I ran into a friend this weekend. We have a really cool history together. Just over four years ago, she was a party planner. She was pretty sure that it was not the type of job that she wanted for the rest of her life.
Fast forward to now. She is enjoying a very successful career as a project administrator working on some really important projects for a very large engineering firm. She feels challenged and satisfied. And most important, she now has dental coverage and a pension – not common in the party business.
This came about because of a temp assignment that I was working on. It took some convincing of both her and the client that the skills that she used to plan corporate events were the same as the ones needed for coordinating massive proposals. The both require the ability to juggle gzillion small details, wrangle documents from technical experts and a general sense of calm and unflappability. She nailed the interview and the rest is history.
This worked out because there was a facilitator (me) who was able to point out the similarities. In a situation where you are applying to a company directly, it is up to you to show what you know and how it will solve the company’s problem.
Don’t just use the same resume over and over. Do some research. Figure out how to explain why your candidacy is not as weird as it might seem at first glance.
I am not suggesting that you can perform a root canal because your neighbour is a dentist. (Although I had someone try to convince me of that once.)
In a case where what you can do will really be beneficial to the hiring manager, make a strong and confident case. Support it with some relevant examples and offer references who can back up your story.
Perhaps one of your references has a connection into the company you are targeting. This is worth investigating. Having someone sing your praises before delivering your resume is excellent. It positions what you can do before someone passes judgement on where you have done it.
Big moves are possible. Just ask my friend Susan.