How to Create Your Career Change Resume
So you’ve decided to take your career in a new direction. In a sea of competing job seekers, how do you make sure your resume stands out? How are you going to convince an employer to take a chance on you?
What skills can I transfer?
The first question you should ask yourself is, “What skills can I transfer from my previous career?” Make a list of skills that you think are transferable to a new position. For example, a project manager communicates with clients, delivers presentations to large groups, juggles multiple projects, and with sells/upsells products. These are all skills to make a switch into sales. You can also leverage skills you have gained from volunteering and hobbies. At the end of the day, a skill is a skill regardless of where it derived from.
List your qualifications
Why are you qualified for the new role? Try creating a simple checklist of the qualifications needed in the new role. Based off all those, which ones will make you stand out and command attention from the hiring manager?
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If you’re looking at a career change that is vastly different from your previous role, a functional resume is the correct style for you. This type of resume starts with your goal and summary of qualifications and gives you the ability to focus on your skills. Additionally, this format affords you the ability to downplay your job experience. At the end, add a brief chronology of your work history; include company, job title and dates of employment.
This type of resume is best for someone with transferable skills from previous positions. You’ll lead with the career summary (qualifications or skills summary), which will emphasize your strongest credentials. You can showcase your areas of expertise, strong key skills and highlight accomplishments. You want the hiring manager’s attention, and this will make them want to keep reading. Next, list employment in a reverse chronological format and focus on achievements and accomplishments; often times people list employment experience and job duties as if they are writing a job description. While this may seem logical, you really want to highlight your successes and how those transfer to the new career. Lastly, list your education and highlight anything additional that might transfer to the new career (certifications, licensure, etc).
Whichever one of the two resume styles you chose should help you achieve your goal- Just make sure to sell yourself, your skills and show why you are the best person for the job. Best of luck to you in your new career!