What to Consider When Writing a Resume for a Career Change

A career change can be a daunting process. How can you write a resume that allows you to change your career more easily?



Table of Contents

  1. Career Change Resume
  2. What Is a Career Change Resume?
  3. The Best Format for a Career Change Resume
  4. Writing a Resume Objective for a Career Change Resume
  5. Connecting Your Work Experience to the Job You Want
  6. FAQ: Career Change Resumes

Career Change Resume

Sometimes you realize the career you’ve been in for a long time just doesn’t suit you anymore. Whatever the reason, it may be time for a career change. Creating a resume for a new career, especially when you’ve already spent a lot of time on a previous career path, can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know about writing a resume to break into a new industry.

What Is a Career Change Resume?

A career change resume is any resume that you use to switch to a new field. For example, if you were previously working in project management, but you now want to move into the field of graphic design, then that’s a career transition. When you’re writing a resume as a career changer, you need to know how to display your certifications, relevant skills and other information so that it works well in your job search.

The Best Format for a Career Change Resume

The resume format you choose for a career change resume is important. When you’re looking for a new job, you typically have three resume formats to choose from: the chronological resume which emphasizes work history, the functional resume which emphasizes skills and the combination resume which gives equal weight to both.
Generally, job seekers with prior experience in a different field should opt for the combination resume format. This resume allows you to highlight your skills section while also indicating things you’ve learned from your professional experience. Putting those prior years of experience to work can be extremely beneficial, even in a different career.
The functional resume format may also be beneficial for career changers. This helps put your skills front and center, allowing you to avoid talking about previous jobs. Even though it’s the most common resume format, it’s typically not suggested to use the chronological resume when you’re switching careers. The chronological resume relies heavily on relevant experience, and if you’re moving into a new role, you probably won’t have a work history in the new industry.

Writing a Resume Objective for a Career Change Resume

Another key element of a career change resume is your resume objective statement, where you can connect your past achievements with your new career, and show how the abilities you’ve used can make a positive impact. If you’re struggling with your objective statement, then check out ResumeHelp’s resume examples. You will find plenty of career change resume examples that will show you how to catch the eye of a recruiter.

Connecting Your Work Experience to the Job You Want

Just because you don’t have work experience in the specific industry you’re moving into, that doesn’t mean all of your work experience is suddenly useless. Instead, you need to learn how to make a hiring manager connect your prior job experience with the job role that you are applying for.
Focus on your transferable skills and achievements. Many of the skills and achievements that you excelled in through your other job can be utilized in your new job. Communication skills, for example, are useful in a variety of jobs. You can also list information in your education section regarding the skills and knowledge you have.
Also, be sure to write a cover letter. A cover letter allows you to actively highlight the areas that you excel in and mention how your skills can help in the new job role. Plus, it lets you ask for an interview.

FAQ: Career Change Resumes

Q: Is a career change resume the same as not having any work experience?

Writing a resume with no experience is different from writing a resume without the “right type” of industry experience. If you’re looking to write a resume with less work experience, look at the entry-level resume example page on the ResumeHelp website. You will get the necessary tools to write an effective resume with less general work experience.

Q: Can I list volunteer work on a career change resume?

Yes! Volunteer work is a great addition to your work experience section. Even if the work wasn’t paid, it’s still an effective way to establish yourself in a new field. You can also include volunteer work in the resume objective section of your career change resume. All of your experience, regardless of whether it was paid or not, is something you can highlight on your resume.

Q: Should I use more soft skills or hard skills on a career change resume?

You need to include both hard skills and soft skills on your resume. Both types of skills are important, and the ratio of hard skills to soft skills will depend largely on what field you’re going into. Check the job description to find out what skills the hiring manager is actually looking for, then list skills that match your own in your resume, whether they’re hard or soft skills.

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