Monday, July 26, 2010

When the job description says "experience required"

Many job descriptions indicate that a certain level of experience is required. Even if you have a resume that's rewritten by a professional, your biggest obstacle may be the fact that you've never worked in the industry. So, how do you "break in" if you don't have any experience within that specific industry?

There are obviously entry points because everyone has to start somewhere.

I've helped a number of physicians successfully navigate beyond the "experience required" obstacles when they've been considering a career transition. In general, I apply the following principles:

1. Find jobs in industries where they are more likely to consider an "entry-level" candidate. You may have 20 years of clinical experience, but if you've never worked in industry, then you might need to start at ground zero. Once you "break in," then you may find that it's easier to switch to a different industry to end up where you really want to be.

2. Leverage your professional social network to get your "foot into the door." Sometimes, you simply need to impress them through an interview. It may be impossible to get an interview if the HR person dismisses your resume because you lack experience.

3. Demonstrate your working knowledge of the industry and the job description in your cover letter. Some HR professionals will tell you not to waste time with a cover letter. However, this is where you may be able to demonstrate that you really understand what the job entails and that you wouldn't be starting "from scratch."

4. Gain experience by working as an independent consultant or freelancer. You can do this part-time while you're still working clinically. By working as a consultant, you'll develop relationships and you'll gain some valuable experience that may allow you to qualify for certain jobs.

5. Gain experience by volunteering. This may not seem appealing, but it could be the right type of time investment that will help you launch your career. If you gain experience by volunteering, leverage the relationships that you build because those individuals may help you get your foot into the door. You'll also want them to serve as professional references for you.

At the end of the day, you may find that the most effective way to transition into the non-clinical world is through the guidance of a professional career coach or counselor.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! the tips were very help full ..thanks a lot. i have no experience and the tips are too good