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How To Write A Resume For A Career Change

Cut Out Any Irrelevant Information

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

Finally, if your CV is looking sparse, it can be tempting to include more information from your past roles to flesh it out, this could actually be detrimental to your application.

It is better that you submit a shorter but more relevant and persuasive CV rather than a longer but completely irrelevant one.

So, you need to remove any information that is not pertinent to the new role or industry youre applying for, or at the very least, reduce these sections so they arent taking up too much room or focus on the page.

When changing careers, its important that you find out as much as possible about your new chosen career path. This way, you can continue to upskill and gain new experience, and you can shout about your relevant transferable skills.

Just be careful not to fill your new CV with irrelevant information from your past. This will only distract recruiters from your important key skills and reduce your chances of being invited in for an interview.

What Are Transferable Skills

All skills matter, but transferable skills are arguably the most valuable.

A transferable skill is any learned ability that can be leveraged or transferred from one job to another, explains Starks. Some skills, like communication or problem-solving, are nearly universal to any role. Career changers must focus on those that are highly relevant to their current job target. They need to share specific examples of how theyve used these skills. It helps employers see the parallels between their past experiences and the needs of the role to which they applied.

Changing careers may not be easy. With the right tools and mindset, it can lead to a future aligned with your interests and goals.

Your resumé is just part of the picture. Check out how you can build a personal brand to help advance your career.

Explore our short-burst learning offerings to see how you can fill in any skill gaps.

Choosing A Career Change Resume Format

Oftentimes, job seekers choose a functional resume for career change job searches. A functional resume can be appealing because it turns the focus away from work history and toward skills and accomplishments. Sounds perfect, right? A hiring manager might disagree.

A functional resume format can make it look like the job seeker has something to hide. A better option for most job applicants making a career change is the hybrid resume , which still showcases skills and accomplishments but includes a traditional work history in the second half of the document.

Heres the bottom line when it comes to resume format when changing careers: if youre staying within the same industry, a hybrid resume will work great for you. If youre changing careers and industries, you can consider a functional resume format, though the hybrid resume is likely still a better choice.

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Mention Any Relevant Education Or Training

To change careers, you may have received a new degree or other relevant training or certifications. If so, be sure to mention them, as this will show your dedication to joining the industry and learning the skills needed to excel. Having these relevant educational experiences can help make up for having less working experience.

Highlight Your Transferrable Skills And Relevant Qualifications

How to Write the Perfect Resume to Make a Career Change ...

This is your hour of glory, so shine like the Yankees during the Babe Ruth Era.

Now, look at your previous responsibilities and list your skills. Most of them are transferable between different industrieslike a majority of soft skills and technical skills.

Make sure to use numbers to show how efficient you were at your previous position.

Recruiters love passion, but even more, so they love applications that are full of figures and achievements.

Heres a template that you can edit with your own information:

Cover Letter for a Career Change: Body Paragraph

In the job listing, you state that youre seeking a experienced in . In my most recent position with I have succeeded in . I strongly believe my skills will translate into similar results for .

Heres a tip:

Most companies use an Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS, which helps them fish out the best applications. Targeting your cover letter with relevant keywords significantly boosts your chances of passing the ATS scan and landing an interview.

Expert Hint: If you feel the need to change your career, but are not sure which path to choose, consider selecting an occupation projected to have many job openings in the near future.

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Career Change Resume Objective And Summary Statements

Resume objective statements are rarely used in the modern job search as they tend to focus on the job seekers goals rather than tangible accomplishments. In their place, summary statements are typically used. However, a strong resume objective/summary statement hybrid can still be useful for a job seeker changing careers.

When writing your resume objective, turn your focus to the skills that youve picked up throughout your current career and explain how you plan to use them in this new industry. For example:

Accounting professional with over 10 years experience looking to transfer my skills to the finance industry. My proven mathematical and money management skills make me an ideal fit for the Finance Assistant position.

A resume objective or summary section is a great way to tie in past experience with present goals.Kerianne Burke, Tech Recruiter at Segment in San Francisco told us, First, the job seeker needs to give insights into how they have gained knowledge about this new category. Have they taken classes? Completed extensive independent research? Be very specific here! Second, they need to apply these learnings to something to show that they would be able to make an impact in the role they are applying for.

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.

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Career Change Resume Templates

You should now have a general idea of how to format and write your resume or CV for a career change.

If you need a great starting point and dont want to create your resume from scratch then this job search resources page has multiple free resume templates that are great for changing careers.

After clicking the link above, scroll down to the section titled: ATS-Compliant Resume Templates. All of the templates on that page are free to use and download.

Your Resume Is Your Story

How To Write A Perfect Resume For A Career Change

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.

Acknowledging 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

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Employment History Or Experience Section

This is another decision point based on how different your new career is from your current one. Your Employment History or Experience highlights your biggest professional successes and accomplishments. Each bullet point should tell of a challenge, your actions to solve it, and the results you achieved. Use data and details wherever possible. If your new career overlaps your current career, use the Employment History heading and focus on the transferrable skills you can demonstrate through your jobs. Recruiters want to see a pattern of growth in expertise and responsibility, so think of your Employment History as the story of your professional development. If you are heading in a completely different direction, the Experience heading may serve you better. Here you can include your involvement in activities that are not work-related but are relevant to your new career. In either case, keep the ATS in mind. Use strong action verbs that describe you as a go-getter.

