Resume Considerations for Career Changers
So, you have decided to make a career change. Your first challenge is how to structure your resume to fit the career you desire when your work history fits your previous career. If you don’t put the effort into carefully focusing your resume, you will be lost in the pile of resumes from candidates who already have the relevant prior work experience.
Here are some considerations to ensure that your resume is noticed for those positions in your new career field.
Research and Networking
Don’t overlook the importance of research and networking to gain insight into the critical skills in your desired new role and the industry terminology to support it. Understand what skills are expected or even desirable in the new field so you can objectively evaluation your transferrable skills.
Be sure to make your career objective clear in your summary. Without stating a specific goal in your summary, think about how you describe yourself and your skills. You are rebranding yourself with this resume so be sure you have a strong summary to capture the reader’s attention by clearly focusing on your most valuable transferable skills for the positions you aspire to hold in the future. Remember, you are selling yourself.
Your prior work experience is what it is. You have to accurately reflect employer names, job titles and dates of employment since that will all be verified later in the process. Instead of focusing on all past accomplishments, highlight the most relevant accomplishments for your new career direction. Focus on the skills most critical in the new position. Quantify your results whenever possible. Avoid the temptation to include extraneous, irrelevant information. Focus on your major achievements.
Other Skills and Activities
Employers want to hire a complete person. Remember to include technical skills as well as language proficiency as relevant. Also include volunteer activities or unique interests. If you list an interest such as reading, be prepared to talk about the last book you read and what you found most interesting. Often it is a unique interest that captures an interviewer’s attention.
Throughout the resume be use to accurately describe your experience and accomplishments but wherever possible use terminology that is relevant to the new career direction you have identified.