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How To Explain Career Change On Resume

Highlight Your Valuable Talents

How to write the best resume for career change | Sample of Resume | Career Change

Its vital that you understand how crucial the first quarter of your CV is, as recruiters will only spend an average of five to seven seconds reading an application. Because of this, you need to grab their attention right away.

So, as you continue to upskill and gain new qualifications and experience, you must regularly update your CV to reflect this.

The best ways to do this is to add any impressive new qualifications, experience or achievements to your personal profile at the top of your CV. This can then be followed up by your skills section, in which you should focus on the important transferable skills you possess.

This can help the recruiter to quickly identify whether youd be a good fit for the role and can be the difference between them reading on or simply putting your CV aside.

And with over 90% of recruiters using social media to screen candidates now, don’t forget to update your relevant profiles with your newly found skills

Highlight Education And Certifications

Sometimes when people are changing careers, they have educational backgrounds or certifications that suit them more to the position than their actual job history does. If this is the case, it is perfectly appropriate to place the education section before the professional experience section. This will direct the employer’s eye first to qualities that are directly applicable to the new job target and will work in your favor.

The I See You Took A Career Break Conversation

How to explain a career break is the question Cohen is most frequently asked. You dont want to apologize. You want to be very matter-of-fact about why you took the career break, and then you want to move on to why youre the best person for the job, she says. You say, Yes, I took a career break to care for my children, and now I cant wait to get back to work. In fact, the reason I am so interested in this particular position is because of the work experience I had at X, where we faced very similar customer challenges. One of the most difficult situations was X, and this is what we did.

To be successful, this conversation hinges on you being able to produce a well-rehearsed anecdote from each prior job and volunteer position. You need to have these in your back pocket, Cohen says. If youre early in your career and you havent taken a career break or transitioned yet, or if you have millennial children, tell them to start documenting their work experiences positive, negative, anytime theres a milestone moment. If they decide to take a career break or transition later on, theyre going to need these anecdotes from prior experiences, and if you have notes, its much easier to remember these than having to recreate them later on.

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Pick The Right Resume Style

There are three commonly used resume styles: chronological, functional, and a combination of the two. Chronological resumes list all of your previous job titles with bullet points of your previous job duties. These tend to be the least optimal for career changers and work better if you’re looking for a new job in your current or a similar field.

Functional resumes are a bit controversial but could be a good for career changers. They begin with a career goal or objective and then list out transferable skills and relevant training courses or education before briefly summarizing your previous jobs. Because functional resumes de-emphasize the jobs you’ve had and focus on your skills and abilities, they are a solid choice if you’re changing your career to a significantly different field. This is also why some recruiters don’t like them it can be hard to see career progression and work history.

An even better option may be the combination-style resume, which begins with a summary of your qualifications and then lists skills. By showing your transferrable skills as well as your work history, potential employers can see that you’re a dependable employee while you tell them the story of how your experience relates to the job they have open.

Express Your Excitement For The Company

Examples Of Career Change Resumes

Describe your excitement about the company and your passion for what they do. Employers may be more interested in a candidate who expresses genuine enthusiasm about the position and company than they would someone who simply wants a new job. Demonstrate that you have researched and are familiar with the company and its mission.

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Career Change Resume: Examples And How To Write

September 9, 2020 | By Conrad Benz| Reviewed by

When changing careers, you have to convince employers that youre the right person for the job while competing with experienced applicants. Our how-to-write guide and career change resume examples will help you put together a strong application and land a job in your target industry.

Career Change Resume Objective Example

Resume Objective Example: Changing Careers

  • Organized and hard-working employee looking to join XYZ as a marketing assistant. Looking to take advantage of my skills in Photoshop, graphic design, and creative copywriting to help XYZ with their marketing efforts.

See the difference here?

Even though the person doesnt have any relevant work experience, their resume objective still shows how their skill set is relevant to the new job.

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List Any Relevant Certifications

Many fields require specific credentials and certifications. If you have them, position the certifications on your resume where they can be easily seen. Some creative resume templates even place your certifications at the center of the resume, which is a good way to highlight them.

