Change Management: How do I get in?
Published on 21st September 2018
Change Management is a growth area within the current marketplace and one that is becoming more relevant and ever expanding. As recruiters who specialise in this area, one of the questions we get asked often is "How do I get into Change Management?"
While there is no definitive way or one way, there are a few things that you can do if you want to get into the exciting and ever-growing world of change. This forms the start of my series: ‘How to get into Change Management’.
It starts with your CV…
1. Take your position – ‘life as a project’
The world is changing rapidly and it could be argued most people are doing some type of Change Management in their jobs.
Generally speaking, Change Analyst roles are the starting point for your career in Change. The nature of the market means that Change Analyst roles tend to be based around transformation projects (often on a contract basis). This means that your CV needs to reflect this.
Outlining the projects you have previously worked on and taking them through the end-to-end delivery cycle and clearly defining the accomplishments of these projects is a good way to demonstrate that you understand this process. It will also allow you to get more specific and detailed with the responsibilities and achievements that you include – focussing on the relevant Change activities.
2. Use Change language
Change language is the jargon that Change Analysts and Change Managers employ as domain specific language.
To position yourself as a serious Change Management professional, it’s a good idea to demonstrate that you understand the world of Change to some extent and that you are familiar and comfortable with this world. It’s easy to do this on your CV by using the language of ADKAR and other change methodologies within the right kind of context on your CV.
Use Change-specific language to walk the reader through an end-to-end project and you will come across as a credible ‘Change agent’.
3. Understand the role you are applying for.
This point combines point number one and two, as you need to understand the role that you are applying for. If you don’t understand it, then you can’t correctly market your CV to the appropriate audience.
This may mean you need to research yourself what the terminology in the job advert means and how that applies to your previous history. Maybe you have done something similar to a change impact assessment in another role – you need to understand what that is and how your experience relates to that and draw that out in your CV.
4. Focus on the STAR and CAR interview approach.
If you haven’t heard of these terms, google them. They’re interviewing techniques for which 1000’s of google results will show. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result and CAR stands for Context, Action, Result.
Basically, when designing your CV and talking through your experience, this formula allows you to set up your experience in a manner that allows for the interviewer to understand:
• What have you done?
• How you did it?
• What were the benefits of your role?
There are many benefits of using this approach. One of the best is that your CV will read with that real outcome focus listed in point 1. You are positioning yourself as an individual who is able to deliver tangible returns on investment – which is what hiring managers and interviewers in the project world want to see!
5. Clean and simple
Brevity is an underrated quality in the CV writing process. A lot of job searchers put down their entire life stories on the page. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy people in a very competitive market and often don’t have the time to wade through pages of content from a deluge of applicants. Some golden rules to stick to:
• Focus on explaining your relevant experience in the last 3-5 years.
• For experience after the 5-year mark – keep it brief!
• Aim for 2-3 pages maximum length (4 at the longest).
• White space on a page is your friend – it draws the reader’s eye to what is being said.
• Use bullet points as opposed to long and dense paragraphs for longer chunks of text.
• Head key subsections using bold and italics instead of clunky tables.
6. Check your CV for grammar and spelling.
It’s a really simple thing, and it seems like it shouldn’t need to be included but it does. Your CV is the first impression that you give and if you want to get into the competitive Change market you need to make sure your CV comes across as polished as possible. Run it through an external spell and grammar check or give it 12-24 hours before you re-read it. Just double check it because it can be enough to give a poor first impression for anyone sourcing for a Change role. If in doubt - give it to someone else to proof-read it as well!
For those of you looking or are in Change Management, how did you get in? What advice would you give to people trying to get into the world of Change?