Even in the age where your track record is your most valuable attribute throughout your career, professionals are still switching moving to new industries without any prior experience. But how do you get your head around applying to work in a new industry if you can’t offer an employer any previous experience?

What are your aims?

First off, you will be better prepared to complete an application that will interest an employer if you have figured out your own motives behind why you want to change industries. Is it the type of work that a certain industry offers? Perhaps your motives could be end product focussed? Or maybe you’re looking to engage a different side to yourself, for example; perhaps you are an office administrator but yearn for something more creative. Being propelled by both intention and motivation will help your transition between industries more successful.

Look at your transferrable skills & experience

Many of the skills that are applicable to one industry are usually applicable to at least one more. Figure out which segments of your skillset, as well as evidentiary experience, could be applied to the industry that you are applying to work in to help boost your chances of getting offered a job.

If you have any doubts regarding what these might be then you should consider asking your current colleagues what they think your best attributes are. If these have relevance to your new industry, then focus on them in your application.

Utilise your network

The phrase ‘not what you know, but who you know’ resonates deeply within the business world. There’s no better way to be introduced to a role than that of a referral from someone from your personal or business network. Tell your friends of your intention to move industries, and rigorously analyse your professional network, identifying any ‘ins’ they could provide you with in your desired new industry.

What can you offer an employer?

Usually you would let your experience and professional track record do the talking, but if you have a lack of this in the industry you’re applying for, you need to clearly illustrate to the employer why you’re the right person for the job over your competition. This might include examples of how you have handled problems, self-organisational skills, and your work ethic. And always give an employer an example of how you have had to adapt to new surroundings and/or environment effectively!

Research industry buzzwords

‘Buzzwords’ is a frustratingly overused word, but can be useful when describing terminology that employers are looking for when interviewing candidates. Each industry has its own set of unique buzzwords, with some being trendier than others! Go to an interview prepared by researching what industry terminology is likely to come up in an interview setting. Do this by looking at industry videos, social media platforms, and other industry marketing collateral. In the interview scenario, try incorporating these buzzwords into your answers to really impress an employer.

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