3 Tips For Applying To Jobs In A Different Industry

3 Tips For Applying To Jobs In A Different Industry
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In a difficult job market, you may find yourself needing to consider job openings that wouldn’t be on your radar during normal times.

While all businesses are affected by the pandemic in some way, a few industries have been more negatively impacted than others. Many companies in retail, travel, media, higher education and leisure have instituted hiring freezes, furloughs or layoffs. This leaves fewer options for displaced employees to focus their job searches on the industries that they know best.

If you are looking for a job right now, it may be worth considering how your current experience can be applied in a different industry. Though not easy to do, changing industries (even if temporarily) will expand your options and make your skills more marketable in the long run.

But to be successful in your job search, you’ll have to learn how to target the right opportunities and best highlight what you have to offer. Here are three tips that will help you bring your current skills into a new environment.

1. Look for a 70% match with the job description

Even in a bad economy, applying to jobs you aren’t qualified for is counterproductive; it distracts you from higher-yield activities and subjects you to unnecessary rejection that hurts your confidence.

But it’s not easy to know exactly where the line is between qualified and not qualified. Many companies post a lengthy list of desired skills but would hire someone that met most but not all of their needs, while other companies have a checklist of requirements that is set in stone. Some jobs are so niche that you could not possibly do them without prior industry experience.

This leaves you debating between aggressively applying to any open job you see, even if it’s a poor match to your previous experience, and endlessly waiting for jobs in your current industry to open up again.

The best approach lies somewhere in between these two tactics. There will be jobs in other industries that can immediately use your transferable skills, such as leadership, data analysis, project management or customer service, but you’ll have to demonstrate a fairly close connection between your capabilities and their unique needs. Otherwise, it may not be worth the effort spent on applying for the role.

Study position descriptions closely to determine if there is at least a 70% match between the job requirements and your skills. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it can be helpful to keep this percentage in mind to use as a guideline to assess if a job lead has potential.

There may be one or two minor things in the job posting that you are missing, but for the most part it should be clear from the description if your background is compelling and relevant. By narrowing in on these quality leads you’ll have the energy to tailor your approach for each job opening, which will produce better results.

2. Customize your résumé to match industry norms

You should have a standard version of your résumé that you use for networking, but always tweak it further before applying to a specific job. People learn a lot of things over the course of a career and it can be hard for recruiters to see where your skills match up to their needs if you don’t highlight the most relevant parts of your experience.

It’s especially important to revise your résumé before applying to a job in a new industry. Often, you’ll need to alter the way you describe your experiences because your current wording may be laced with buzzwords specific to your previous field.

As a first step, thoroughly check the company’s job posting for any key words or phrases that may need to be incorporated into how you describe your skills. Work to match the language used in the posting as much as possible because this will help you align with the company’s expectations.  

While it’s important to keep the chronological information about your employment, make sure you are also highlighting the leadership, functional or operational skills that are transferable into this new setting. Consider adding a short summary of your experience to the beginning of your résumé and reworking the bullet points under each job.

Finally, if possible, have your résumé reviewed by at least one person from the type of company you are targeting before sending it to recruiters or hiring managers. Résumé norms can vary by industry and you want to make sure you’ll be sending a format the company is used to seeing. For example, candidates in industries such as healthcare, nonprofit, government, or industrial goods tend to use fairly traditional designs in their résumés. It is not common to see the colors, fancy fonts or unique design elements that might be normal on a résumé for a job in media or advertising. In industries such as higher education, résumés tend to be a lot longer than corporate résumés. Many recruiters at technology companies prefer a slightly shorter résumé. These are the kind of norms that you want to uncover before you apply to different jobs.

Don’t be afraid to ask for direct and honest feedback on both the content and the format of your résumé. These small adjustments can go a long way in helping recruiters see that you are indeed qualified and would fit into their industry.

3. Be prepared to explain your motivation

No company wants to hire employees that see their job as little more than a paycheck. Employers are hoping to find people that are highly engaged and who will see value in the work they are doing.

It is understandable that the major reason many people are looking to change industries right now is because they simply need to maintain their livelihood. There is no shame in that approach; in fact, it’s a smart one.

However, it will hurt your search if money is the only thing you hope to gain from changing industries. Without a secondary motivation, you are more likely to unconsciously convey a lack of passion or appear to be less ambitious if you fail to inquire about longer-term business priorities and potential career growth during your interviews.

