Change now and then is good. It keeps things interesting and keeps you learning. After spending a few years working in a certain field, you may realize that you want to use your skills in a different way, or pursue a new career all together. It’s not uncommon for people to go back to school or further their learning as adults.
However, this switch also means finding a new job, which entails revamping your resume. Using the same resume you previously used may lead to dead ends because it’s not tailored to the role you’re seeking now. If you’re thinking about switching careers, it is a great idea to volunteer, intern, or find another way to learn more about the field and gain some experience. This can also help you decide if it’s a change you’re fully invested in making. Do some due diligence.
If you’re committed to changing careers, your resume needs to reflect this.
Adjust Your Summary of Qualifications and Core Competencies
Now that you’re seeking a new role, your introduction needs to change. Read a variety of job openings and zero in on commonalities. What are employers really looking for and how do you match up? Focus on those key skills you bring to the table and target related keywords.
Highlight Transferable Skills
Your job history isn’t going to change, but what you emphasize will. Think about your responsibilities and achievements in relation to the type of work you’re seeking. What have you done that shows you’ll be successful in a different career field? Just because you don’t have experience in that exact role, doesn’t mean the experience you do have is for naught.
Consider accomplishments and leadership when it comes to project management, strategic planning, sales, communication, training and development, and other areas where you’re using the same skill set in a different way. It is also a good idea to remove very job-specific bullet points that are completely irrelevant and have no impact on your ability to succeed in a new field.
Put Your Education at the Top
If you went back to school to earn a new degree, completed a certification or licensure program, or did some other type of professional development to support your career change, consider moving the education section to the top of your resume, especially if you lack relevant experience. You may also want to consider highlighting volunteer experience, an internship, or a co-op toward the top if it is directly related to the type of position you seek.
Make the Most of Your Cover Letter
Don’t forget to use your cover letter to your advantage as well. This can be a great opportunity to provide additional insight, details, and support regarding your career change and why you’re confident that you’ll be successful.
With some careful thought and consideration, it can be easier than you think to transition your resume into a strong document to support new endeavors.