Meet Mary. She is a real person with a different name.
Mary is a widow in her early 60’s and was happily retired after a grueling 40-year career in administration. Living modestly, her total retirement income covered her expenses, and as far as she could see, it would keep pace. Proud of herself, she felt “set for life.”
Until the bottom fell out of the economy and she had to go back to work.
She had spent her entire career in administration, and absolutely despised it. The very thought of going back into that field depressed her and made her feel physically ill.
If that was your situation, what do you do?
Mary responded to a flyer she had seen and attended a workshop aimed at helping people get back to work by identifying their most important accomplishments and the skills they used to achieve them.
At the heart of Mary’s successful return to full-time employment, benefits and a steady paycheck was the identification of her “transferable skills” – her skills that she could apply in various work situations and industries.
She learned how to identify her most significant accomplishments, both business and personal. She also learned it is possible to use personal accomplishments, and the skills used to achieve them, to secure desirable full-time employment.
After the workshop, Mary shared her situation with the trainer. He asked her what she really wanted to do? She said more than anything she wanted to care for flowers in a garden shop. She told him she had grown a magnificent garden at home, loved caring for plants, and had a gift for keeping plants healthy.
The résumé she brought to the workshop focused on her administrative job duties. Because she had neither credentials nor professional gardening experience, when she had applied for gardening jobs using her admin résumé, she had been turned down every time, without even once being interviewed.
Building on what she had experienced in the workshop, she learned that her transferable skills and accomplishments as an experienced home gardener could form the basis for an effective résumé that should win her an interview.
After the workshop, she put together and submitted a very targeted packet. It contained her cover letter, a functional résumé based on her transferrable skills and gardening accomplishments, and her most spectacular photos to prove her case.
You can imagine the rest.
One of the HR departments that had originally told her she was not qualified called her in for an interview. She was hired to care for the flowers in the garden center, and in her first customer contact job, immediately became an exemplary employee. She garnered customer kudos, and so impressed her manager that in the off season they want to send her to school for her gardening certification.
What lessons should you be learning from this?
- Over her career, Mary had never identified her “transferable skills” or accomplishments, and was convinced that after 40 years in administration, the only work she could find would be administrative. Not so.
- If your job search is not yielding the results you want, perhaps now is the time to take the time to identify your most significant accomplishments as well as your “transferable skills,” and customize them to each job by using a flexible functional résumé format.
- Based on her gardening experience, Mary created a custom résumé and cover letter that clearly showcased how her unique skills matched the specific requirements of that one particular job. By presenting herself as an ideal candidate to fill their business need, she increased the likelihood of earning an interview, the first step to a successful career transition.
- And finally, not only did she successfully reenter the job market doing something she loved, she did it at an age when so many people figure it is hopeless and simply give up.
What are the implications of what you have just read for your job search?
Please click this link for more information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA21anQPWL8&feature=related