So before you even start applying for jobs in a new industry, ask yourself what you hope to learn and why this change would be good for your career. When you identify a particular role that interests you, ask yourself if you believe in this company’s mission. One if not all of these questions should help you uncover an additional reason why you want to make this change.

Expect to be asked to share your motivation for applying throughout the interview process. Recruiters and hiring managers will try to confirm that you truly want and will be happy in the job they are offering. If your motivations are genuine, it will come across to them. Don’t worry about giving the perfect, memorized answers and instead focus your attention on building genuine interest in the company and position.

For many reasons, job searches are difficult right now and changing industries adds a layer of complexity. But if you stay committed to your search and open to unexpected opportunities, you may look back on this time one day and see it as a pivotal and important moment in your career.

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    A good LinkedIn Summary

    Here's how to write a LinkedIn summary that could help you land your dream job, according to a marketing director at LinkedIn You might approach..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/focused-through-christmas-236x168.jpg
    Dec 14, 2018
    Stay Focused Through the…

    14 Ways to Stay Focused at Work Through the Holidays We’re in the midst of the holiday season, and as you try to juggle parties,..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/successful-new-hires-236x168.jpg
    Nov 23, 2018
    Help Your New Hires…

    3 Ways You Can Help Your New Hires to Succeed Filling a vacant position is expensive, and unless you do these three things, it's liable..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/A-Successful-Meeting-236x168.png
    Nov 15, 2018
    A Successful Meeting

    Three Ways To Prevent Someone From Stealing Your Spotlight In A Meeting We've all been there at one point or another. You're in a meeting,..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Recruitment-in-Cyprus--236x168.jpg
    Oct 26, 2018
    Recruitment in Cyprus

    Recruitment in Cyprus - Thoughts and Ideas from Advance Career Team Read the detailed interview published on TopJobsCyprus website and share your comments and ideas!..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/find-career-clarity-236x168.png
    Oct 19, 2018
    Find Career Clarity!

    How To Find Career Clarity Using Three Top Career Theories Feeling like you need to make a career pivot because your job isn’t a good..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Integrators-VS-Segmentors-236x168.jpg
    Oct 12, 2018
    Integrators VS Segmentors

    Are your employees integrators or segmentors? An organization has both integrators and segmentors. Being a segmentor is a tough ask. If you choose to be..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Avoid-toxic-team-members-236x168.png
    Sep 28, 2018
    Avoid Toxic Team Members

    Are You Hiring a 'Team' Player -- or Someone Just Looking out for No. 1? How can leaders make sure they're not unwittingly inviting a..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/What-Motivates-You-to-Work-236x168.jpg
    Sep 21, 2018
    What Motivates You to…

    What Motivates You to Work? That paycheck will never be big enough if it's the only reason you're going to work. Each of us respond..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/update-your-cv-236x168.jpg
    Sep 14, 2018
    Update Your Resume

    Updating Your Résumé Might Mean Updating Yourself It seems like a total no-brainer: you should update your résumé and online profiles when you are job..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Tap-Into-Your-Motivation-236x168.jpg
    Sep 7, 2018
    Tap Into Your Motivation!

    Putting Yourself In Drive: How To Tap Into Your Motivation The one common component in every great success story is motivation: an ever-elusive elixir that..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/77-236x168.jpg
    Aug 31, 2018
    Enhancing your job search

    How To Bounce Back When The Job Search Gets You Down With a dream job in mind, an updated résumé in hand and responses to..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/social-media-236x168.jpg
    Aug 17, 2018
    Social media can cost…

    When 'What Happens In Vegas' Ends Up In Your Job Search   What happens in Vegas really doesn’t stay there. That “funny” picture about that..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/emotional-intelligence-236x168.jpg
    Aug 3, 2018
    Emotional Intelligence at Workplace

    How To Develop More Emotionally Intelligent Employees In the quest to develop leaders who will foster a culture of equity and inclusion in the workplace,..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Are-you-ready-to-succeed-236x168.jpg
    Jul 27, 2018
    Are you ready to…

    The Difference Between People Who Succeed and People Who Flop Successful people charge forward, take calculated risks, and come out on top because of it...

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/hiring-236x168.jpg
    Jul 6, 2018
    Hiring the right people?

    5 Steps to Hiring the Right People for Your Business "Hire slow, fire fast" is great advice, but it's not always easy to follow. The..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ready-for-Entrepreneurial-Success-236x168.jpg
    Jun 29, 2018
    Ready for Entrepreneurial Success?

