There are many reasons for initiating a career change. It could be that there is a shift in the industry or your interests have changed. When you are looking for a job in a brand new field, you will need a revamped resume to use for your job search. Changing industries and writing a career change resume is not an easy task, but rest assured that a lot of your job experience will still be relevant, even as you enter into a completely different industry.
This is largely due to ‘soft skills’ and their transferable nature. For instance, if you are switching from a role in the management of a publishing company to a role in the event planning industry, you will still rely heavily on and apply your strong excel budgeting skills, as well as leadership and organization abilities.
Since your hard skills are unlikely to be of much use in the new industry, your resume should play to your soft skills, explaining to hiring managers how these transferable skills and qualifications from your previous line of work will be relevant and applicable to the new position you seek.
Our tips on how to write a career change resume:
Identify Your Transferable Skills
The process of putting your new resume together requires, first and foremost, the familiarity and understanding of the industry you are looking to enter. That is why it is essential to first study up on the new industry you are looking to enter and the skills required of employees who work in it. To start, print off your current resume with your current employment history to date. Then add to it the skills you have gained and applied throughout your career thus far. Then, list out those skills that are required by your desired industry, and look for matches.
You will need to look at the big picture and get creative. What do the two industries, the one you are leaving and the one that you are entering, have in common? Do both require strong presentation skills, good communicative abilities, or an ability to relay complex concepts in an easy to understand, digestible way?
Make sure you include non-professional experience as well. Think of events you might have organized, skills you have acquired, projects you partook in, places you volunteered, or even hobbies that you engage in outside of your normal job. All of these can and should be provided as evidence of your additional experience and skills.
Write A Resume Objective
The resume objective, which is the highlighted lead of your resume, should define what type of job you are seeking. Like the rest of your resume, the objective is all about you. However, its true purpose is to draw the hiring manager in and sell them on considering you as the ideal candidate for the position they are seeking to fill. This is a place to connect the dots for hiring managers, linking how the skills you possess suit the needs of their company and the particular role you are seeking.
Add A Skills Section
A skills section should be added to your resume to highlight both soft and hard skills that you possess which are suitable for and useful in their industry. Keep in mind that while a hiring manager is scanning your resume, they may not see jobs or responsibilities that are suited to their industry. The skills section is a way to fill in the gaps and broadcast skills that may not be apparent from simply listing your past roles and accomplishments.
Leave Out Unnecessary Information
It helps to think of your resume as a ‘greatest hits’ collection. That means it does not have to be an exhaustive listing of every position worked, tasks accomplished, and every program you know. You should include just the pertinent highlights that are going to assist the hiring manager in understanding how your set of skills is relevant to your new field. This is especially crucial to keep in mind when you are changing careers or shifting job levels.
Watch For Jargon When You Write a Career Change Resume
Beware of the jargon you use. Your current industry’s jargon may not be applicable or easy to understand by a hiring manager in a new field, which could lead to confusion. Make sure that all of your explanations of programs, work-related tasks, job titles, and achievements are clearly outlined in a language that is simple for anyone to understand. If you want to be even more impressive, use the jargon of your new industry to elaborate on your responsibilities and skills.