How to write a career change resume

You have contemplated changing your career and are now ready to make the switch. But have you checked your resume? Resume writing is critical in your quest to find that new job. And writing a new resume for a new career can be daunting. Think about an accountant changing his career to a marketer. There are a number of tips that you can make use of to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Do your homework
Clearly define your target i.e. what type of job you are looking for. Identify what the skills and experience required for the job are. Talk to your acquaintances that may are already in that career to obtain an insider's view of the industry. Start to attend events such as conferences and professional association meetings in order to build gather more knowledge and build your networks in the industry. Do not hesitate to ask questions on anything that you do not understand. Read job advertisements to identify the things that most employers seem to look for while taking note of the keywords that you will target your resume toward.

The body of the resume
Next, write down your strengths, achievements, relevant work experience, as well as academic and professional training. Use appropriate headings to bring out each of these in your resume just as you would in an ordinary resume. A career change resume is not fundamentally different from your ordinary resume and so must include these basic attributes. Consider creating an executive summary highlighting your past accomplishments, what your future plans are and what you will bring to the company in terms of skills and experience.

Think of how you can use the experience in your old career to increase your profile in your new one. Highlight the skills you have acquired in your previous job(s) that are relevant to the position you are interested in and how they would be useful in the new job. Employers will be curious as to why you are making the change so it is important that you bring out both your skills and motivation for the new job. The content of the resume will determine if you get that interview.

For instance, a sales person is expected to have strong communication and interpersonal skills. If you were an accountant, mention instances and responsibilities in your career that have demonstrated an exceptional ability in communication and negotiation. Use power words without exaggerating.

Remember that your career change resume is your first contact with the employer thus represents you. When selecting a format to use, keep this in mind. The format should be easy to read and have a good feel. The best approach is usually to take a more conservative and formal approach to the format. However there are some careers such as artistic ones where a nonconventional resume is not only accepted but also encouraged.


Gail Esparan