Updated: Mar 13
Candidates - have you ever tried to change your career direction, only to be told that you ‘don't have the required skills and experience’
Hiring Managers - how often do you reject candidates because they don’t have exactly the right experience?
“We were looking to hire a data scientist with these skills;
✅ They are able to solve business challenges for our clients
✅ Can code, understand complex mathematics and machine learning
✅ They can help our clients to understand what their data means, making actionable recommendations.
We had numerous suitable applications including one highly experienced Data Scientist.
We were also contacted by Laura Mawer, a maths teacher.
She was very honest with us;
➡️ She said she had been a teacher for 15 years
➡️ She had taught herself how to code over the past 9 months
➡️ She admitted she had a lot to learn, but she was determined to do so.
We gave her a chance and invited her to interview, including a task.
Laura’s task was the best, in terms of how she told the story behind the data - which is so important for our clients. We realised that she could help our clients to learn, like she previously had helped 11-18yr olds to learn.
We hired Laura, and she has already made a great impact with us.
She brings a different approach to problem solving; she makes technical concepts sound simple, is great with clients and lastly is very well organised! Her skills as a teacher were highly transferable.
❌ It transpired later that Laura had received many rejections for Data Scientist roles, with employers telling her; "you don’t have the required experience.” ❌
Laura is proving them wrong!"
Hiring Manager takeaways
➡️ Think laterally, consider applicants from a variety of backgrounds, what transferable skills do they have?
➡️ Set a task as part of your process - this gives candidates with less directly relevant experience a chance to showcase their skills.
➡️ We at The Career Agent believe that personality fit and passion for the role are just as, if not more important, than having the right experience.
✅ Show your passion for the role you are applying for in your CV and cover letter
✅ Instead of covering up the ‘gaps’ in your experience, be honest about them, explain how you will rectify those gaps with hard work.
✅ Phone the company to support your application, to ask more questions about the role, you might just engage the hiring manager/HR person in a positive conversation
✅ Anything is possible if you have a vision, you just need the right employer to see your CV and cover letter, so spread the net wider, there are more Jeremys out there!
This is the first post in our ‘Career Transitions’ series, more to come.
Have you made a successful career transition?
Other blogs for Candidates: