I routinely see store managers and other retail leaders talking on LinkedIn about how recruiters and hiring managers in other industries don't understand that retail skills are transferable. The consensus seems to be that something is wrong with all these recruiters who simply don't get it.
There is some truth to that. There are recruiters out there, I'm sure, who don't value the skills that retail leaders have gained. Retail has a long history of being a not-very-respected career choice - something only suitable for people who didn't go to college and can't do much else. (Which, of course, is completely wrong.)
But at the same time I don't think enough people understand what the real question facing the recruiter actually is.
They're not asking themselves "Can that store manager transition to this industry and do this job effectively?"
They're asking "Can that store manager transition to this industry and do this job better than everyone else who applied?"
That's the catch.
It's not always the case that recruiters in other industries don't value the talent of retail managers - it's just that you're competing against people who ALREADY HAVE relevant experience in that industry. They're not necessarily more talented, committed, or anything else - but they'll have a shorter learning curve because they're not new to the field. That's a huge advantage.
And when recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for every posting, the competition is incredibly intense.
So what can you do about that?
Well, first and foremost make sure your resume paints you as a superstar. If you didn't dominate retail and excel in every role, it's hard to make a case that you could transition to a new field and exceed everyone's expectations.
Show what you've done, but also how well you did it.
And don't get lost in the "skills" trap - you know, where you convince yourself that if you include your top 200 skills on your resume, you're bound to get an interview. It doesn't work that way - long lists of random skills and buzzwords are virtually meaningless.
Again, show what you've done and also how well you did it.
That's the best way to get their attention.
Good luck and stay well!