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  • Writer's picturePatricia Lopez de Andujar

The Secret to Changing Sectors - How to Apply & Interview for a job in a different sector

The secret to changing sectors - applying and interviewing for a job in a different sector

Looking for a new job in a different sector can be a challenging task, but it's not impossible. And the good news is, there are steps you can take to elevate your chances of success.

Step 1: Research the Sector

Before you start interviewing for jobs in a different sector, it's critical to do your research.

You should also research the businesses that you are interested in. Read their mission statements, corporate culture, and any recent news articles to get a good understanding of what they're all about. This will help you tailor your application and prepare for the interview.

Step 2: Update Your CV and Cover Letter

Your CV and cover letter are critical components of any job application, and they need to be adapted to the industry that you are applying to. The skills or experience that might be desirable in your current sector might not necessarily be so hot somewhere else. Likewise, there might be some skills that your current sector is particularly well-known for which might be appealing to a different sector. Make sure that your CV reflects this. For instance, someone currently working in FMCG who wants to move into fashion should definitely highlight the quality of the training they have received, and the professionalised approach to developing business as many fashion brands lack these elements and tend to be very receptive to candidates who are in a position to add value in those areas. Also look at job ads in your desired sector to get an idea of what skills and experience are required, and make sure your CV reflects those qualifications. You may need to rework your CV to highlight transferable skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the new industry.

Step 3: Prepare for the Interview

Once you have secured an interview, it's time to start preparing. Research the company and the industry, and prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview. Be prepared to explain why you're interested in the position and the sector, and be ready to discuss how your skills and experience add value to the new role. One of your cards here is as I mentioned in step 2, the positive skills that you might have acquired from your current sector versus candidates from the "new sector". It is equally important to educate your interviewer on certain things they might not know. Following the previous example of someone within FMCG looking to move into fashion - this person would benefit greatly from explaining to their interviewer how the industry is renowned for the quality and intensity of the trainings provided to their employees on areas such as team leadership, negotiations, dealing with difficult situations or creating a professionalised approach to managing client meetings and relationships. Always assume the other person does not necessarily know this type of information and you can earn wonderful bonus points.

It's also important to be aware of any sector-specific jargon or terminology. You don't want to sound like you don't understand the basics of the industry, so make sure that you are familiar with the terminology and can speak knowledgeably about the industry.

Last but not least, check what the dress code is before your meeting. There are vast differences in dress code from one industry to another. This is crucial as they will be evaluating whether you would be a strong brand ambassador for their brand both externally and internally. Your appearance will play an important role here. One extremely useful tip is to check Linkedin for employees working within the business you´re interviewing with - employees of a similar seniority to yours and ideally in a relevant functional area.

Step 4: Network

Networking is a very important part of the job search, especially when you are looking to move to a new industry. Attend industry conferences and events, join online forums, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn who work in your desired sector. This will help you learn more about the industry and make useful connections who may help you secure a job.

Step 5: Stay Positive and Persevere

Applying and interviewing for jobs in a new sector can be frustrating, but it is important to remain positive and persevere. Don't get discouraged if you don't get the first job that you apply for. Keep applying and networking, and keep learning about the sector. The right opportunity will come along at some point if you're persistent and determined. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of success and get the job that you are looking for. Good luck!

If you would like to dive deeper in order to be fully prepared for an interview in a new sector, please feel free to contact me on to schedule an interview coaching session.

You can also read this article and many more on Linkedin (20) The Secret to Changing Sectors - How to Apply & Interview for a Job in a different Sector | LinkedIn . Follow us on Linkedin (20) Maya Search Coaching: Overview | LinkedIn to gain more career and interview wisdom!


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