    4 Entry-Level Jobs That Will Prep You for Entrepreneurial Success Success is a journey, not a destination, so think hard about where to start. Entrepreneurship..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/worklife-balance-236x168.jpg
    Jun 22, 2018
    Simple Work-Life Balance

    Work-Life Balance Is Simple. To Succeed at Work, Get a Life. With the right balance of health and business, entrepreneurs can maximize productivity. The Organization..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/experience-or-talent-236x168.png
    Jun 15, 2018
    Experience or Talent?

    When to Hire Raw Talent vs. Job Experience Experience is a must for some jobs, but people with raw talent offer unique benefits. You have..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/unproductive-day-236x168.jpg
    Jun 8, 2018
    Back On Track

    How to get back on track when you’re having an unproductive day A rocky start shouldn’t dictate your entire workday. Do these things to reverse..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Employee-Onboarding-Strategies-236x168.jpg
    May 11, 2018
    Employee Onboarding Strategies

    Seven New Onboarding Strategies You'll See This Year According to a study from Equifax, more than half of all employees who left their job in..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/workforce-236x168.jpg
    May 4, 2018
    Strategic Workforce Tools

    Your Workforce Tools Are More Strategic Than You Might Think This is not a typical article about attracting talented job candidates or retention — while..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/strategy-236x168.jpg
    Apr 20, 2018
    Engagement Strategy

    Don’t Let ‘Meaning’ Be Missing From Your Engagement Strategy Meaning is one of the five keys in building employee engagement and it may be the..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/inclusion-236x168.jpg
    Apr 5, 2018
    Inclusion in the Workplace

    Inclusion Doesn’t Mean Including Everything and Everyone Inclusiveness is not about thought policing. It’s also not about turning everyone into a liberal. It’s a normal..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/inspire-change-in-your-employees-236x168.png
    Mar 30, 2018
    Inspire Change In Your…

    4 Ways To Inspire Change In Your Employees Have you ever listened to a speech that inspired you so much, you were ready to make..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Team-work-1-236x168.jpg
    Mar 23, 2018
    Employees Feel and Act…

    7 Ways to Incent Employees to Feel and Act as Owners Building accountability into your business culture is a leadership process. It can't be driven..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/woman-Working-on-laptop-236x168.jpg
    Mar 16, 2018
    Don’t Shuffle People Into…

    Don't Shuffle People Into the Wrong Job Just Because They're Already on the Payroll You grow your company by putting proven performers where you need..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Minimise-Workplace-Negativity-236x168.jpg
    Feb 26, 2018
    Minimise Workplace Negativity

    Tips for Minimizing Workplace Negativity To Deal with Negativity in the Workplace, Use These 9 Tips Nothing affects employee morale more insidiously than persistent workplace..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/frustrated-leader-236x168.jpg
    Feb 23, 2018
    Leadership Role but Unprepared…

    You Were Promoted To A Leadership Role But You Feel Unprepared - Don't Panic You’ve been at the job for years. As much as you..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Fail-at-Switching-Jobs-236x168.png
    Feb 16, 2018
    Fail at Switching Jobs?

    This Is the No. 1 Reason Why People Fail at Switching Jobs (and What to Do About It) There's a reason changing careers is so..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/happy-job-236x168.jpg
    Feb 2, 2018
    A Technique To Get…

    Didn't Get Your Dream Job? This 1 Technique Could Get You a Second Chance Every job seeker experiences this at least once, if not several..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Prepare-new-employees-for-Success-236x168.jpg
    Jan 26, 2018
    Prepare new employees for…

    The Best Way to Set New Employees Up for Success Create an onboarding program that's both meaningful and memorable Congratulations; you've just hired a terrific..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/new-employee-236x168.jpg
    Jan 19, 2018
    First Hour, Day, Week,…

    Do This In Your First Hour, Day, Week, And Month Of Your New Job Getting settled into your new job is the ultimate act of..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Make_2018_a_Productive_Year-236x168.png
    Jan 12, 2018
    Make 2018 a Productive…

    11 Expert Tips To Make 2018 Your Most Productive Year Ever Could eating cake for breakfast and never listening to your voicemail help you get..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/employee-engagement-236x168.jpg
    Jan 5, 2018
    7 Ways Modest Leadership…

    7 Ways Modest Leadership Increases Team Success When we imagine the traits of successful leaders, whether they are managers, high level executives, CEO's or owners..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SMART_Career_Goals_for_2018-236x168.png
    Dec 22, 2017
    Career Goals for 2018

    How to Set Your Career Goals for 2018 and Achieve Them Each New Year offers the opportunity for a fresh start—and that includes your career...

