This tells us that it takes more than employment application materials to get where you want to get to — you need to be able to articulate your qualifications not just in writing but also verbally (and succinctly). Most people cannot do this; people seeking to pivot industries, functions, or both have an even harder time.
Let me explain why.
We just don’t spend our time articulating what we bring to the table verbally. That’s not how most of us live our lives, do our work, and engage with our circle of friends. In fact, we don’t much like people who do this. You know the type. “Did I tell you about my greatest success at work this month? I did. Let me tell you again.”
Most of us, thankfully, don’t do that. But interviewing is about doing just that. And to do it well, most of us need preparation and practice. That’s what our clients get every single week: the opportunity to prepare with a professional recruiter and practice with one as well.
And of course, that makes them better than the competition.
If you are changing industries, functions, or both, it’s even more difficult to interview. Your stories can make you sound like you are not suited for this new organization and what it does; those tales of wins in your previous industry and function can make you sound like you should stick with what you are doing. For one thing, your whole face lights up happy when you talk about it. And when you talk about what we do, what you would be doing here in our organization, you look and sound timid. That’s why, I believe, our career changers do better. They have the advantage of a recruiter helping them to see where they are falling short in their answers and often it is not the content but rather the body language.
As I said, morphing is possible. It happens literally every day as clients get interviews for positions outside of what they had before and get opportunities to join organizations doing something they had never done before. But it does take something more than just the”Easy Apply” button, a cool resume template, and good interview content. It takes outstanding performance at every step of the way especially if you want, like my clients did, compensation packages that are at least what they made before (if not better).
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