Posted in: Employment, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News and Views, Recruiting
When considering candidates for a job, it’s usually a matter of trolling through the usual suspects and their qualifications, including experience, knowledge and length of service in current profession.
That information can tell you right away if this person possesses the basic competencies — skills, experience and/or academic or training background — necessary to meet the job’s minimal requirements.
But there’s another place on an applicant’s resume that can illustrate if person also possesses an overlooked but critical strength.
Has this person ever taken the risk of breaking out of the mold and trying something new?
Has he or she shown the ability to adapt and thrive in a completely different occupational setting?
The employees who try another profession — “Something I always wanted to do” — bring extra value to the table if and when they return to their chosen field, according to Harvard Business Review blogger Claudio Fernandez-Araoz.
Making this choice demonstrates, at the very least, a willingness to learn and a potential for further development.
Major job shifts over the course of a working career can also show that the person possesses several talents that don’t necessarily come through on a resume, including:
- organizational awareness
- relationship management
- inspiration, and
Of course there’s nothing wrong with someone who has chosen a profession and chosen to stick with it, because he or she is content and doesn’t need to disrupt the status quo by tracking down an alternate career to sample.
But it should also ease concerns for HR managers and job seekers who might worry this type of background could be suspicious. It’s generally not a sign of weakness, but indicates a willingness to broaden occupational horizons, and all the benefits that can come with that.