Reframing Your Skill Set

Written by Emilie Brunet

No experience? No problem.

One of the biggest barriers to deciding to transition to a new career is the fear of not being able to get hired.

“How will I get hired with no prior experience?”

This question is understandable, but it also completely denies the experience that you’ve built up in other work experience prior to making your career change.

At Concordia Bootcamps, we’ve helped get cooks, nurses, and people who have never been in front of a computer, get hired in tech.

It’s all about reframing the skills that you do have to demonstrate how they can be applicable to the new role that you’re applying for.

Let’s take a look at a few skills that can be reframed for the tech setting.

1. Ability to learn quickly and adapt

When starting off in tech it’s really important to be able to demonstrate your ability to grasp new concepts quickly.

If you don’t have all the hard skills required, or know all the languages that the company uses, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be hired for a role. It does mean however that you’ll need to jump in and start learning quickly.

Think back to previous work experiences. What situations were you put in that required you to take in new information, learn fast and hustle?

All of those scenarios require quick thinking, problem-solving and adaptability. See how you can reframe those work experiences in both your CV and in your interviews.

2. Communication Skills

Strong communication skills is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated skills in the workplace.

People who can communicate clearly, efficiently and intentionally are almost always the most productive and highly effective employees in the workplace.

Managers want to know what their team is working on. They want their team to be honest with them so they can problem-solve faster. And they do not have time to waste on too much back-and-forth.

Again, take the time to consider previous work experiences in which you were required to utilize highly effective communication.

For example, in a restaurant, if there is not a high-level of efficient communication, the restaurant will breakdown. (Go watch Season 2 of The Bear if you don’t believe me lol) Everyone needs to be on the same page at all times in order to minimize the amount of time it takes from the moment the customer places the order until it’s sitting on the table in front of them.

Communication needs to be clear, to the point and without any fluff.

Have you worked in a different role in which that was the case?

How can you highlight that soft skill as you’re applying for jobs to really bring it to the forefront?

3. “Multiple Hats” Skills

If you’re transitioning into tech, it’s likely you’ll find yourself working in a tech startup. Tech startups are popping up like never before.

And one of the most important skills in tech startups is the ability to effectively wear multiple hats.

You might be hired to do one thing, but quickly be required to pick up something else and run with it. Similar to adaptability, if you can pick up multiple tasks and demonstrate your ability to get them done easily, you’re likelier to make yourself an invaluable asset to the company.

Do you have previous job experience as an administrative assistant or one-person marketing manager?

These roles usually require someone to wear a lot of hats. Highlight how you are able to pickup different projects and tasks easily and how much of an asset that’ll make you for the company you’re applying for.

It’s not just tech startups, usually when you’re starting off in a new industry, you’re dabbling in a little bit of everything. You’re not quite in the “specialist” realm yet, so you’re just in a phase of learning everything.

Companies like to hire people who can wear multiple hats and who are not completely “set in their ways” of doing things yet so that they can mold them into the type of worker they need at their company.

4. Multiple Years at a Company

This isn’t a skill, but if you don’t have any experience in the role that you’re applying for, it’s helpful if the company can see how dedicated you were to your previous company.

If you worked at one company for several years and moved up “the ladder” it not only shows your commitment to the organization, which employers love to see, but it also demonstrates your ability to grow in a role.

If you got hired in one position and then 6 months later were promoted to a different position and then 1 year later promoted to a manager position, it demonstrates how you are committed to your growth, your learning and are a driven person.

Lean into that when you’re applying for jobs.

It might take longer, but you’ll find a job!

Transitioning into a new career can be tough when you don’t have a lot of experience in that new field. It might take a little longer, but trust me, employers are always looking for green people.

When people are new to a field they aren’t stuck in old habits, they are more open to learning, are usually more humble about their lack of knowledge (and therefore it’s easier to communicate with them) and are usually quite driven because it’s takes A LOT of drive to start a new career.

Don’t worry, you got this!

About the author

Hey, I'm Emilie 👋🏻

I'm the Business Support Manager at Journey Education. I have always had a passion for writing, organization and finding creative solutions. I aim to be personable, empathetic and compassionate and believe that kindness can go along way in both business and life.

Having worked and organized with anti-capitalist, feminist and queer organizations, I strongly believe that EVERYONE deserves, not just a living wage, but a thriving wage and that it should be the priority of every business to create an inclusive, caring and diverse work environment that doesn't just ensures the work happens, but allows people to be people while the work is happening!

My approach to everything I do reflects my training in trauma-informed practices, active listening and harm reduction as well as my interest in understand the way people work, behave and exist as their full human self. I want to create safer spaces for people to explore, create and excel in a supportive environment - whether that's in life or at work.