How to Write a Resume When Pursuing a Career Change

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Improve Your Resume or CV

Sometimes you enter a career and find out it’s not what you had hoped for. Other times, you burn out or get bored and want to pursue a new path. Maybe you discover a burning passion for a particular field only after you’ve embarked on a career in an entirely different one. 

When you decide to look for a new job in a different field, your first step will be to rewrite your resume. It may seem like an intimidating task, but it’s probably not as bad as you think. If you follow the steps below, you will have a new resume in no time. You might require some extra help crafting it—after all, it takes a bit more effort when you’re changing careers. Contact our expert team for whatever assistance you need. 

1. Research your new field

You need to explore everything related to your new field and position. Doing this will allow you to see how your current skills translate into this new world.

How can you do this? Talk to others in your future field. Find out what you need to focus on and ask them what they think you should put on your resume. You may find out there are skills, knowledge, and terms that will help you stand out. 

It is also a good idea to read journals and trade publications, attend events, or look through social media. If you can find an online class that is accessible to you, take it. All of these things can help you learn more about your new professional destination and provide you with information you can use on your resume. 

However, it’s not just about your resume. Making connections in your new field can be an invaluable way to glean important insights and access new opportunities. Learning and improving your skills will also help you succeed in your new career beyond landing a job.

2. Create a new job title or objective/professional summary

Since you probably have little experience in your new field, you won’t have a specific job title that pertains to the career, and you don’t want to list the targeted job because this would be misleading. 

For this reason, you should focus on the objective. Draft an objective or summary that allows you to highlight your skills and qualifications that relate to the new job. This shows the hiring manager how you can fit into the position without leading them to believe that you’ve held it at another company.

3. Point out your transferable skills

Since you have little or no experience, you’ll need to focus on your past training, expertise, and achievements. Highlight the skills that easily bridge the gap with another field—teamwork, leadership, communication skills, computer proficiency, problem-solving, and management. These are all competencies valued in the workplace and might be just what the company is looking for. Of course, if you have any other transferable skills, you’ll want to include those as well.

It’s possible you also have carryover skills acquired outside of your professional life. If they relate to your new career, list them as well. Examples include fundraising, public speaking, hobbies, or any charities that you have dealt with. Think creatively to extract meaningful skills from your various experiences and activities that can highlight your suitability for the new career.

4. Identify relevant education and certifications

If your education includes anything that relates to your new choice of industry, include it in your resume. Anything that shows you have knowledge of this new field might help you get your foot in the door. If you can easily pick up relevant certifications or credentials before you send out your resume, do it! This will highlight your interest and demonstrate that you are serious about your new career. 

You can take courses, learn on your own, or even go back to school to improve your skills and knowledge of your new field. You’ll also want to make your passion for continued learning clear to the hiring manager.

5. Mention your accomplishments

When you list your accomplishments, highlight those that pertain to your new field. Show the hiring manager how your previous achievements relate to the industry you want to transition to. Be creative in making past accomplishments seem like something the company needs. They don’t have to be linked to paid positions—think outside the box if you need to.

6. Tailor your resume to the position

A generic resume will never get you noticed, so you need to submit a customized one to enhance your chances of success. A good way to tailor your resume is to pick out keywords from the job posting. Does it use technical language or industry jargon? Try to incorporate this language into your resume to demonstrate knowledge of the field and the job. However, make sure you do know what you’re talking about. Nothing will put a recruiter off like the embarrassing misuse of common industry terms.

While writing a resume with a career change in mind may seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be if you know how to approach it. More than likely, your prior experience, skills, and knowledge can be used to help you transition into a new career. Get in touch with our resume experts for any help you need. 

Improve Your Resume or CV