Top 10 Change of Career Resume Tips

August 16, 2011

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.

Top 10 Midlife Career Change Tips

August 16, 2011

Top 10 midlife career change tips”

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Sometimes it’s by choice, when the career that seemed so exciting at 25 has lost it’s zing at 50. Other times a midlife career change becomes a necessity when technology changes or companies downsize.

But whatever the reason, looking for a new career as an adult can be a wonderful chance to grow and explore new options. Ready to take the plunge? Here are our top 10 tip for making a midlife career change a success.

10. Beware of snake oil salesmen

Midlife career change snake oil”

Before you commit to that $10,000 program that promises to be the latest and greatest thing to ever hit the Internet (or the stock market or … ), stop and do your research. The lure of instant wealth and a new ready-made career is understandable, especially if your midlife career change was forced upon you. But be careful. Check out complaints online, visit the Better Business Bureau site, ask around.

9. Revisit old dreams

Midlife career change snake oil”

Think about what you wanted to be once upon a time. Always wanted to be a vet? Maybe four more years of college isn’t an option, but becoming a vet tech might work. Be creative.

8. Ask for change of career advice

Odds are you know more than a few people who have made major career changes in their life, so ask for their help. Whether theirs was a midlife career change or something earlier, they may be able to point you in the right direction for success.

7. Do your job prospects homework

Spend some time researching your career options. Find out where there are needs in your areas of interest. Make sure the new career you choose needs entry level employees.

6. Check out the requirements

Maybe you always wanted to be a firefighter. You know you have the physical endurance the job requires, and you’re able to stay calm and collected in an emergency. But some jobs, like firefighter or police officer, have age, height, weight or other requirements that can’t be addressed by study or degrees. Make sure you qualify.

5. Volunteer

A great way to find out if the career you think you want is really right for you is to volunteer. Not only will you get a great feel for what the job entails, you’ll be making contacts in your new field. That could give you an advantage when it comes time to apply for a paying position.

4. Network

Most cities have networking groups for people experiencing midlife career changes. Religious groups, community schools, local business publications and online networking sites are all great places to look for groups. No career change groups in your area? Consider business networking groups instead. Either way, the human contact will make the process easier, and the connections you make may help you find a new career faster.

3. Stay open to detours

Especially in the early stages of a midlife career change, it’s important to keep an open mind. On your way to what seemed like the perfect new field, you might find a detour that leads you to something even better.

2. Be realistic

If you’ve spent 20 years in an office processing accounts receivable, it’s going to be difficult to get on the path to becoming a surgeon. While almost anything is possible, make sure your expectations are realistic. Know what your career change requires, in detail. And then go for it.

1. Be optimistic

A midlife career change can feel daunting, especially if it’s been years since you’ve been in a classroom, or learned a new set of skills. But with patience and persistence, you could discover that this experience becomes one of the best times of your life.