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Changing Careers? Top Resume Tips and Tricks That Land Interviews

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A career change is never an easy feat to accomplish. Perhaps the greatest challenge in the task is to convince the hiring managers why you need a career change and what makes you eligible for the new position.

The first step in changing careers is to create a new resume that would assist you in your job search for the position you are seeking. A career change can come at any point in a person’s life, perhaps in the middle of an already established career, after you have completed tenure or even as you initially start working.

The question is how to make a career change, regardless of which phase of work experience you are in. The first step is to create a resume, especially for a job change.

Creating a resume for a job position in which you have no prior experience can be a daunting task, but your previous experience of a different industry will still count. Many of your soft skills are transferable, even when looking at a new field. For example, if you are shifting from a managerial role to an event planning position, your skills of organization, budgeting, and excel background, leadership qualities, and such will be very relevant.

Here are some helpful tips to create your new resume.

Choosing the Right Format for Your Career Change Resume

You need to bear in mind that when you apply for a job that is different from what you have previous experience, skills, and qualifications for, you will be pitting against candidates that have the relevant prerequisites for the current position.

You must, therefore, make your new resume as effective as can be by choosing the correct format. This is the format that must make your story convincing and impressive. You must be able to convey the hiring managers how your career change would be profitable for their company.

There are two kinds of resume format for a career change:

Functional Resume Format 

Most employers in the industry today generally do not prefer the functional resume format. However, this format may suit you if you are making a radical career change In this format, you can downplay your previous work experience while emphasizing more on your relevant skills. Your career goal and qualifications must lead your resume, and you must include categories that outline your experience and relevant skills.

Combination Resume Format

If you are changing careers, then we recommend using the combination format. In this resume, you reverse your chronological references, leading with a summary of your qualifications. This resume would more suit your mission as it would draw the spotlight on your accomplishments in your work experience, those that would relate to your new position.

Create a Skills Section on Your Resume

You need to make the recruiters and hiring managers understand your capabilities. You must, therefore, identify your transferable skills and explain how they are transferable to the career change. Transferable skills are those that assist you in each job you undertake. They convey to potential employers that you possess the skills to the job you have never done before.

So what are the transferable skills? They are the soft skills that are a requirement for success in any job position. Transferable skills include leadership qualities, multitasking, effective communication, adaptability, problem-solving, competency, and similar skills.

You must also include transferable skills that are relevant such as those you employ in internships, hobbies, training, volunteerism, etc.

The Purpose of Adding a Career Objective

Your objective is the first thing that appears on your resume and, in all honesty, is the selling point of your candidacy. Although the entire document is all about you, the objective is where you grab the attention of your hiring managers in full force.

You must clearly outline in strong words why you are eligible for this position and how your previous work equipped you with all the skills your new field requires. The objective should highlight the job type you are seeking and function as connecting dots for the recruiters.

Include Relevant Details on Why You're Making a Career Change

You must mention why you are seeking a career change, but there is no need for you to over-explain the decision to switch. Stay precise and to the point.

Include only those details that are relevant to your new position. If your qualification is relevant to your new job, then you must highlight it by all accounts. However, if your qualification is not related to the current job field, then you must minimize it.

You must also ensure that you mention all previous training and certifications that are relevant to the new position. The point is to prove that you are an achiever and will be an asset to the organization.

Remember to discuss your ability to adapt and change, as this is most importantly, what your career change is all about.

Pay Close Attention to the Language You Use

When you are an insider in a field, you become so accustomed to the jargon that it almost becomes your second nature. However, when you are changing careers, you must communicate in the language of your new employers. Research on what language the hiring managers of the new field speak.

Different career fields have different codes of language. You cannot expect the recruiters to understand the jargon from your previous. If you fail to convince them of your potential and skills in clear and effective language, you will only alienate and confuse the hiring managers of your new field.

As a pro tip, you must seek feedback from professionals in the new industry regarding your new resume. Try to find mutual connections that would approve and  guide you based on the effectiveness of your resume. This step may gain you some valuable advice about your resume and a new career.

Final Thoughts on Resumes for Career Changers

When changing careers, the most crucial step is to design the perfect resume that would successfully land you the job you are seeking. However, writing a resume for a career change is different from writing a resume when you have been working in the same industry for a long time.

With these guidelines and the right feedback, you can easily make the transition from one industry to another.

Do You Need Help with Your Job Search?

It’s tough to go it alone, and that’s why we recommend getting the resources you need to succeed.  We’ve in included links to some of our favorites below.

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