Several dental hygienists wanting to leave clinical practice have been asking me about a transitional resume and how it differs from a regular resume. Much of the categories of content remain the same, such as work history, education history, and summary section to name only a few.
The difference is in the language you use – the content.
Reverse Engineer It
In essence, when I create a transitional resume for a client I start with who they are right now. If, for example, they are in a clinical setting, I visualize them interacting with patients and performing traditional clinical duties.
Then I try to visualize who they want to be. If they want to be a sales rep, I picture them in this new setting interacting on sales calls, building relationships, discussing the features of their product, responding to concerns, and so on.
Then I work backward to reverse-engineer that transition. What will make that possible? What is it about this particular client that an employer looking for a sales rep is going to like or want?
Leverage Your Experience
Once I have that in my head, I begin writing and leveraging. Leveraging that which they have done as a clinician that can be re-positioned and re-framed for this new type of job.
Obviously, if haven’t worked as a sales rep, you can’t say you have. But you can sell employers on the attributes of a good sales rep. And there are lots of them, some of them are soft skills and attributes, and others are more technical. And some may come from other experiences of my your career. Could be volunteer work, could be independent sales rep experience, or even some work you did in a completely different industry.
So it’s really important to put lots of thought into your resume. Do as I do and reverse-engineer it so that you are thinking about it from an employer’s perspective. What is it that they want in a sales rep and what do you have that might each match or complement it.
Branding and Positioning
I’ve talked about it many times in the past, but it comes down to branding or positioning yourself within the job market. Don’t just think that if you create an average resume that touches on everything that you will appeal to everyone. When you try to make yourself popular with everyone, it’s really hard to make a case for being a perfect fit for the job.
Dive in to what it is the employer wants and talk to them (through your transitional resume) about how you meet those needs.
When you can pack a higher level of thinking into your resume – getting to know each word and sentence as though they were a close friend and introducing your “word friends” to an amazing design scheme and flow – you will have the makings of a great transitional resume that will get your more interviews and, hence, more job offers.