If youre unsure what certifications to get for your target industry, look at job analysis sites like Onetonline. Online resources like these have detailed information about what certifications, skills, and education are required for a wide variety of professions.

However, if you dont have job-specific certifications that apply to your new career but have similar ones, you can mention those too. Ultimately, any professional certification or qualification is good, and should be featured on an effective career change resume.

Write A Resume Objective

How to write a resume when changing careers – Resume tips for career switches

Use your resume objective, which appears on the top of your resume, to highlight what type of job you’re seeking. The objective, just like the rest of your resume, is all about you. But the true purpose of the objective is to sell hiring managers on your candidacy.

In your objective, connect the dots for hiring managers. You can use this space to make it clear how your former career has provided you with the skills you need in your new field, and for this job in particular.

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Revise Your Education Section

It may be helpful to revise your education section. Your college major and minor may be more relevant to your original field, but you still may have taken several classes that were not in the same field as your major or minor. If any of these classes are relevant to your new career, you can indicate it in this section. Examples of these skills include critical thinking, research, writing, teamwork and project development. Provide brief bullet points after each educational listing to indicate what relevant transferable skills you developed. Take note that these classes should only be highlighted if they were completed within the last 5 years. Any further back and they risk losing relevance with the employer.

Related: How to Include Relevant Coursework on a Student Resume

Be Flexible With Layout

Prioritise key details such as qualifications, blue-chip company experience, or even a glowing testimonial. These can go near the beginning of your CV. Consider splitting your professional history into two or more sections, with anything relevant positioned more prominently.

There is no single way to format a CV. The job description can help you decide what needs to be most prominent. One possibility is to use your skills as broad headings, giving supporting details under each skill, then following with a reverse chronological work history section. So if you were applying for an office administration role, organisational or communication skills could be broad headings, with experience and achievements listed under each, then your employment history. If your new career is not too different from your previous one, you could even use a standard chronological format, angling the details to match the requirements of the new role .

Adding a profile can help you outline broad strengths such as management or leadership experience. You can follow this with a key results section to illustrate those strengths, or leave your achievements in your work history section. You can label CV sections as you find appropriate or even include new ones. For example, adding relevant civic or community service, ongoing education or leadership sections can help you stand out.

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Combination Resume Tips And Examples

When preparing to write a resume, you have the option to use a few resume formats, including chronological, functional and combination. A combination resume emphasizes relevant skills and accomplishments at the top of your resume. It also lists your professional history in reverse-chronological, meaning that the most recent experiences come first.

In this article, we discuss what a combination resume is, how to decide if it is the right format for you and how to write one with examples.

Create An Action Plan

Examples Of Career Change Resumes

Once you’ve identified the career that is most feasible based on your time, resources and current skills, you need to create an action plan for how you’re going to get that position. Write down the end goal, the timeline in which you want to achieve it and milestones you need to accomplish as you pursue the goal. For example, if you want to be a registered nurse, determine how much time you need for school and licensing requirements.

Also, make note of any potential obstacles you could encounter so that you can have a plan for overcoming them. For example, if your target career could potentially involve relocation, make a plan for the best way to move. Being prepared for challenges helps you stay focused on your objective.

Related: Midlife Career Change: What to Do Next

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Impress The Recruiter With A Career Change Resume Objective Or Summary

So youve got your contact details down.

Now, you need a reason for the HR manager to continue reading the rest of your resume.

So, how do you get the recruiter to stop and read your career change resume when they only look at resumes for 6 seconds on average?

The answer: by using a resume objective or summary.

Both of these sections explain why youre the best person for the job and act as a preview to the rest of your resume.

Heres how the two differ:

Your resume summary shows your best accomplishments that are relevant to the job youre applying for.

Your resume objective highlights how your current skills are relevant and will transfer to your new position.

As someone going through a career change, you can include either one.

But as a rule of thumb, if you were working in a related field and have some transferable skills, go for a resume summary.

On the other hand, if you were working in a completely unrelated field, go for a resume objective.

Check out these examples to get a better idea of what both of these might look like:

Introduction To The Career Shift Resume

In movies, career changes are quick, easy, and usually set to a snappy musical montage. In real life? Not so much.

