Career Changers - Creating a Resume for a New Career

Career Changers: Creating a Resume for a New Career

Even 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
  • Reveal your abundant potential
  • Showcase 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 newfound passion.

The purpose of a cover letter is not only persuading the hiring manager to read your resume but explaining to them why you want to change careers.

A great cover letter will:

  • Convince the hiring manager about your desire to pursue this new field
  • Explain how your interest and skills can be beneficial to the company

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

Most individuals use the traditional chronological resume.

However, 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
  • Include your career goals and a synopsis of your qualifications
  • After the career summary, list accomplishments and transferable skills

These will give hiring managers a look at the most relevant experience to keep them interested.

(For more on how to format your resume, read Professional Resume Style - Headers, Fonts, & Themes.)

Identify your transferable skills

Transferable skills are skills you've 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 in a resume

List transferable skills such as:

Manage multiple projects simultaneously

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 new positions will have a learning curve.

However, these transferable 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.

This especially comes into play if you are changing professions.

Quantifiable achievements show that you know how to make effective changes within an organization.

Achievements should be very specific and include details such as these:

  • Did you improve any current processes by increasing productivity?
  • How did you help save the organization money on a project? 
  • Did you lead any projects or task force?

Positive accomplishments show your ability to lead, manage, and solve problems.

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.

Reinvent yourself

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
  • Take additional classes at a local community college 
  • 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 still counts as experience.

Therefore, it adds to your value in the eyes of prospective employers.

(You will also want to include this information in the professional summary of your resume.)

Closing thoughts on creating a resume for a new career

Changing directions in your career is possible in the current job market.

Most individuals who change careers take advantage of industry changes that have resulted in the lack of employment in some areas.

As you embark on your career-change journey, the most important thing is to focus! 

  • Focus on your passion
  • Focus on skills you already possess

Focusing on your skills, desire, and potential will showcase your enthusiasm, which will lead you to an interview.

(For more on resumes don't miss the Top 5 Resume Sections You Can't Go Without.)

  • 10 Ways to Reinvent Yourself After An Unexpected Job Loss

    10 Ways to Reinvent Yourself After An Unexpected Job Loss

    You did everything right, or so you thought! You educated yourself, earned your degrees, landed jobs that allowed you to gain some real-world experience. You made a lot of connections in the professional world. You didn't think an unexpected job loss was possible. Losing your job is something that happens to everyone; this time it happened to you.

    Nadia Noel-Anglade by Nadia Noel-Anglade
    Read On
  • How to Protect Yourself Before Resigning From a Job

    How to Protect Yourself Before Resigning From a Job

    There are no challenges left and no room for growth. You know in your heart it is time to resign and let someone new take over. And now, you have an incredible offer from another company that is too good to pass up. Here is how to protect yourself before resigning in order to preserve your reputation and positive relationships.

    Steven Lowell by Steven Lowell
    Read On
  • What Do You Know About This Industry?

    What Do You Know About This Industry?

    Your resume looks great! You landed an interview with an awesome company, and then you are asked, “What do you know about this industry?” GULP! This is where you need to shine. You can have a degree from a prestigious school, but if you can’t apply your knowledge to your desired field, that piece of paper is worthless.

    Find My Profession by The FMP Contributor
    Read On
See All Articles