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Tips for Writing a Resume When Changing Careers

Changing your career path can be an unsettling experience. The thought of quitting your job and starting anew can be intimidating and overwhelming. However, if you’re willing to put in the work, it can also be one of the bravest and most fulfilling things you can do.

So, to ensure your success, a well-crafted career change resume is a critical asset. But don’t worry. Our guide will help you create a resume that showcases the right skills and experience, giving you the confidence you need to take the next big step in your career.

Hire a Resume Writing Service

Resume writing requires a special set of skills to persuade recruiters effectively. However, professional resume writers can create impactful profile summaries, responsibilities, and achievements sections.

These areas need a mix of creativity and professionalism to make them stand out. So, hiring professional resume writing services like ContentDevelopmentPros ensures you get access to a skilled resume writer who can meet all these requirements, whether you are looking for a career change resume or a new one altogether!

Match Your Transferable Skills with the Job Description

Before anything else, you must take the time to fully comprehend the job posting and analyze how your transferable skills and past accomplishments can contribute to your success in your desired new position.

For instance, if you have a background in journalism and come across a job description for an advertising position, you can highlight the keyword “writing” in the job description. Even if you don’t have direct experience in advertising, your strong writing skills could make you a valuable candidate for this new position. Writing, as illustrated here, is a skill that can be applied across various fields.

Transferable skills include leadership, time management, multitasking, communication, organization, emotional intelligence, listening, research, etc. These can be categorized as either hard or soft skills.

Choose a Resume Format That Highlights a Logical Connection in Your Job Change

Job seekers seeking a career change often opt for a functional resume. This type of resume emphasizes achievements and skills rather than work experience, which can be attractive to some employers. However, some may view it as an attempt to conceal something.

Here, a hybrid resume is a better choice for job seekers looking to switch careers. This type of resume, also known as a “combination resume,” highlights both the applicant’s skills and achievements and includes their work history in the latter part of the document.

Ultimately, when choosing a resume format while changing careers, a hybrid resume format will suit you if you plan to stay in the same industry. However, if you’re shifting to a new industry and career altogether, you may consider using a functional resume format. However, it’s worth noting that a hybrid resume format is still a preferable option.

Write a Resume Summary or Objective that Highlights Your Job Change as a Strength

Your resume summary or resume objective can help persuade recruiters that you are the ideal fit for the new position based on your previous experience. These statements connect your expertise and skills with the requirements of your new career.

When crafting your resume summary, you must emphasize the skills you have acquired throughout your previous and current roles and how you plan to apply them in your new career. That said, here are two examples of how you can use a resume objective or summary for a career change:

  • As a sales representative with over eight years of experience, I have developed a passion for working with customers and selling software. I am now looking to utilize my skills to excel in my new role as a Content Manager. With my ability to identify our customers’ pain points and provide effective solutions, I am confident in my ability to thrive in this position.
  • I am an accounting expert with a decade of experience who wants to transition to the finance industry. My demonstrated proficiency in financial management and mathematics makes me an excellent candidate for the Finance Assistant role.

Segment tech recruiter Kerianne Burke suggests that candidates should share how they have acquired knowledge related to the new category and position with recruiters. This could include taking relevant courses or carrying out extensive independent research. She advises being as precise as possible!

Incorporate Keywords into Your Career Changes Resume

Your resume keywords demonstrate to recruiters that you possess the necessary skills and qualifications to excel in the desired job. Additionally, these keywords enhance your chances of grabbing the attention of recruiters who rely on search functions in their applicant tracking system (ATS) to sort candidates based on their resume content.

So, to create a compelling career change resume, it is advisable to include relevant keywords that match the job description. At the end of the day, by strategically incorporating these keywords into your resume, you increase your chances of catching the recruiter’s attention and securing the job tenfold!

Even if you are venturing into an unfamiliar field, don’t worry. You can still identify keywords that are relevant to your previous work experience. This can be done by carefully examining the job requirements and showcasing your relevant experience in the initial few points.

Include Certification and Training in Your Career Change Resume

One effective way to showcase your relevant skills during a career transition is by incorporating your completed certification and training programs into your career change resume. That said, don’t forget to list any relevant courses and certifications to illustrate to recruiters how these can benefit you in your new career or role. Of course, that doesn’t mean you go back to school and acquire new certifications. In most cases, your existing training and certification will be enough!

That said, if you want to improve your skill sets anyway, plenty of online learning platforms are available, such as LinkedIn, Coursera, and Teachable. These platforms offer flexible and on-demand training options.

At the end of the day, it’s not all about the number of certifications you acquire or training programs you complete. Instead, it’s all about the knowledge these training programs and certifications represent. The key is to opt for a profession that aligns with your existing abilities. Although your job responsibilities may not remain identical, you can still utilize the same skill set.

Wrapping Up

Changing careers can be challenging, especially when you have invested time and effort in your current line of work. However, it can also lead to new personal and professional growth opportunities. So, creating a career change resume is crucial, whether you have decided to switch careers due to burnout or want to pursue a long-time passion.

A well-written career change resume can highlight your transferable skills, showcase your relevant experiences, and demonstrate your commitment to making this transition. It can also help you stand out to potential employers who may not have considered you for the role otherwise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions about creating a career change resume:

How can I put my transferable skills on my resume?

When transitioning into a new career, transferable skills play a vital role in demonstrating to recruiters, hiring managers, and potential employers that you possess the necessary skills for the new role.

To highlight these skills in your career change resume, include them in a separate skills summary section, add them to your work experience section, or incorporate them into your resume objective or summary.

How do I write a resume summary or objective when switching jobs?

When transitioning to a new career, it’s important to highlight your unique skills and experiences to potential employers. Consider crafting a resume summary that showcases your value proposition to do this effectively. Below are two sample career change resume summaries to help get you started.

“I am a cashier with over seven years of experience creating a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers and providing them exceptional customer service. I have successfully increased my company’s sales by 10% by utilizing my excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Currently, I want to apply my organizational and leadership skills to an executive assistant role.”

“I am a certified public accountant with a decade of experience writing detailed and punctual financial reports. My expertise also involves reducing costs and enhancing efficiency. Currently, I want to utilize my keen attention to detail and analytical skills to develop sales systems that optimize all sales procedures and boost profitability.”

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