Whether applying for a job in a completely new field or trying to make a transition into the global development sector without apparently having the aptitudes required, it is still possible to transfer many skills from previous or current employment. DevelopmentAid asked an experienced recruiter to share what is currently in high demand and what aptitudes one should always include in a resume.
1️⃣ Communication skills – a valuable asset
Want to be a manager or a team leader? Presenting good communication skills will give any CV an advantage. Candidates must be able to clearly express their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Someone who is good at ‘reading’ people and adapting communication styles to different situations will be an asset to any organization.
2️⃣ Leadership and management
Leadership is another asset that can help when applying for a job in a new field. Consider describing the experience of leading a project or a committee or even a meeting. Able to respond well to unforeseen circumstances and ‘manage’ these? Make a list of all the situations when directing and leading the way has helped a team. Avoid making this too narrow and instead use broader explanations: “Managed a team of 12 people who exceeded the expected output by 75%.” That’s easier to understand than the technicalities involved in working as an accountant or office manager for a specific company.
3️⃣ A go-getter by nature
Employees who do not just give up, who bite the bullet, who can occasionally deliver more than is required, are attractive in every sector of the labor market. Can you respond to the needs of your employer or your colleagues? Think of examples such as working on extra projects, working overtime in an emergency or why not mention .supervising an intern or training a new colleague? Don’t be shy about mentioning these. Include them all in the resume.
4️⃣ Personal motivation drives the results
There’s probably something in the job you’re now leaving that you enjoy doing, something you care about, something that was perhaps the reason you chose that job in the first place. Try to articulate those reasons. This also helps if you want to switch industries. Did you work in journalism because you like to tell stories but you have become disillusioned because of the negativity of the news? Then try telling other stories to be used for online marketing or social media or, if necessary, go to work in a library.
5️⃣ Flexibility to wear different hats
In many positions, employees have to be able to play different roles, for example reporting to the marketing department as well as to HR. Done this before? Then emphasize that experience in your application. This skill is in demand, especially in smaller companies or in the non-profit sector. In education, for example, a sector where you can work well as a lateral entrant, you may also have to be able to combine many completely different tasks.
6️⃣ Count on me, boss!
Believe it or not, the fact that an employee is rarely sick or has a huge stash of unused vacation days may be the number one selling point when applying for a job. Because, in whatever industry you apply, being on time, being reliable, and delivering what is necessary are universal requirements. If you never make your colleagues wait, you are already a successful employee, no matter what field you work in.
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