How to Write an Effective Career Change Resume

Career Change

Whether through discovery of a new passion, underutilized skills, facing relocation or simple career burn-out, there comes a point in time when you will find yourself itching for a career change. Unless you’re looking to switch to a very specialized field, becoming a pediatrician for example, you don’t have to start completely from scratch. However, the question remains: How do you jump from an industry you’ve grown comfortable with to something new?

The first step is to write an effective career change resume. This should help you to get your foot in the door of a new industry and establish your presence as a qualified professional. Here are three resume crafting tips to get you started.

  • Career Profile – This is often referred to as the “Objective” or “Intro Statement.” Many people make the mistake here of using this section to announce what they are looking for. To the contrary, this section should instead proclaim your strengths as a professional and what you offer the employer. The prospective employer already knows that you’re looking for a position within their company, which is why the term “Objective” no longer applies. Use this section to tell the employer about your Career Profile: your technical skills, abilities as an effective communicator, leadership experience, recent training and/or related skills to the field you are transitioning to.
  • Professional Experience – This is the hard part. All of your actual professional experience is in a completely different field, so how do you make that experience look applicable? For starters, consider leaving out your specific job title. Just mention the company, the department you worked in and the time you spent there. Then, keep the work description concise but accurate and leave out any information that isn’t relevant to your new career path. As Human Workplace’s Liz Ryan suggests, “You have to see the relevance between what you’ve done already and what you plan to do next.” Almost every job has certain skills that are transferable to any industry. Highlight those transferable skills and avoid mentioning the other aspects of the position that you’re not looking to return to.
  • Education – Unless you recently earned a relevant degree or you graduated from an Ivy League school, this section should still remain beneath your professional experience section. If you’ve enhanced your education with new certificates or degrees relating to the career change you’re aspiring to make, list those achievements above your previous educational accomplishments. In addition to listing the university degree or training you’ve completed, consider listing the applicable courses by name to show that you have academic knowledge and relevant training in the new industry you are targeting.

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