How To Tailor Your Resume For A Career Change
Youll want to follow the same process of leading with keywords from the job description in your career change resume. Chances are, many skills from your previous career will be transferable to your new one. Just be sure to provide context and translate phrases to match the job descriptions preferred terminology when needed.
The summary section of your resume is going to be your best friend when seeking to change careers. This area of a resume is your opportunity to explain your expertise and how your existing skills will make you a great candidate for this new career.
Do Customize Your Resume If:
You want to get your foot in the door of a specific company.
Have your heart set on a particular employer? Tailor your resume to their needs.
Study the job description. Then, review their website to discover their challenges and learn more about the company.
Incorporate keywords they use in your resume and in your cover letter. Using similar language demonstrates that you are aligned with the company and their goals/objectives.
Showcasing your skills in this fashion is a great way to illustrate that you did your homework, that you are serious about the opportunity and that you are a great fit for the organization.
In addition to helping you write a knock-out resume, researching a company helps set you up for a successful interview and helps you determine if the employer is truly the right fit for you.
Youre changing careers.
Transitioning careers can be challenging. Especially if your resume emphasizes skills that arent necessarily applicable to the new role.
Sit down and carefully review your resume. Then take a moment to analyze some of the skills, duties and experience needed in that new field, or new role.
Highlight only the parts of your experience that will translate well to the position you are interested in.
Doing this is a great way to underline the transferable skills you bring to the table and can help keep you in consideration for a role, even if you have limited experience.
Identify Whats Most Important To The Company
The key to making your resume attractive to a company is to tailor it to the job description. You can use the job description to figure out their needs and priorities and then make your resume mirror that.
Things to look for:
- What responsibilities are mentioned first? Whats mentioned lower down and might be less important?
- What specific requirements or qualifications do they list?
- Are any themes repeated throughout?
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Display Skills Front And Center
Look again at the job description. What skills does the company say are must-haves? Work your magic and move your information around until those exact skillsand the results achieved through application of those skillsare listed first on your resume.
A functional resume that prioritizes skills over work history can help you highlight your relevant skills. This is especially important if you are seeking a new role that isnt exactly like your last one, and a chronological presentation of your prior experience doesnt make as much sense . If you still have some great work history to present, a hybrid resume combines the best of both a chronological and functional resume, giving you the opportunity to spotlight both skills and experience.
What Are They Most Interested In
Pay special attention to the skills mentioned first or multiple times. If the job description asks for something that you forgot or deemphasized, add it prominently. Start each new job entry in your work experience section with skills and qualifications that are found in the job description, even if they werent the most important part of your day-to-day responsibilities when in the role.
This being said, emphasizing or deemphasizing your resume skills is not the same as lying on your resume . Few applicants have every skill and meet every qualification. Tailoring your resume is about making sure the recruiter or hiring manager notices the ones you do have.
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Highlight Your Skills On The Top Third Of The Resume
While it’s important to customize your resume with appropriate keywords to beat the bots, you also need to craft your resume with the recruiter and hiring manager in mind. Focus on the top third of the first page of your resume above the fold, as they say in the newspaper and web development worlds because this is the small window that needs to grab their attention.
Clearly line up your qualifications with the requirements from the job description and place them in a section at the top of your resume, just below your contact information and target job title. Resume writers refer to this section by many names Performance Summary, Summary of Qualifications, Professional Summary, etc. but they all serve the same function on your resume.
In only 3-5 lines or bullets, summarize your experiences and achievements that best match the most important requirements in the job description. In other words, show the reader why you’re a great fit for the role by highlighting your most impressive and relevant qualifications.
Put Information About Each Position On One Line
You might like the way your resume looks when the company, duration of your position, location, and your title each have their own line. But if its pushing your resume over a page, its time to move things around.
Play around with ways to fit this information on one or two lines. Doing this for each of your positions will save you a ton of space.
Heres a real example of a three page resume trimmed down to one with the help of FindSpark tips and tricks.
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Career Change Resume Example : Financial Advisor Transitioning To Outside Sales
This resume added relevant sales keywords to their accomplishments and tasks to help draw the connection between their financial job and a sales job.
Senior Financial Advisor, Hathaway Branch Office, JP Maple Chase 6/20132/2015
Assisted clients working toward long-term financial goals by delivering personalized investment solutions. Managed financial portfolio of $2 million in private client assets.