If youre having trouble providing the sub-list of achievements and milestones under each job or experience – try the STAR method. Its an acronym that describes your way forward: S – the situation you were in, T – the task that you were responsible for, A – the action you took to achieve R – the desired result. Make this almost into a mini-story in one short sentence. It will demonstrate how you handle work situations with excellence.

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.

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Resume Objective For Career Change Examples

Career change resume objective examples can give you an idea of what your resume is missing. Are you having trouble switching gears to a new field? Let your resume objective speak about your skills, qualities, achievements, and ambitions.

Are you ready for a career change and you need resume writing help to make sure the transition will be smooth? The most important thing to establish at the beginning of your new journey is where exactly you hope to be. Your new purpose translates into a career objective which should be clearly stated so it can land you the first job in the new career.

Briefly put, an objective statement is a short paragraph where you highlight your career plans and goals so recruiters can tell what you want to achieve moving forward and what can you bring to the table from your previous career experience. Thus, the statement should underline both past achievements and future ambitions.

Writing a balanced and convincing objective is challenging, which is why weve brought together career change resume objective examples that can help you craft your own. You will learn to call attention to the skills that make you a great fit for the career of your choice.

Specify How You Will Add Value

Ideal Resume For Someone Making A Career Change

Once you have outlined your relevant qualifications, mention how you will use those skills to help the employer achieve their goals. When applying to work in a particular department, describe what specific contribution you hope to make there. For example, if you are applying to be a retail sales associate, you could state that you aim to provide friendly and attentive service to the store’s walk-in customers. You might also want to include an example from your work history that demonstrates how you previously contributed similar results.

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The Education Section Is At The End Of The Resume

If you’re considering a career change, then you’re probably beyond an entry-level resume which typically places education more closely to the top. For mid-level professionals and above, move your education section to the end. Although your educational background is still important, it’s not as big of a selling point as your skills and experience in the workforce.

A career change can be an exciting time, but you want to make sure you’re well prepared to enter a new industry by updating your resume. Sell your skills and soar to the top of recruiting lists by addressing each of these seven points. Once your resume is more reflective of your future goals in the industry you desire, the easier it will be to match you with potential job opportunities that meet your career aspirations.

Still struggling with your career-change resume? TopResume is here to help.

Leave Out Unnecessary Information

Your resume does not have to exhaustively list every position held, a task completed, and programs used. Think of your resume as a greatest hits album: Include only the highlights that will help your resume seem relevant to hiring managers in your new field. This can be particularly important if you’re switching job levels, as well as shifting careers.

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Key Sections On Your Career Change Resume

The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

Dont forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that youre not able to show in a resume.

1. Contact Information and Header

Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.


2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that youre applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?


Qualifications Summary

3. Work Experience

Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.


Theater Production Manager


4. Education


Work On Your New Career Objective


Do you remember how you developed the career objective for your previous job? You have to repeat the process again for this one. Your new career objective may not be easily obvious as it represents a new direction in life for you, so you may have to work doubly hard to develop it this time around.

As a guide, introduce yourself with your most powerful trait, followed by two or three skills, then wrap it up with your professional goals, as well as the goals that you could help the company achieve should they choose you for the position.

You career objective is represented in your resume summary for career change. Including one is essential for anyone changing careers, because it immediately explains to recruiters why your skillsets may differ from everybody else applying for the job. As the tone-setter for the rest of your resume, use your career change resume summary statement to bring the focus to your transferrable skills and qualifications and take some attention away from your work experience, which may mostly be irrelevant.

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Research The Right Keywords And Apply Them

Companies big and small now employ whats called an applicant tracking system automated machines that screen resumes before theyre seen by recruiters and hiring managers. The way these systems work is that they read resumes in search of keywords and phrases to ensure that an applicant meets the qualifications of the job.

To beat ATS, you need to make sure your resume uses the right keywords and phrases, and the way to do this is to review the job post carefully, taking note of terms and phrases used, especially those in the skill and experience requirements. By incorporating these words in your career change resume naturally and organically, you increase the chances of your resume passing not only an ATS screen but the scrutiny of recruiters and HR managers as well.

Choosing The Best Career Change Resume Format

A big part of creating an effective resume is choosing the right resume format to tell your story with.

You need to structure your resume in a way that best shows your transferable skills and experience.

And when it comes to switching careers, the combination resume format does that best.

Heres why:

This format places equal emphasis on skills and important work experience.

This way, you can show you have the right industry transferable skills, even if you havent had the actual job title.

The format is ideal for people:

  • Making a career change with transferable skills or work experience.
  • With some employment gaps.
  • With a diverse range of skills and experience.
  • Applying to both creative and traditional roles.

And heres what you include within this format:

  • Contact information
  • Certification
  • Projects

Now, were going to go over each of those sections and explain how to write them step-by-step.

Heres what you need to know:

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Highlight Your Valuable Talents

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


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