BY BRUCE HURWITZ ·
You see your dream job advertised. You immediately put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard, and send off a well-crafted cover letter, to which you attach your resume. In the letter you explain that you have “transferable skills” and let your passion come forth from the page like boiling hot water and steam from Old Faithful. And your reward? Rejection.
But you have “transferable skills.” You have passion. So, why are you being rejected?
Because you are unqualified. “Transferable skills” means, “I don’t have the qualifications for the job, but do me a favor and interview me anyway.” No. Sorry. The employer does not need to do you a favor. The employer needs to fill the position with someone who can actually do the job. A person with a proven track record of success. A person who will not have a steep learning curve, if any at all (over and above learning “the company way”).
“But,” I hear you say, “people change careers all the time. Why does it work for them and not for me?”
Simple. They network. They get introduced by a credible person, someone whose opinion the employer respects. That person tells them, “I understand that you are looking for a marketing pro. I know a woman who would be perfect for the position. And before you ask, she is totally unqualified, except for the fact that she has a great skill-set and more passion for marketing than you’ll find in anyone else. If I could, I’d hire her. Give her ten minutes.”
And since I did that for one of my clients, I know it works.