Not only will you have to work hard to develop the appropriate skills for your new career, but youll also have to give your resume a total makeover. Of course, that leads to an important question: what is the best way to format your resume for a career shift?

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Emphasize Your Transferable Skills

Most importantly, focus on the transferable skills you have that you can use in the new position rather than on the skills you have that are only related to your current role. Analyze the job description for the position youre applying to, and look at the skills that the position calls for.

Choose the ones that best match your own skills or experience. Then, if possible, use specific anecdotes from your work or academic history to illustrate some of these strengths in action.

Tips For Building Your Resume Around Transferable Skills

Career Change Resume | Career Change CV | How to make a stand out career change resume | + Example

If you want to make the most of your transferable skills for entering a new kind of work or industry, making sure that theyre a strong focus in your resume is important.

  • Identify your transferable skills. First of all, its important to be clear on what your own transferable skills are so that you can highlight them clearly to potential employers. Refer to this transferable skills checklist to help you identify and list them.
  • Look at whats required for the role or industry. Next, consider what transferable skills could be most relevant to the kind of work you want to do, so you can refine your list of transferable skills and match them to jobs youre applying for.Find some examples of the roles being advertised, and make a list of the skills and experience they are looking for, Grainger-Marsh says. There will probably be a few common elements in there, and those are the areas to focus on. If theres one particular job youre interested in, read closely over the requirements in the job ad and identify any transferable skills mentioned.
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    First Identify Transferable Skills

    Take time to get to know the industry you are moving into. Read industry news and job descriptions to get an idea of skills employers are looking for. Review your current resume and the skills youve gained and used during your career. See if there are any skills that you can transfer to your desired field. Many soft skills, like communication and organization, are skills that transfer well.

    Remember that non-professional experience can also be included in your career change resume. Volunteer work and sometimes even hobbies, such as writing blogs or playing a sport, can show specific knowledge and skills.

    + Tried And Tested Career Change Resume Tips

    Career change happens to most of us at some point in our lives. In fact, the single-career trajectory is becoming less and less common. Some of the greatest anxieties surrounding career change centers around the process how do I get an interview, what does my resume need to look like, what skills do I need?

    Below, weve analyzed the career change of our real users to provide top tips on how to craft your career change resume.

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    Experience On A Career Change Resume

    If you find that your new career change job is related to some of your previous work experiences or previous job roles and responsibilities. Then, ensure to highlight those relevant roles & responsibilities of previous work experience to relate and convey that to your prospective HR. This way you can get an opportunity to be considered by the recruiting team and get yourself a chance to be interviewed. Use relevant keywords and explain the previous job responsibilities in a detailed way such that relate that to your new job role. This will help you, & your employer, to know how you can transfer your existing skills to perform in the new job role.

    How To Plan A Career Gap

    How to Make an Acceptable Career Change Resume (With ...

    If youre reading this and youre thinking of taking a career gap in future, then youre in the right place, especially if you aim to use the time to travel while developing professionally.

    The first step to taking a career gap is overcoming the preconceptions and making the decision to do it. Once you have cleared that hurdle, you will have a clear focus and you can begin working towards the goal.

    Our ultimate guide to taking a travel career break walks through every stage of a travel sabbatical, from the initial decision-making right through to what happens after you return home.

    Planning ahead will put you in the best situation to thrive in your career after taking a break. Our survival guide to returning home after travel covers the challenges you may face after taking time out. Also see our strategies for finding a job after travelling the world, which includes a section on planning ahead, and is relevant to rejoining the workforce after any kind of career gap.

    To get that tricky conversation started with your boss, read our guide to how to ask for a sabbatical from work.

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    Choose Your Format Wisely

    Sometimes, a functional resume one that highlights skills above job history and is generally not chronological is recommended for career changers, as it allows candidates to showcase what they choose. While I strongly discourage professionals from using a functional resume format, some career changers find it easy to present their marketable skills in this structure, Augustine says. A word of caution: Recruiters despise this resume format and most applicant tracking systems have difficulty reading and parsing your resumes information when its presented this way. That means you could automatically get rejected just for using the wrong resume format.

    The consensus among experts? Stick with a chronological format, providing more or less detail for each job, depending on how transferable your responsibilities and accomplishments were.


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