How to boost past work experience to its full potential

14 Feb 2019

officeAt some point or another, most of us have had a job lacking relevance to our desired career path. So, how can you turn the less-than-satisfactory work experience into something beneficial – both for your CV, and your future?

-    Compare jobs and skills acquired
Comparing your past work experience to your desired job will help you find a connection between the two. This will allow you to figure out which skills your old jobs have taught you that can be transferred to your new role – or it may also help you decide which skills you may need to work on. There are bound to be several soft skills you picked up on in past roles, such as ones related to organisation, leadership and teamwork. Remember to list these in your CV and provide examples of when these skills were utilised.

-    Emphasise on your achievements
Work on introducing yourself as an achiever, rather than simply a doer. Your job descriptions should be based on results, rather than just being task-based. This will help your potential employer picture you delivering similar achievements at their company, even when the role at hand is particularly different from your past experience. Write about your contributions and explain how you have made a difference through compelling language and active verbs, while using less passive wording. This will prove that regardless of the role at hand, you are focused on delivering a successful outcome – while focusing less on just the tasks you delivered on. In certain roles, numbers can also be used to prove your successful results.

-    Be honest, but know your worth
Do not lie about your work experience – this will very likely backfire. Your cover letter and interview may be used as opportunities to explain your situation and acknowledgment of having had less direct experience, but emphasise on your willingness to learn and dedicate extra effort that more qualified candidates would not necessarily need to do. However, do not lower your worth or underestimate yourself. Be mindful of what you have to offer to the company, that other candidates may not.

-    Think outside the box
When competing with other candidates for a job requiring more experience than your own, it is important that you help yourself stand out in an atypical manner. Think of what you bring to the table – if it is creativity, ensure your CV is creative. Had you undertaken any relevant, personal projects that could ensure your employer will remember you? Do not forget about your social media presence – if you have a personal blog or platform you are most proud of, this could also be beneficial!

Remember, although job hunting can be tricky, proving your willingness to put the extra effort in will impress an employer.

If you are interested in working at deVere, have a look at our current vacancies!