Making a career change is no insignificant step in your work life! Career changes bring about potential for new growth and opportunities, but also present unique challenges and demands, especially during periods of adjustment between career paths. One such challenge presented near the forefront of a career change is how to properly create a resume for a career change. Many think that there is no significant issue here. Simply update your current resume and submit it along with your application, right? Well, not so much. You see, your current resume is hopefully geared towards the industry you are currently serving in. In order to make a quick and successful career transition, it is imperative that an individual has a resume that speaks toward the industry they are seeking to find employment in. This requires some skill and forethought, but is an achievable goal.
Overhauling your resume requires starting from square one and working your way through the entire document. Start with your career objective statement first, as this likely needs to change along with your industry. Then move through highlighting all relevant experience and accomplishments in a manner that presents their value in your new desired industry. You much then completely rebrand your experience and include even more information regarding non-career details that help support your candidacy.
Redefining Your Career Objective
When transitioning into a new industry, you must consider how your current resume was compiled. If your resume was effective in the past, that doesn’t mean it will have the same affect in your new industry of choice. A career objective regarding improved sales metrics and territory coverage from your old Sales Manager career won’t speak to the hiring managers in your new career goal of Chief Financial Officer. The objective needs to pivot with the career move, highlighting the new goals that are appropriate for the position.
Start by thinking about what you are wanting to achieve in your new career. What specific goals or qualifications are listed in the job description that you want to highlight in your objective? What value do you feel you can bring to the company and the opportunity? Remember to clearly describe your goals in the title and in the summary section of your resume in order to get the message straight across to the recruiter or hiring manager.
Highlight Your Relevant Qualifications
Regardless of your highly decorated career success in your previous industry, those awards and accomplishments don’t necessarily transition effectively onto your new resume. While you may want to highlight certain key awards or accomplishments that stand out, you should be careful not to list each and every one. To start, select those qualifications that are most appropriate for your new career. The most effective may surprise you.
For example, awards for meeting sales goals or driving revenue may not be as impressive or applicable for your new management career opportunity as traits such as leadership or decision making. Think through this section with the mindset of the hiring manager for your new career path, not so much what would impress those whom you have worked for before. If this presents a challenge for you, consider speaking with our Career Coaches who can assist in guiding you through places in which you should place an emphasis.
Rebrand Your Experience
Rebranding the experience you possess in your resume is essential to communicate effectively with a hiring manager. While you can’t (and shouldn’t) seek to replace your hard earned experiences from your old career, you can and should use different terminology to describe them in a way which resonates with your new career industry.
A good place to start understanding the terminology to use for your new career path is researching online. Look for different articles or descriptions for your new industry and pay close attention to the terms and adjectives they use to describe the industry. Pick terms that fit for your experience and use those to rebrand your experience section.
Include More Personal Information
While most individuals are used to listing only professional information on their resume, a resume for a career change should weigh slightly more on the personal side as to not alienate a candidate for having information only pertaining to their old career path. This may include excluding some experiences or accomplishments that are meaningful or highly valued in your old career simply because they hold no value in your new one.
In order to make up for this potential loss of professional information, you can recover some information by highlighting non-professional experiences that lend themselves more effectively to your new career. Including non-professional activities such as volunteering, charitable work, internships, memberships, etc can all provide exceptional value that speak more directly to your recruiter or hiring manager.
As you can see, reworking your resume for a career change is an important first step that should be taken with serious forethought. Having a resume targeted towards your new career opportunity is the only way to ensure it will pass automated software systems such as the Applicant Tracking System that scans incoming resumes and filters them out for hiring managers and recruiters.
This undertaking may seem somewhat intimidating, especially if you don’t have a wealth of knowledge about your new desired career field. Luckily, at USA Resume, the leading resume writing service in Houston, TX, our our team of certified resume writers have specific industry experience and can guide you through the process. Our highly skilled writers are experts at career transition resumes, and can take the worry and stress off of you shoulders, while letting you focus on more important parts of your career transition. Contact our resume writing service in Houston, TX today to learn how to partner for your career transition success!