As humans we all process information through filters and one of those filters is your current job title / background!
Though your job title may work well for you right now, the moment you try and take on a different role, job title / background / responsibility, you end up running into a brick wall! … it is like people fold their hands and adopt a challenging, prove-it-to-me attitude!
So, in today’s post, I will answer a question submitted by (Jan) who has worked 15+ years for one of the largest IT Corporations “but still feels boxed-in / walled-in” by his current job title!
How does Jan overcome the limitations of a job title that does not accurately reflect what he knows or is capable of doing?
Step 1 – Adopt A Consultant’s Mindset
Consultants are skilled at predicting where hiring is going, re-inventing their profiles so that it matches the realities of the market place and then re-positioning / marketing themselves successfully even when they don’t have extensive backgrounds / profiles in their new career!
What is the consultant’s mindset?
A consultant understands that Information Technology (IT) is a performance based industry and as long as one performs, at least above average, one can with confidence apply for and get a job.
For example, a consultant may begin his career as a computer programmer and after a few years, decide to “re-invent” himself as a systems analyst because it is more interesting!
After a few years, that same consultant may end up switching again to a business analyst career simply because the Systems Analyst” job title is going out-of-fashion and the Business Analyst job title is what’s now in vogue!
How do consultants view other people’s negative perceptions of their capabilities?
Consultants in the Information Technology (IT) industry understand that IT is a performance based industry and so they don’t allow any other considerations like their: certifications, job titles, college degrees, etc., to stop them from becoming very good at what they do or … want to do next!
So, consultants are not tied to your job description because they understand that it is only a vehicle for getting work done and they don’t assume that other people who may want to hire them are tied to it too!
Step 2 – Rewrite Your Resume For Where You Are Going
Employers, recruiters and staffing personnel filter out resumes that don’t match the job descriptions they posted.
So, even though it may be painstaking, time-consuming or sound plain ridiculous, you have to rewrite your resume to match where you are going to … and not where you are coming from.
Look at it this way, the investment of time and energy is well-worth the effort … because you are likely going to stick with the new / re-written resume for months or years.
How do you rewrite a resume?
You rewrite each position, accomplishment or responsibility listed on your resume “using words” that match the generalized job profiles / positions you will be applying for.
Do you have to re-write your resume for every advertised job?
No, because you rewrite your resume to match “a general job description” and not necessarily for specific job positions!
For example, if you are transitioning to a “Business Analyst” job title, you can’t re-write your resume for every unique business analyst job posting out their because they are all worded differently and emphasize different skills, background, responsibilities, tools, etc.
What you need to do is to write your resume to match the average / mean / most frequently listed responsibilities, tools, skills, etc.
Here is a specific how-to-guide on: How To Write Your Resume For Business Analyst Jobs … for your reading pleasure.
So rewriting your resume to match that of a typical position in your industry is likely going to be sufficient.
You may also want to read this post titled: Deciphering The Business Analyst Job Description.
Step 3 – Work With A Recruiter Who Believes In You!
The final step is to get your resume into the hands of a recruiter who believes in you. But this step won’t work if you don’t first believe in your-self and in-addition complete the first two (2) previous steps.
Do step #2 because if you haven’t re-written your resume, you will be unable to convince a recruiter to invest the time or effort it will take to market your profile to hiring employers.
Why does re-writing your resume matter to recruiters?
Most recruiters don’t have a background in the position you worked in or the new-one you are applying to.
“So, a resume that matches an employer’s job posting makes a recruiter much more effective“!
Now, what does it mean to work with a recruiter?
It means don’t abandon the entire job-search to a recruiter. Supplement the recruiter’s efforts with your own best attempts to find or apply to matching job postings.
It also means, don’t try and go it alone … because unless you are absolutely sure that your contacts / network will produce the job you need, a recruiter can shorten the time it takes you to find a job!
Now you have it … three (3) steps you can take to overcome the negative perceptions or limitations imposed by your job title / profile / background!
This post is written as an answer to Jan’s question about “how to cross the bridge to becoming a business analyst“.
Jan has spent more than 15 years as a Software Engineer for one of the largest IT corporations in the world, and yet finds himself at a disadvantage because of the internal trappings of job descriptions.
Answering the toughest questions facing our readers is part of what we do at: “ITCareerCoach”. If you have a burning question or challenge, you may post it as a comment on this post or AskITCareerCoach” service and we will answer it you for just as we answered our reader (Jan’s) question on this post!