Resume Writing Tips for Career Change

Resume Writing Tips for Career Change

So, you are in the middle of a career change.

You've browsed job search sites and now have a list of companies to apply to.

The problem is that you don’t have a resume to match the job you're looking for.

If you’ve been working in a different field for a while and want to switch careers, it’s going to be a challenge. However, it’s a challenge millions of people face.

You can handle the transition smoothly and start doing a job that you love! 

This is how you transform your resume to match the new line of work.

Have a strong cover letter

Sure, some HR people will just ignore or skim your cover letter, but that's no reason not to write one.

The thing is, since your previous profession was not quite in line with the job you’re applying for now, you have to go the extra mile to prove yourself.

Writing a great cover letter can be the first step towards that.

You should be aiming at a strong first impression.

  • Show yourself as a professional in the previous field. 
  • Indicate what work have you done in your prospective field.
  • Highlight your positive sides.

Another good trick to use in a cover letter is to show a negative side to let the employer know you are aware of it and know how to deal with it.

Focus on skills, not experience

If you’re switching careers, you probably lack experience in the field.

That shouldn't be a problem as you can focus your resume on general skills.

If you have previously been in a leadership position, that’s a huge bonus!

You can state that you are adept in skills such as ...

  • How to manage teams 
  • How to plan budgets 
  • How to get projects done in time 

Every industry needs team members with leadership skills.

Marketing is also one of the skills most jobs require.

If you made a living off selling fashion goods, you can easily switch to selling other products. All you need is a bit of an introduction to the niche.

Now, if you’re making a transition from a salesman to a creative, you’ll have to work harder on showing your relevant skills on your resume.

For instance, emphasize how you showed creativity in your previous workplace.

Underline nonprofit projects

Have you done any side projects when you were working at your old job?

  • If you did any relevant work, that’s perfect for your resume!
  • If there’s an item you can add to your portfolio, that’s even better.

Make sure to include all the work you’ve done for little to no money. This shows a potential employer that you have a passion for the work.

Are you a journalist who learned to code?

Add examples of the open-source projects or freelance gigs you have completed.

Mention education on the topic

The other thing you can add to your resume to make it even better is the training you received in the new industry.

Everything goes here, even the online courses you’ve completed.

Is your college degree somewhat relevant to the career you want to take up?

Mention that as well.

Delete the irrelevant

The sad truth is nobody in the new field will care much about what you did in the previous position (or positions) you held.

You may have been a top performer in your former industry.

Going forward, the performance will be judged, but not specific achievements.

Don’t add anything to your resume that the hiring manager will find irrelevant.

This includes all types of education that you’ve received for the previous job.

Your university degree is worth mentioning, of course, but a certificate in accounting is worth nothing in the world of marketing.

Pick the right format

No resume is the same.

  • Some resumes just state all the information about you briefly. 
  • Others try to show you as a person with skills.
  • Some resumes are linear.
  • Some are narrative-focused.
  • Some have your picture while others do not.

You will have to experiment a bit with your resume.

A resume writing service such as Find My Profession may help you go through a dozen iterations before you end up with the best option.

The general advice is to keep the balance between dry enumeration of your skills and bragging about your abilities.

Realize it is possible

Many people who want to switch careers are afraid that they’re going to fail and will be stuck in a job they hate up until retirement.

The truth is, if you are a professional, you can sell yourself in any field.

  • Go beyond sending resumes/CVs.
  • Meet employers at shows and relevant gatherings.
  • Network in person and through online venues.

Doing this along with employing the above tips on writing a great resume will help you find your dream job as you go through the process of a career change.

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