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I've Never held that Title, but I want that Job!

Updated: Jun 27

Question: How do I get a new Role that I’ve Never Held Before?

Signed –Longing for Something New

Great question! When your background is a fit for a role, it can be frustrating not getting selected, or even interviewed, because you’ve not held that title before.

But, everyone has a 1st day in a new role at some point, so there's no reason you can't go a new direction either.


But, hiring managers don't want to 'gamble', so you'll need to connect those dots in your success story in a tighter way, so that anyone in the hiring mode will naturally 'see' the connection.


The first step is to go back and do a ‘deep dive’ interview with yourself to uncover every small piece of contribution of your from over the years (for every role). These elements are the assets of your career story that can help you reset the stage, lighting and mood with a new career branding foundation.

Take that newly refreshed story across your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Decide which parts of the story to tell that highlight your skills and deliverables in a way that makes it obvious that you are a 'great candidate' for the role that you desire (even when you’ve not held the title before).


There no sin of omission, just commission, so you can leave any part out you’d like, as long as every item included is letter-true.


How you are positioning yourself currently might be limited to what you have done before. As your next step, broaden that positioning to include the new role(s) you desire.

Make it difficult for someone ‘not to see you’ as right for that role. Make them think of you and imagine you in that role.

If you want to be a chief-of-staff, as an example, they have to see you as engaged and excited to be someone’s ‘right hand’. Showcase how you've taken charge and provided leadership as someone's right hand. Were you assigned special projects? Great! The key in shifting the focus of your story is to let them see the elements that you bring from the various roles, without those roles themselves (or career track) being the end of the story.

Showcase your successes that demonstrate you are right for this new role.

On your LinkedIn profile, use the About section to ‘make the case’, an epiphany of sorts, about why you are the 'perfect chief of staff', as the next step for you. Be better than others that they may be considering (so, you have to sell and inspire!). Remember, just becasue someone held that title does not mean they did that job well. On your resume, use the top few lines, which I call the ‘positioning title’, to accomplish this same shift.

Don't forget the Cover Letter is really your 'sales document' to make the case for you. Show your passion and sprinkle it with your successes.

Remember it's a 'dating process' and a 'sales process' to get hired, so make it about them before it's about you.

In this case of going after something new, a recruiter isn’t likely to help you make this jump (to a chief of staff role example), as recruiters usually 'can't get paid' for someone that’s only ‘capable or qualified'. They need candidate that are ‘exceptional’ in their field, which (generally) means that they have held the title already for a well known company.

Elevate your value and go get what you desire in your career!

By the way, this is what I do for my clients, helping them to reposition their value and open doors. Most clients cannot do it for themselves, as they are so emotionally close to the 'journey' they can’t see that career story in a new way.

It’s hard to see it (and tell it) in a new light. If you need help, you know where to find me!

Need more help & Advice? Reach out today–


John Crant

Author, Career Coach & Speaker on Job Search and Career Management

Featured Speaker for

The New York Public Library's JOB SEARCH CENTRAL


In the Media: As Seen As Featured in 

amNY, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal (and its, CRAIN'S New York BusinessForbes, CNNBBC, FOX News (on Social Media Marketing), AriseTV, New York PostThe Huffington PostEssence magazine, CareerBuilder and The Ladders

On the Radio: As Guest: WHCR 90.3 FM "The Voice of Harlem"


As an industry manager, executive recruiter, recruiting & sales trainer, event speaker, and as VP of a nationwide system of recruitment offices, I have seen most every aspect of the hiring process and this varied insight is what provides the clarity you will find in this book.


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