How to Switch Jobs with No Experience

Young white woman in business casual staring pensively out the window of an office building

When you want to head into a new career, you might assume that your lack of direct experience is too much of a hindrance to make that practical. In reality, you simply need the right approach. If you want to switch jobs and don’t have any experience in your new target field, here’s what you need to do.

Learn the Requirements

As your first step, spend some time learning the job requirements for your target role. Research a few positions at different companies that fit the bill. That way, you have a broader idea of what companies are after, as well as an opportunity to identify employers that may be easier options for launching your new career.

Along with must-have technical capabilities and soft skills, see if specific experience is deemed mandatory. That approach ensures you fully understand what you’ll need to do to change into that field.

Identity Transferable Skills

After learning the requirements, spend a few moments identifying your transferable skills. Any skills the role needs that you already possess can qualify, including technical capabilities and soft skills. By figuring out what you bring to the table now, you can determine where you need to focus your energies moving forward to change careers successfully.

Fill Critical Skill Gaps

Once you know what skills or experience you’ll need to make the transition, it’s time for a plan. Determine which paths are best for acquiring the required capabilities as a starting point. In some cases, self-directed learning or formal classes are your best match. In others, a volunteer job might be a better fit.

Often, accepting a temporary job in your new field is also an intelligent move. Temp positions typically have less stringent requirements, increasing the odds that a hiring manager will take a chance on you. Plus, they can be excellent resume builders, allowing you to work in a role that aligns with your new career direction.

Write a Resume and Cover Letter

Once it’s time to start applying, you need to update your resume for your career change. Start by updating your resume summary and skills section. Make sure the content focuses on the job you’re trying to land, highlighting relevant skills and achievements.

For those that took classes or participated in another kind of formal training to get the necessary skills, moving that resume section above your work history could help. It allows you to show you have the right capabilities before discussing a work history that’s mainly in another field.

If you acquired new skills through volunteering or a temporary job, put that position at the top of your work history. Even unpaid experience counts, so highlight the role to increase your odds of looking like a match.

If you already have the right skills, update your work history to make sure you focus on relevant skills and achievements. That way, the content aligns with your new path.

By using that approach, your odds of making a successful career change go up dramatically. If you’d like to learn more or are seeking out temporary jobs to help you take your career in a new direction, the team at GSG Talent Solutions wants to hear from you. Contact us today.


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