Are you thinking of making a career change? Not a job change from one company to the next, but a change from one career like accounting to another such as sales? You may love your company, but dislike your workload. You used to have such a strong interest in your previous tasks, like crunching numbers, but now crave more of a social interaction/sales focus. Whatever feeling you may have that’s driving your career change, it’s important to explore it fully.

There are a few things you can do to jump-start your career change and ultimately help you land that job you’ve been dreaming of.

Evaluate The “Why” Behind Your Transition
It’s important to understand the “why” behind your career change. It helps you see clearly why you need the change, if the change makes sense, and it will also help you answer any future employer’s questions about the shift. Once you know why, you can make goals that will help you achieve the transition.

Network, Network, Network
Both online and in-person networking is important to connect with people who are experts in the field your looking to get into. Here are a few examples of how to begin networking online:

  • LinkedIn: Join LinkedIn groups and connect with local individuals who are in the right field. Post articles and blogs to help show that you, too, are learning how to be an expert in the field.
  • Twitter: Create a professional Twitter account, where you can share content related to your career goals. Connect with others who are interested in the same things.
  • Blog: Start a blog talking about your transition and what you’ve learned.

All of these online elements can be used to help show a future employer why you have the skills to make this transition, and you can also help others benefit from the knowledge you’re learning.

Networking in-person is more than simply trying to find individuals who can introduce you to applicable job opportunities. Remember that networking is a two-way street. You can’t just look for someone to get you an interview; you have to show value to the other person as well. Read more about how to network in-person to maximize your experience.

Make Your Resume Work For You
When submitting an application, make sure to convey to an employer why you’re making the switch and why you’re the best candidate for the position. A great place to tell why you’re switching careers is in your cover letter. Be transparent and let them know that this switch is long-term and not a short stint.

On your resume, make sure you highlight skills relevant to the new job. You may have been “stuck” in one type of job, but talking about skills that fit this new one will help show why you’re qualified for the switch in careers. If you don’t have enough skills to highlight in your resume, consider taking classes on your own time, getting certificates, or freelancing to help add substance and give you a better understanding of the skills needed for the desired career.

Making the jump into a new career takes time. Start participating in activities that will help you stand out despite your different background, and set goals to help you accomplish them. Believe in the job you’re going after and spend the time needed for making your dream career come true. And most importantly, find a career you look forward to on Monday morning!

Tony Sorensen is the CEO of Versique Executive Search and Consulting, and McKinley Consulting. He brings over 16 years of experience to the recruiting industry, and can be reached at tsorensen@versique.com.