New Haven, Conn.: I am a communications manager. While I enjoy my career, I would like to go into health/beauty or fashion. I have four-plus years of experience with trade organizations, hospitals and PR firms. Any ideas on how I could possibly get my "foot in the door" for such a career-field change?
You'll be able to make this switch pretty easily. Basically, you want to get a job similar to the one you have now, but with a fashion, health or beauty trade group. Instead of sorting through online job listings, use the Internet to research and compile a list of 20 or so potential employers that fit that definition. Then send them individualized cover letters and resumes making it very clear how your experience and enthusiasm make you a perfect match for them. Good luck!
Sterling: I am having trouble finding employment. I hold two degrees, a BM and an MM (bachelor of music and master of music, respectively). However, when I try to do an automated online application, no one knows what my degrees mean. I have even been advised to put BA and MA on my resume to make it clearer, but those are not the degrees I earned and I feel that amounts to lying. How can I make myself more accessible to employers?
The problem probably isn't your degrees. It's obvious to any human reader of your resume and cover letter what those letters represent. And speaking of human readers, I suspect that a lack of them is your real problem. If submitting automated online applications represents the bulk of your effort to find a job, I'm not surprised you're not getting many nibbles. Instead, use the Internet to research organizations you'd like to work for and approach actual people there with a targeted resume and cover letter. It's more time-consuming than sitting there hitting the send button, but you'll get more responses for your efforts.