- Increased assets under management by 30%
- Converted 15% of assets into fee-based accounts
Senior Financial Advisor, JP Maple Chase 6/20132/2015
Sold financial products within the Hathaway territory. Managed $2 million portfolio.
- Sales: Increased portfolio value by 30% by fostering trust-based relationships
- Lead conversion: Rated top 5% for converting leads into revenue-generating customers
- Territory management: Captured and maintained 95% of territory sales accounts through effective sales techniquescold calls, marketing, surveys, networking, and presentations
Get Your Resume To The Right People
Theres no use in creating the perfect career change resume only for it to sit on your shelf. Ensuring your resume gets to the right people is the final step you should take on your career change journey. To get your resume to the right people you can:
- Attend careers fairs
- Apply directly to the company online
- Ask to come into the firm to learn more about their business and introduce yourself
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Communicate Using New Career Language
Making a major career change means that communicating effectively in the language of your new chosen field is critical. Look over job descriptions and industry news to learn and mimic the keywords and jargon used in this industry. Using these words in your career change resume and cover letter will be imperative to show that youre up to date and understand the ins and outs of the career field. This will also show the care and research youve taken when making this decision.
Decide Which Type Of Rsum You Want
There are three types of résumés: chronological, functional and combination. You might want to consider more than one format of résumé if you’re applying for multiple jobs.
- Chronological is the most traditional format and lists experiences according to the order in which they took place. These résumés generally appeal to older readers and may be best suited for a conservative field.
- Functional is a type of résumé that lists your experiences according to skill. This is the format to use if you’re changing career direction . Because it displays your skills first, your work experience, or lack thereof, is not the main focus.
- Combination combines the best aspects of the chronological and functional styles. Be careful with length for this format the résumé can quickly get long.
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Don’t Forget The Introductory Paragraph
All cover letters start with an introduction. A well-written, customized cover letter should include the company’s name, position and other identifiers included in the job description. Forego any personal greetings . These personal messages are sloppy and unprofessional. Focus your intro paragraph on the topic and outline of the cover letter.
Look For Relevant Keyword Skills
Your first step is to examine the job posting you’re targeting. Highlight all required skills and experience. You’ll see that you can group all these skills into three categories:
These are skills you need to do the job. Most skills you see in the job description will fall under this category recruiters don’t like to waste their time.Example: Developing a strong brand.
These are skills you can use in different roles and industries. Some of these skills usually make it to the job posting too.
Example: Fluent writing competency in Spanish.
These skills help you to survive in everyday life and engage in human interactions.
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Format Relevant Leadership Experience Under Work Experience
Having a separate leadership experience section uses more space than necessary. Evaluate your leadership, decide which roles are truly relevant to the position youre applying for, then move the most relevant into your work experience section. Cutting out that header and selecting only the roles that are actually relevant will free up some room on the page. Looking for more leadership experience? Get it with these simple tips.
List Your Experiences Or Skills
For Chronological/Combination Résumés, List Your Experiences
Starting with your most recent or current job, list your previous work experiences.
- This section shows where you have worked and when. It also states specific accomplishments for each position or job.
- This is where content can make your résumé run over a page, so be selective about what you include.
- Pick experiences that seem most relevant to the position you seek. For inspiration, think of your full-time or part-time work, summer jobs, occasional jobs, internships, fieldwork and special projects.
- Don’t worry whether your experiences are “good enough.” Employers admire people who have worked hard in a variety of positions.
- Always start each achievement with an accomplishment verb, like accelerated, achieved, expanded, influenced, solved, maintained, generated, effected, advised, controlled, trained or utilized.
- Don’t worry if there are gaps in the timeline, but keep everything in chronological order, with most recent jobs at the top.
Southwestern Writing Center, Peer Writing Tutor, Yuma, AZ
Camp Granite Falls, Area Director, Mountainville, TNJune 2013September 2017- Directed staff of four while supervising 20 campers.- Taught crafts, sports and cooking.
For Functional/Combination Résumés, List Your Skills
Self-Motivated: Proactively organized volunteers to assist with distribution at the community food bank.
