Career Changers - Creating a Resume for a New Career
When you are a seasoned professional, securing a job with an impressive resume is tough in a competitive job market.
It’s a bigger concern when you are changing directions in your career. One way to start your new journey is with a remarkable resume.
Your resume should exhibit the passion for your new chosen path while revealing the abundant potential and current skills that you already possess. The following five recommendations should help you get started.
It begins with the cover letter
As you begin your journey to start your new career, your first task is convincing hiring managers of your new found passion. The purpose of a cover letter is not only persuading the hiring manager to read your resume but explain to them why you want to change careers.
A great cover letter will convince the hiring manager about your desire for your new field and how it can be beneficial. You do this by explaining how your transferable skills and accomplishments will support the position and organization you are applying for.
Your cover letter should be convincing enough for them to review your resume and contact you for an interview. For more, see How To Write An Amazing Cover Letter With Examples.
Use the right resume format
Even though most individuals use the traditional chronological resume, a functional resume has proven to be more useful for career changers. This resume format draws more attention to your transferable skills and accomplishments than your work history.
Always start your resume with a professional summary to include your career goals and summary of your qualifications. After the career summary should be a list of accomplishments and transferable skills. These will give hiring managers a look at the most relevant experience to keep them interested.
Identify your transferable skills
Transferable skills are skills obtained in previous work history that can also have an impact on your new career. These skills can be valuable to any profession or organization. Taking inventory of your skills can be used to your advantage such as;
- Manage multiple projects - this shows that you have the ability to multitask and can take on more than one project at a time.
- Communicate effectively with clients/customers - this highlights your relationship building skills and how well you communicate with individuals at various levels.
It is important to remember that all jobs will have a learning curve when it comes to tasks. However, these skills show hiring managers what you have to offer despite your lack of professional experience.
Quantify your accomplishments
Accomplishments can prove to be a tremendous asset to your resume, especially if you are changing professions. Quantifiable achievements show that you can make effective changes within an organization. Achievements should be very specific and include details such as;
- Did you improve a current process by increasing productivity?
- How did you help save the organization money on a project?
- Did you lead any projects or task force?
Answers to these questions show your ability to lead, manage, and problem solve. It is also good to add numbers to your achievements especially if it includes employees, budgets, and money. Showing percentages and dollar amounts help the hiring manager visually see your efforts.
As you begin to reinvent yourself in your new profession, look into finding ways to gain more experience in your desired field. This experience shows hiring managers that you have a real passion for your new field and have a vested interest in developing new skills.
For example, if your new career is in accounting, you may want to join a professional accounting association or take additional classes at a local community college. Another way to gain experience is to volunteer your time bookkeeping for a non-profit organization. These are great ways to expand your knowledge and gain reliable references. Regardless of where you gain the experience, it is still experience and makes you valuable. You will also want to include this information in the professional summary on your resume.
Changing directions in your career is entirely possible, especially in the current job market. Most individuals that change careers take advantage of industry changes that result in the lack of employment in some areas. The most important part of this journey is to focus. Focus on your passion and skills that you have always possessed. By focusing your skills, desire, and potential, it shows your enthusiasm that will lead you to an interview.
For more on resumes don't miss the Top 5 Resume Sections You Can't Go Without.