Packaging Your Candidacy

by The Red Recruiter on April 7, 2009

Weiner Dog - In BunIt’s funny how photographs can trigger thought… In this case, I have somehow related candidacy with a wiener dog in a hot dog bun. I know it’s out there, but, let’s face it… there may be something to learn here. From someone who deals with career transition daily, I can tell you that changing careers involves a lot more than postive thinking.

Barking up the Wonder Tree

When shopping the market for a new opportunity, it’s very common to encounter positions completely out of your skill set that just call to you. Your head gets flooded with a myriad of questions… What if I would have… If only I had… Wouldn’t it be amazing to… STOP!

If you want to leave your profession, the good news is you can. The bad news is that it

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might not be easy.

Of course, you might just have a Lucky Applicant Day. What’s that? You haven’t heard of a Lucky Applicant Day? These are the times when a recruiter, after sifting through no less than 200+ resumes for an ideal candidate, suddenly comes to the realization that your non-applicable background works perfectly for the role!

I’d like to think that LAD happened more often, but it doesn’t. Recruiters are judged on their abilities to match a candidate to a role. Yes, we are judged by matching personalities as well… but, likelihood is low that a corporate or agency recruiter would throw caution to the wind with your candidacy unless they have a very compelling reason to risk their reputation for your new-found career focus.

Anti-Lucky Applicant Day Strategy

All jokes aside… you can bust in to a new realm of work. However, it’s going to require a lot of reflection about how your skills transfer and some good connections.

As with all things worthwhile, I recommend some serious planning for this ground assault. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Figure out what you want to do
  • Figure out where people who do what you want to do hang out (associations, conferences, etc…)
  • Evaluate your skills as they apply to your new focus
  • Develop a transition narrative… be able to explain why this transition is important to you and your life
  • Start making friends who do what you want to do (see step 2)

Yes, there are a few more details… like getting your resume in tip-top shape. However, for the most part, this will get you started.

You may be wondering why this works and applying doesn’t. Simple. You are looking to make friends with your future potential colleagues and bosses. If there is one thing that I’ve learned in my years of recruiting… it’s that people, by and large, hire people that they like! If you can meet someone outside of work, appeal to their personality and perhaps develop a friendship, you are way ahead of the game!

A Wiener Dog and a Bun

I like hot dog buns and I think that Dachshunds are cute. Unfortunately

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– combined in all their glory – they do not go together.

Don’t be the candidate in a hot dog bun. Package yourself correctly and choose an approach that works. You can make the transition if you put your mind to it!

What’s worked for you? How did you make a career transition? Anyone ever experience a Lucky Applicant Day?

Picture: A friend published this picture on Facebook. She was not sure where it came from. If it belongs to you and I can attribute, please let me know.

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