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Your Resume Is Your Story
Your resume is your conversation starter with the recruiter. With this in mind, its important that the recruiter gets an understanding of exactly what you have been doing and what you want to be doing in this career change. Giving mention to the reasons youre making the move will answer questions you know the recruiter will have in their mind already. Eric did this by including his Approach in his resume as he transitioned from musical performance to working at SideWagon
Why It’s Important To Tailor A Resume To A Job
It’s important to tailor your resume for the job you’re applying for because it shows the hiring manager why you’re an ideal fit for the job you’re applying for. When employers post a job listing, they’re looking for candidates with particular skill sets and experiences. By tailoring your resume, you emphasize to the employer how your experiences and qualifications align with those described in the job listing.
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How To Tailor Your Resume For A Specific Job
Study the job description to get a good understanding of the requirements.Read over the job description and make note of any qualities or skills that are important for the job, then scan your resume to see if these words are reflected in your own experiences.
If they arent revamp your resume using the buzzwords and traits you found in the job description.
If youre not sure of what words to use to show how your experience is perfect for the position, do a quick Google search of the job title to pick up some lingo you can use to describe yourself.
For example, if youre applying for a job as a Content Creator, youre going to want to use words like copyedit, proofread, and deadlines, throughout your resume. It might seem simple, but these words will determine whether your resume gets you an interview, or gets thrown in the trash.
Our pro tip is to review the job description with three highlighters in hand. First, highlight all of the action verbs. Then, highlight all of the adjectives in a different color. Finally, highlight the skills in a third color.
Now look for words in your current resume that can easily be swapped for the words that the job description uses. Voila with fairly low effort, youve got all the natural-sounding keywords you need to pass the applicant tracking system and impress the hiring manager or recruiter.
Career Change Resume Tips: Effectively Translating Your Skills
Statistics show that working professionals change jobs an average of 12 times over the course of their work life, spending five years or less in each position.
If youre feeling that itch, youre not alone. And it might even be a great time to try something entirely new and change your career field.
Weve got a few tips on how to translate your skills on your career change resume to ensure a smooth transition as you embark on a new journey.
Career changes are very common and have become more so in the last 10 to 15 years with the changing economy and jobs landscape, says Brie Weiler Reynolds, FlexJobs senior career specialist and career coach. Its something we work on often with clients, and one of the most important factors in making a successful career change is translating your best skills from your previous career so employers can understand that youre a great fit, even if youre coming from a different field.
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Career Change Resume Example : Writer Transitioning To Social Media Coordinator
This resume shines a spotlight on the parts of the writing job that relate to social media. It drops irrelevant tasks or procedures that dont correlate to a social media position.
WRITER, Kansas University, 20102014
Responsible for researching, writing, and editing blog posts, white papers, product descriptions, and web copy. Meets tight deadlines. Uses WordPress for uploading and updating copy. Gathers quotes from sources as needed and writes compelling headlines.
Online Content Writer, 20102014
Writes copy optimized for web and social media accounts.
- Articles are shared on company social media profiles to drive traffic
- Monitors performance of articles on social media
- Collaborates with social media manager to ensure content is informative and appealing
- Updates content based on social media engagement and feedback
Consider The Right Design For Your Content
What form should a resume have? Not always the same.
Applying for a developers job in a corporation? A simple, clean, minimalistic approach is the way to go. Tailoring resume for a small yet established and famous online agency? A resume resembling lines of code might help you stand out.
What about the structure of your resume? Sure, you always start with the name, address, date of birth, etc. But what then? Go a bit counterintuitive.
Even though you might want to put your most recent experience first, dont do it every time.
Tailoring a resume means you want to fit it to a position youre aiming at. For this reason, you can sometimes leave the most recent for later and start with the most relevant stuff.
Make your resume eye-catching yet simple and easy to read. Today, the internet offers plenty of tools to help you with that .
Should you add a picture? If applying for a fashion model, a good idea, for a bank teller, not so much. Also consider your countrys best practices.
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How To Tailor Your Resume To A Job Description
Hiring managers may sort through hundreds of resumes for a single job, meaning they often scan to find the most relevant details. The best way to get noticed as a candidate is to tailor your resume to the employer’s job description. To do this, you need to showcase your most relevant qualifications using their keywords and specific phrases. In this article, we explain why you should be tailoring your resume to job descriptions and provide steps and an example to help you get started.
Be Ready To Prove Everything
Always look for jobs that suit your abilities and qualities at least to some extent.
Saying something you cant prove is a way to hell. Or at the very least, its not a good strategy if you want to do well at the interview.
Dont apply the fake-it-till-you-make-it rule here. Always be ready to substantiate everything with a certificate, a course, an award, a reference from a colleague. You get the idea.
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