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Top 10 Change of Career Resume Tips

Written by: Lindsay Shugerman

August 16, 2011
Filed Under Business, Careers, Job Search 


Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Changing careers after years of experience is a wonderful way to develop new skills and explore new opportunities. But getting to that first “new job” can be difficult.

And writing a change of career resume can be especially tricky, especially if you have years of education and experience in one field.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to create a new resume that will help you take that first step on your new path.

10. Research the job skills your new career requires

Research the skills your new career will require. Look at job descriptions and ads for openings to see the kinds of experience and knowledge that are required.

9 Talk to people who are in your new field

Networking is critical when you’re changing careers. Join a LinkedIn or MeetUp group that focuses on your new field. Then talk to people about what they use in their jobs, or what they look for in new hires.

8 Think skills, not jobs


Most resumes offer a sequential list of jobs, with a short list of responsibilities and skills under each job title. To write a change of career resume, think skills. See what skills you’ve learned or mastered at each job, and group those together.

7. Emphasize responsibilities


Many very different jobs include similar responsibilities, so make sure your change of career resume emphasizes those aspects of your past employment. Be specific with things like the size of the staff you supervised, the size of the budget you managed, or the geographic area you controlled.

6. Point out accomplishments


Like responsibilities, accomplishments easily translate from career to career. If you saved your previous company thousands of dollars, doubled sales, or streamlined production with a new process, make sure your resume clearly states that.

5. Be willing to start at the bottom


This is often the most difficult part of a change of career, especially if you had achieved a senior position in your previous field. Consider a goal statement that indicates your willingness to do what it takes to master your new field, rather than one that suggests you expect a high level position.

4. Include education or self-learning completed in your new field


If you’ve taken a few classes in your new career field, by all means include those in your change of career resume. If you did significant self-study, note that as well.

3. Consider certification


If there is a huge gap between the education or skills in your old job and your new field, consider certification. Many professions, from programming to human resource management, offer certification programs that can be completed in under a year. Even if you’ve just started the program, list that on your resume to show initiative.

2. Get a headhunter’s assistance


Good headhunters can be a wonderful resource for job seekers who are making a major career change. They can advise you on current needs in your industry, factors that are impacting interviewing and hiring, and even on ways to tweak your resume for the best results.

1. Be patient


Getting that first job in your new profession may take longer than you expect. But if you’re serious about making the leap, and have done your homework, it’s only a matter of time before you’re walking in the door for the first day at your new job.


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