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How do I go about changing my career when I'm underqualified?

by Ashleigh

I have been a janitor for the last 10 years and I am looking to move into the admin of a local company. I'm putting together my resume and I'm having a hard time filling it out because I don't have any other job history.

Do you think this will keep me from getting the job I want? And do you have any suggestions to spice it up and catch their eye so that I can at least get an interview?
Thank you!

Answer: Ashleigh, good for you trying to move up in the world! But you need to recognize that it's a tough job market out there, often with dozens (or even hundreds) of applicants for every job, especially entry level jobs. So, without relevant experience, it could be really hard for you to change to that new career.

However... there ARE some things you can do to position yourself better. First off, think about getting some training that might put you in a better light... many technical schools offer certificate programs that might be affordable.

Also, think about your transferable skills. These are skills that can be transferred from job to job but are not specific to any one job. Things like communication skills, organizational skills, strong work ethic, being a fast learner, etc. If you sit down and think about yourself, I'm sure you can come up with a few of those kinds of skills. Be sure to emphasize such transferable skills both on your resume and in your cover letter, as well as on any interviews.

Third, use networking if you can to gain entree to recruiters who might not meet with you based solely on how you look on paper. Can a friend or family member or maybe a work associate get you in to talk with a decision-maker at some other company with admin openings?

Good luck... just keep trying and I'm sure before long you'll get the chance to break into your new career!

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