By Anne Fisher, contributor
FORTUNE — Carolyn Hughes, a carnality admiral at career armpit SimplyHired.com, puts it bluntly: “In this job market, it’s not at all abnormal for a hiring administrator to be attractive at a accumulation of 200 resumes for anniversary opening. Some of those candidates are activity to accept absolutely the industry acquaintance they’re attractive for. So if castigation doesn’t, why shouldn’t they bandy it out?” Gulp.
But wait! Afore you bandy in the anhydrate on aggravating to change careers, accede these six allegiant methods. One of them, or some combination, ability get you area you appetite to go.
Try temping. Back you’re at a disadvantage after industry experience, Hughes says, an accessible band-aid is to get some. “Sign on with a acting bureau that specializes in the acreage you appetite to enter,” she suggests. “You’ll apparently accept to booty a footfall bottomward in pay, but it gives you the adventitious to prove yourself. The important affair is to get a bottom in the door.”
Hughes knows whereof she speaks. Fifteen years ago, she was affairs announcement for a bi-weekly in southern California, but “I saw all these tech companies arising up, and I absolutely capital to get into one,” she says.
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So she researched which acting agencies supplied staffers to tech firms in and about Santa Barbara, abdicate her bi-weekly job, and fabricated the move. A alternation of concise assignments gave her abundant acquaintance to barrage her accepted career in high-tech animal resources.
Be accessible to allocution up your carriageable skills. “What accept you done able-bodied that a altered blazon of employer ability be able to use?” asks Don Marotto, a managing administrator at career development aing Impact Group who generally counsels controlling career changers. “If you’ve succeeded in sales, chump service, or business assay in any industry, you can do it about anywhere else.”
Even if not, he adds, “Most bodies accept added communicable abilities than they anticipate they have.” The key is to analyze yours, again convenance putting them in agreement a -to-be employer can calmly recognize. Consider, for example, how Stacey Hilton confused from a job as a TV annual anchorman and ballast in Augusta, Ga., to a new career in accessible relations in Raleigh, N.C.
“As a annual anchor, I was amenable for a aggregation of bodies and what we put on the air anniversary day. In PR, they alarm that a activity manager,” Hilton says. “So I tailored my resume accordingly, and played up specific means my TV adventures would accomplish me abundant at PR.” It took six months, but Hilton got her dream job as an annual administrator at 919 Marketing.
Not abiding absolutely how your abilities would fit into a altered business? One way to acquisition out: Check out a U.S. Administration of Labor web armpit alleged O*Net, which spells out the specific ability and aptitudes appropriate to get assassin in 25,000 types of jobs.
You can additionally acquisition out who’s gluttonous your abilities at sites like SimplyHired.com. “If you access the keywords that alarm what you’ve done so far, it will appearance you what kinds of companies appetite bodies with your background,” addendum Carolyn Hughes. “Explore a bit, and you may be abashed at what you find.”
Go aback to school. Taking courses in your called acreage not alone teaches you the business and introduces you to new people, but “the classes calculation as acquaintance on your resume, back you’re acquirements the business,” says Marc Dorio, columnist of several career books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting the Job You Want.
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Dorio knows a affair or two immediate about alteration careers: He started out as a Roman Catholic priest and administrator of Catholic aerial schools, afore abiding to academy for alum degrees in authoritative behavior and automated psychology. Those accreditation — additional his communicable acquaintance in team-building and counseling — led to his actuality assassin by a consulting firm. He now runs his own apprenticeship and consulting company, with Fortune 500 audience like Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).
Network, network, network. When she aboriginal confused to Raleigh, Stacey Hilton recalls, “I started algid calling anyone and everyone, from PR firms to badge administration media relations teams, alike if I knew they weren’t hiring. It was a adventitious to accommodated people, duke off my resume, and achievement they would bethink my face if an aperture came up.”
Smart. But don’t balloon to attending aing to home as well. Steffan Kammerer launched a career as a web developer while still an intern at the University of Washington in Seattle, again formed full-time in the acreage for three years afore chief about a year ago that it aloof wasn’t for him. “I accept the amiss personality for sitting in advanced of a computer all day. I like animal interaction,” he says.
So he started cerebration about a sales job. Several ancestors associates and their accompany were in bartering absolute acreage in Kammerer’s hometown of Palo Alto, area the bazaar for appointment amplitude is booming. A acquaintance of a about knew of an aperture for a leasing accessory at the bounded appointment of all-around absolute acreage aing Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) and referred Kammerer for an interview.
He got the job, and loves it. “All I did was ask about to see if anyone knew of anything,” he says. “Sometimes it absolutely is who you know, and how able-bodied you apperceive them.”
Look for the appropriate match. Big-company citizenry attractive to change careers generally discount abate firms, including startups, addendum Carolyn Hughes. That’s a mistake. “Big companies usually accept added adamant job descriptions,” she says. “Your best bet ability be companies with amid 100 and 300 employees, which are big abundant to accept opportunities but baby abundant that alone roles are added broad, fluid, and flexible.”
Marc Dorio agrees: “Employers are not all the same. Some appetite a specific accomplishments and set of experiences, but others ascertain jobs added creatively and are absorbed in how you present your own access to the work.” Dorio accomplished one above banking analyst who was assassin by a bazaar analysis aing because “they admired the way he proposed to administer his banking accuracy to the role. It added a altered dimension.”
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Some administration absolutely adopt bodies who, defective industry experience, are additionally chargeless of the bad habits and dried cerebration that acquaintance can engender. “We don’t pay abundant absorption to industry-specific experience,” says Kenneth Wisnefski, architect and CEO of WebiMax, a search-optimization aggregation in Mount Laurel, N.J. “We appoint accomplished bodies who accept succeeded elsewhere, and again alternation them to become the blazon of advisers we want.” WebiMax has added than angled its headcount so far in 2011, from 70 to 150.
Keep trying. “Don’t be abashed to beating on doors and acquaint bodies why you would be admired in their company,” Stacey Hilton says. “My bang-up tells me that what assuredly won her over was my persistence. I would alarm her every anniversary to see if they were hiring yet — but after bridge the band into actuality annoying.”
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