10 Resume Tips for Career Changers
10 professional tips for an effective career change resume
Little professionals stay on the same career path for a lifetime. Some understand that their initial career choice was wrong, some crave significant changes for financial reasons, and some want to change work routine in favor of a creative occupation. Whatever your personal reason is, you will need a strong career change resume to persuade the employers that you’ve got what it takes to succeed in a new capacity.
A career change resume should not downplay the experience you already have, but rather to connect your existing expertise to a new field. You also need to focus on accomplishments to show your aptitude for problem solving and exceeding expectations. And don’t forget to polish formatting and layout so that the document is pleasant to read. In today’s post, our professional resume creator will suggest the effective strategies to help your resume get noticed.
10 Resume tips for changing career
Are you switching to a social media manager, web developer or a financial consultant role? In either case, take this resume advice into account:
- Focus on transferable skills
Each job puts your certain hard and soft skills into practice. If you’re not switching to a cardinally new field (such as from economic analyst to a theater performer), more often than not, these skills overlap. Before you get down to writing a new resume, write down all the skills you’ve used throughout the career. Recollect both hard skills such as proficiency with Excel, Adobe and foreign languages, and less obvious soft skills. These might include mentoring new hires, written communication, solving client problems, and more. Look for similarities between the skills you’ve got and what your target job ad requests for. These skills will be your biggest asset on a new resume.
- Give them examples and figures
Now that you’ve identified the right skills to highlight on a resume, it’s time to make them visible. The easiest path is to simply list these skills in a separate section. However, a far more efficient technique is to show off how those skills helped you succeed in a previous career. For instance, instead of saying that you trained new hires, you can write “Authored a training manual for sales associates that increased client satisfaction by 15%”. Employers love accomplishments – they imply that you’re likely going to be a top performer if they hire you.
- Remove what’s unnecessary
This rule works for all resume types, but if you’re switching career, it’s absolutely critical. Don’t list everything you’ve done in all the jobs you had since graduation. Delete the duties which are irrelevant, secondary, or don’t help to portray you as a top candidate. First and foremost, it helps you save the resume space, keeping it to the recommended 1-2 pages. And secondly, it makes the resume more focused. Note that if you’re changing career, the hiring managers will review your application more skeptically than the resumes of people with relevant experience. So, you need to go the extra mile to show that you truly got what it takes to succeed.
- Capitalize on your unpaid experience
The hardest thing about career change resumes is proving that you’ve got relevant skills and expertise. However, “relevant experience” doesn’t necessarily mean full-time employment. Don’t be shy to list your voluntary experience, project work, or freelancing in the field you’re going to enter. Treat these gigs as full-time jobs – describe your duties, accomplishments and skills. If you have at least little experience in a new field, you’re more likely to get an interview than if you have none.
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- Choose the resume format carefully
As a rule, career experts recommend that you stay on functional format if you’re changing fields. However, it’s not that simple. Functional resumes make the hiring managers suspect that you’re hiding something. A more effective option is to use a combination resume. This means that you list the jobs in reverse chronological order as usual, and only add the section for skills or accomplishments above the experience. It moves the reader’s focus to your biggest strengths while keeping your work history transparent.
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- Opt for objective instead of summary
Resume objectives are considered outdated and all career experts recommend that you use summary instead. However, there are exceptions to this rule. One of these exceptions is a career change. It might not be clear from your previous experience where you plan to go next if you’ve worked 8 years as an elementary school teacher and apply for an online marketing job. A well-thought-out objective will proactively answer the reader’s questions about your goals. And explaining how you’re planning to use the skills you’ve acquired before in your career will help you create an image of a suitable candidate.
- Speak their language
When you work in the same field for years, you inevitably use common jargon and abbreviations. As you rewrite a resume for a new career path, make sure to remove the jargon or, which is better, replace it with the terms accepted in a new industry. For instance, if you are making a transition from military to a civilian job, you might want to replace “officer in charge” with “managed” or “oversaw”. Showing the familiarity with the common terms and process of your target job will add your resume points during the screening process.
- Optimize for keywords
Most mid-sized and large companies use ATS, and ignoring the necessity of keywording can cost you lots of great opportunities. To pass the screening, use the same language for skills, processes and competencies that the job posting uses, and add the most important keywords closer to the top of the resume. You might also want to browse the industry resources to find more keyword ideas for your resume.
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- Have your resume reviewed by a pro
After you’ve spent a decent amount of time polishing your resume, it’s a good idea to show it to professionals that work with resumes on a daily basis: HR professionals, recruiters, or resume writers. They will provide you with an outside perspective and give helpful suggestions about what to improve, if necessary. By the way, our reputable resume edit service offers a free resume review service. If you need some assistance with making your resume better, email it to us and our staff writer will provide you with detailed feedback.
- Go beyond the resume preparation
It’s not exactly resume advice, but make sure to update your online profiles as well. The employers will inevitably look up for you online, and your social media pages should add up to your professional image rather than destroy it. Change the privacy settings on your personal pages and remove any controversial content. Update the LinkedIn page in line with the resume so that they tell the same story. A consistently built professional image will make a positive impression on a recruiter even if you don’t have much experience in a new field so far.
Ease your career transition with a professional resume
Career change is both an exciting and challenging experience. Your resume, if it doesn’t reflect your qualifications properly, can actually slow down the transition. So, if you hesitate about its effectiveness or struggle to get interviews, it will do you a lot of good to consult a resume expert. Our American writer can create you a brand new resume, closely tailoring it to the new industry and focusing on your transferrable skills. If you are looking to energize your job search, take a look at our services and prices or contact us in chat to grab your exclusive 20% discount.