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How to Engineer a Career Transition


If you are looking to engineer a career transition, do not begin your job search with a "dust-off the resume" approach. If you are undertaking a career transition and want this move to improve your career, you can’t afford to skip the strategy that comes before the resume and applying to jobs. Try applying these 5 steps.

1. Vision & Goals

First, understand your vision for your life and career journey. Any career move has a profound impact on these. Make sure you've got this in alignment.

Next, tackle or re-affirm your goals. Goals define what you want to achieve, be and have. Goals take commitment and energy. Part of this assessment is comparing where you are now to where you want to be and determining your pathway.

Then, you're ready for the next step.

2. Your Professional Value

More than any other step, developing a solid understanding and appreciation of your professional value is central to the strategic approach. It takes insightful observation on your part and is at the heart of all of our career transition client work.

Done correctly, not only does the process set you up to be more targeted and effective in your marketing efforts, it also creates enormous confidence, clarity, stories and data that fuel your interview performance and the standards for opportunities you will accept.

3. Job Targeting & Job Market Targeting

With your vision, goals and professional value defined, you are now better positioned to get clear on the characteristics of your next job target.

Ideally, you're defining a set of opportunity types that will be your focus. There should be an overlap with your vision, goals and interests, your professional value, and what the market will bear.

Add to that some aspiration and courage, to set your standards a bit higher.

Having taken ownership of your professional identity and intentionally set your targets, you become a more attractive and compelling candidate.

4. Your Marketing Assets

With the previous steps accomplished, you’re now in a stronger position to develop a winning resume, engaging cover letter and compelling LinkedIn profile.

Messaging: With that upfront strategic work done, you can now craft your messaging. What are you looking for? What are your pillars of value? How do you create impact? What can you do for your target roles and company? These and other questions prepare you for the following:

Resume: The common mistake is to “dust off or update their resume.” This is sub-optimal, even dangerous when your value and the target aren’t clear. Once you have taken the above steps, from target selection flows a focused, evidence-based resume. The more focused and proof-oriented, the better.

Cover Letter: Rather than a “me, me, me” focused letter, you are now prepared to connect the dots between your offer and your target market. The result should be a letter/message that paints a picture of how you can help them with some proof points.

LinkedIn Profile: By having a profile, you declare “this is the professional me” online. Like the resume point above, your LinkedIn profile (or any other instance where you communicate your professional identity in writing) becomes far more effective after working through the steps above.

LinkedIn & resume writing services

5. Your Network

You are now better positioned to be a confident and effective networker. Relationships, if developed properly, can be a prime source of opportunities, referrals, and professional relationships. People in your network will find it easier to respond to you and help you (and vice versa).

Pursuing Opportunities via Postings, Recruiters & Company Targeting

Without a strategic approach, job postings and recruiter conversations can be like a spin of the roulette wheel. Get your strategy dialed in, and you become more selective about what to apply to, are more impressive and discerning when talking to recruiters, and can activate an outbound company targeting campaign.


All the work done on the front end pays off regarding interviews. First, you’ve likely been more intentional about what you applied to and which interview you’ve accepted. Second, you’re better armed to read the opportunity and connect the dots with your strategic “why you.” Third, you’re more confident because you know you belong there, and you have stories and data to prove it.

Making Decisions

Central to the Bold Career Project’s ethos is helping you create optionality in your career. We want to help you create more opportunities and degrees of freedom so you never have to say yes when your gut tells you no. Bold careerists are careful with their yes. The right yes sets up growth, impact and fulfillment.

Beyond the Signed Offer

Here’s a wonderful truth: The work done at the front end of this article is not just about the career transition. A great career move begets a better experience, positively impacting your life. That more successful experience and a healthier life create future opportunities and well-being. It is a virtuous circle.

If a career transition is on your radar, we’d love to explore how we can help you create a richer, stronger future.

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