CVS / NOV. 09, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Change Your Resume So You Can Change Careers

If you’ve been tailoring your resume to your current career, you may find that it’s fairly difficult to change it when you switch careers. Most of your information and experience has been oriented toward what you’re doing now, so how can you fix up your resume so that it is adequate for the career you’re interested in exploring?

First off, it’s not all that hard to change your resume. Unless you’re COMPLETELY changing fields--say switching from practicing law to taking care of children--you’ll find that a lot of your previous experience is transferrable. With a few tweaks of your resume, you can be ready to hit your new career hard!

Here’s what to do:

Start fresh

Don’t adapt your current resume to suit your needs, but create a brand new resume following a brand new template. The fresh start will help you to approach your new career with a new outlook.

List your skills in your new industry

It’s very likely that you’ve been working toward changing careers for a while, so you’ve no doubt acquired skills in the new industry. List those skills, as well as any experience or education you have that would apply to those fields. If you’ve been studying and working toward that career change, it needs to go on the resume.

Look for transferrable skills

What skills did you acquire in your old career that you can use in your new career? There are many traits that will be necessary in EVERY career, such as perseverance, work ethic, and company loyalty. There are also skills and experience that can be transferred, such as computer expertise, web development/programming skills, organization, management/leadership, and the list goes on. Go over your current resume, and look for skills and traits you can use to fill out your new resume. One skill that is useful in just about every field is a Microsoft Excel. Being a pro with Excel can work wonders on many application forms.

Consider all past experience

Most people think of work experience as only the work that they were paid to do, but you’d be amazed by how much experience you can get off the job. If you volunteered, attended workshops, courses, or lectures, or participated in industry events, this is all experience. It will show that you have some experience, helping you to get at least an entry-level job that you can use to build up more experience as you work.

Don’t Undersell Yourself

Many professionals tend to sell themselves short when changing careers. They think that their expertise in one field cannot translate to their new career, but that is not true! No matter what you’ve done in the past, you’ve earned valuable experience that will benefit you greatly in your career/life change. Confidence and a willingness to sell yourself are some of the key tools in your arsenal.

Make sure your resume is confident and complete, and don’t be timid about it. Even if you have very little experience in this new field, the fact that you were a professional in a previous field speaks highly of you. You’ll find that many people will respect the fact that you’re trying to go in a new direction, and your previous experience will be a bonus that will increase your chances of getting the job!

Have you changed career direction? Did you use any of the tips above? Your thoughts and comments below please…


Image: iStock

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