How to write a resume to make a career change

Write a resume – Writing a resume can be an intimidating undertaking, and this is especially true if you’re planning to change careers or industries. If you’re interested in making a career transition, a resume revamp is imperative.

I shared with Business Insider’s Jacquelyn V. Smith a sample resume and my top tips for someone making a career change. Here are the main takeaways:


Make your career objective clear.

The most common complaint I receive from professionals trying to make a career transition is that recruiters keep reaching out with job opportunities related to their current line of work, rather than their new career objective. Help educate your readers by making your new job goals crystal clear in the professional title and summary you include on your resume and your LinkedIn profile.

Highlight your relevant qualifications.

Identify which of your skill sets are valuable to another field, and in what capacity. I can rattle off a list of common skills that are easily transferrable to a variety industries and functions – problem-solving, strategic thinking, strong written or oral communication, people management, innovation, negotiation, etc. – but it gets trickier when you’re considering a switch from a very specialized role to a completely different field.

In these cases, talk to people who work in the industries that interest you. Once they have a good understanding of your background and strengths, they’ll be able provide insight into which roles in their field might be relevant to you, and which of your qualifications should be emphasized in your resume.

Repackage your experience into terms your target audience will understand.

Every field has its own acronyms and terminology – it’s your job to figure out how to translate your experience and past successes into terms that resonate with your new target audience. Subscribe to industry-specific publications, conduct informational interviews, and start attending events that are relevant to your target field to gain this insight and update your resume accordingly.

Exclude any irrelevant information.

Reevaluate your entire resume with your new goals in mind. If a recruiter or hiring manager in your target field was reading your resume, what information would they care about? More importantly, what sections would they read and think, “so what?” Remember, what you include in your resume and how you state it is just as important as what you decide to leave off. You have precious real estate on your resume; use it wisely.

Incorporate non-work related skills and activities.

If you’re making a major career change, you may find that some of your hobbies and interests outside the office take on greater meaning during your job search. Do you spend your free time involved in activities that are relevant to your new target industry? Showcase any memberships to professional associations, volunteer work, internships or other extracurricular activities that allowed you to leverage relevant skills or exposed you to your target field or industry.

Source: Amanda Augustine (Ladders)

in Resume Tips & Advice

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