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Moving industry entirely can often seem like an impossible task, leaving behind gained expertise, skills and confidence.

Besides the anxiety that comes with change, you might struggle to pick out what skills and experience are relevant in other environments and how to sell yourself in an unfamiliar setting.

A Recruitment Consultant on our Legal team, Ciara Cullivan recently switched from being an Account Manger in the Beauty industry to join us. She has some tips on how to make the switch and step into a new industry!

So, coming from a non-recruitment background, how did you tailor your CV to suit?

One of the biggest crossover skills I had from my previous position was my role in sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates to build a team that suited the business. This was something I had to put myself forward for, and it really worked out for me. Having the drive to try new things will always stand to you in the future!

A lot of my previous responsibilities revolved around managing, tracking and meeting various targets and KPIs, both at a team and individual level. Recruitment is a target oriented job and being able to show I would have no problem adapting to that helped me greatly.

I’m starting a degree in Business & HR Management this September and made sure to note that near the top of my CV. It’s a relevant qualification in the area plus shows my drive for skills development.

(You can also check out our Top 2019 CV tips for more pointers on building the perfect CV!)

How did you handle the “people-orientated” element of the job?

I worked hard at building up those soft-skills we hear so much about. As an Account Manager my job was all about relationship management, dealing with feedback, positive and negative, keeping people happy, ensuring they had what they needed and wanted. It wasn’t easy and took me some time but I ended up building strong relationships within the business, from the CEO and Managing Directors to Buyers and Marketing!

Here is what Google considers to the be the most desirable soft skills for it’s employees: communication and listening skills; openness to new ideas; empathy; critical thinking; problem solving; and complex thinking and planning skills.

I also had done my fair share of the dreaded cold calling to people who had bought from us previously. I think people-orientated soft skills are something nearly anyone can develop eventually, even if you don’t think you have the personality for it. Ultimately it’s about having empathy and listening to others.

How did you approach the interview process?

To make sure I was ready and had the best possible shot at getting the job, I prepared a small business plan to show that I had an understanding of what the role entailed and how I would use my past experiences to help me.

Ciara’s Manager, Lisa McCarthy: Ciara’s business plan showed that she had put in some extra effort into her interview. When the differences between candidates can be so minuscule it’s things like this – an unprompted bit of practical work – that can put someone over the line. And it definitely worked out for Ciara!

For any competency based questions I thought of real past scenarios and had some prepped so that I wouldn’t be thrown off guard. Of course I did a ton of research on Azon itself, it’s values and aims for growth. You can’t really go wrong with a close read of a companies website before an interview!

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