WorkWise Q&A: How can I show my industry-hopping has direction?

culp@workwise.netJanuary 27, 2013 


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, When employers review my experience, they can’t pull it together. I’ve jumped from one industry to another. The progression makes sense to me, but I’m in the middle of it and I can’t articulate it well.

Can you point me in a direction?

Into Focus

A: Dear Into, You’ll find Focus when you delve into skills you’ve used and research companies serving industries similar to those where you’ve worked.

Focusing on skills you most enjoyed using, type a list from each company. Next to each skill, document the results from it. Gather the results from like skills and prioritize them. Ask yourself what each paragraph signifies, such as operational soundness and long-term customers. Communicate that to employers.

Research companies serving industries where you’ve worked. Craft a compelling statement for you to provide each company you target, perhaps with blanks to complete with the relevant industries.

This method will work most effectively if you job hunt at named companies you uncover on your own and in ads. You have something specific to offer. Tailor it to a specific company. Don’t respond to a blind post unless it has enough clues for you to do the research to identify the company.



Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I’ve been interviewing with younger employers. I’m not that much older than they are, but because I’m a high achiever, I’m miles ahead of them. Some of the things they say are so ignorant that I could scream. Instead, I sit there, listening and smiling, hoping they can’t tell that I’m boiling.

I’m very proud of my work. I want an employer who recognizes I’m an expert at what I do, but it’s difficult for younger people to spot it. How can I get them to see it?

I know that there’s at least one young executive who’d be glad to have me on board, because he could always turn to me for help, perspective and advice, without being judged.

Top Notch

A: Dear Top Notch, Rather than steaming, tell interviewers about how you’ve been an informal go-to person in the office who’s comfortable sharing information and giving advice, which people reshape to their needs. Make clear that you go to others in the workplace for the same.

People can’t always spot an expert, and you don’t want to use the word, as self-aggrandizing. Invite them to spot the concept by presenting it well.


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