Make Your Change as Good as the Rest

Published on: 21 Oct 2012

Too many career changers offer an unclear or untargeted message. The opening page of their CV fails to make the right impact, they say the wrong things at interview and, when networking, are remembered for all the wrong reasons.

When it comes to changing jobs, taking control of your overall message is at the heart of the process. Your message is contained in every job search document you send out and in everything you say, even in informal contexts, when someone asks: “What are you looking for?”

Past frustrations or lack of direction will easily lead to a confused or negative message. Decision-makers want to try to sum you up pretty quickly, and they are really interested only in their problems, not yours. So work on a short, coherent message that sums up your ideal move.

Get your message straight:

  1. Put together a 30-second pitch that summarises what you’re looking for and what you have to offer.
  2. Look again at the first 15 words of your CV. How have you labelled yourself?
  3. Work around the negatives. Be prepared for questions that probe past difficulties or career blocks.
  4. Plan short narratives to cover problem areas such as gaps in your CV or past performance issues.
  5. Remember that recruiters bore easily, so avoid over-supplying information by talking too much.
  6. Whatever the facts, talk about them with enthusiasm and conviction.
  7. ​Sell your complete story – where you have come from and where you want to go next.