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Employee-stress-during-Christmas-236x168.png
    Dec 15, 2017
    Employee stress during Christmas

    Managing employee stress during the festive period More than half of employees feel stressed in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with most calling for..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/happy-boss-greeting-employee-236x168.png
    Dec 1, 2017
    Appreciating your employees

    How to Avoid the No. 1 Reason People Leave Their Jobs William James, the father of psychology, stated that the most fundamental psychological need is..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/employee-meeting-236x168.jpg
    Nov 24, 2017
    HR Function in 2024

    Will You Be Leading an HR Function in 2024? Here are five things to look at to examine and determine if you’ve got what it..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/happy-colleagues-giving-five-236x168.jpg
    Nov 10, 2017
    Your Impact at Work!

    What Is Your Impact? We keep throwing this word around called "impact." Do you know what your impact is and how would you define, discover,..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Jeff-Weiner-LinkedIns-CEO-236x168.jpg
    Oct 27, 2017
    Inspiring Career Advice

    LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner's 3 Best Pieces of Career Advice Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's CEO, has had nothing short of a successful career. After graduating from..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/man-carries-box-236x168.png
    Sep 15, 2017
    Lost your Job?

    Nine Things You Should and Shouldn't Do If You Lose Your Job Most of us wouldn’t think to associate the words "joblessness" and "fun," but..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/b9930ef7a9f3536545b9e91ac8aca54c-job-opening-career-development-236x168.jpg
    Sep 8, 2017
    Why Risk Is A…

    Why Risk Is A Necessary Component To A Successful Career - And How To Balance Risk With Reward Taking at least some risk is necessary..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/young-woman-studying-on-laptop-236x168.jpg
    Aug 16, 2017
    Write your first CV

    It's all about potential: how to write a CV with no work experience Follow these tips to stand out among competing candidates – from research..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/business-executives-having-meal-236x168.jpg
    Aug 10, 2017
    Friends and Career

    Being Too Busy for Friends Won’t Help Your Career Friendship matters. Everything we do to succeed in our careers is improved when we’re supported by..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/businesswomen-reviewing-results_1098-1682-236x168.jpg
    Aug 4, 2017
    Is it time to…

    The Best Ways to Reward Employees. Having an effective reward program in place can help solve many of your HR issues. Every company needs a..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/anguished-sad-depressed-lonely-business-man-236x168.png
    Jul 28, 2017
    Burnout: exhausted or lonely?

    Burnout at Work Isn’t Just About Exhaustion. It’s Also About Loneliness More and more people are feeling tired and lonely at work. In analyzing the..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/woman-pointing-236x168.png
    Jul 21, 2017
    People don’t take HR…

    People Don’t Take HR Seriously; Here’s Why That’s Dangerous Legacy beliefs like being the bad guy and a lack of strategic vision isolates HR, and..

    1 Read More
  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/man-climbing-stairs-to-heaven_1154-38-236x168.png
    Jun 30, 2017
    Career Development

    Think Strategically About Your Career Development In a world where the average employee sends and receives 122 emails per day and attends an average of..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/business-team-lying-on-floor-and-clapping-236x168.png
    Jun 16, 2017
    Diversity and Inclusion

    Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion Leaders have long recognized that a diverse workforce of women, people of color, and LGBT individuals confers a competitive edge..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/young-businesswoman-thoughtful--236x168.jpg
    Jun 2, 2017
    Advance Your Career

    How To Advance Your Career In A Crappy Entry-Level Job Yes, you can still bring yourself one step closer to snagging that dream job even..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/jobline-blog-8-3-236x168.jpg
    May 8, 2017
    Interview Preparation

    Interviews are generally regarded as the primary decision-making event in any recruitment process. Regardless of your academic credentials or career thus far, it is crucial..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/agency-young-adult-profession-stressed-236x168.png
    May 2, 2017
    Employee Burnout

    What causes burnout and how it can affect both the employees and the organisation How HR Can Help Prevent Employee Burnout An engaged workforce. It's..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/jobline-blog-9-3-236x168.jpg
    Apr 3, 2017
    Interview questions you have…

    Studies have shown that structured interviewing is more than twice as reliable a predictor of future employee performance than unstructured interviewing. That is why most..

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  • https://www.advancecareer.com.cy/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/jobline-blog-7-3-236x168.jpg
    Mar 19, 2012
    Job Search Tips That…

    Cyprus unemployment has been steadily increasing monthly since 2008 and is getting closer to double digits (January 2012 Eurostat figure – 9.6%). However there are..

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