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How To Write An Effective Resume For Career Changers

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

A change of direction in your career is nothing out of the ordinary nowadays. People choose to switch careers every day, for different reasons. They’re either bored with their current one, want to make more money, or feel as it is not challenging enough anymore. Sometimes, it’s the economic uncertainty that forces them to switch careers. Nowadays, some jobs and entire industries are threatened by automation and the emergence of artificial intelligence, forcing people to move towards other jobs robots still can’t do.

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Whatever the reason may be – one thing is for certain, switching careers is hard. To some extent, it can even be compared to getting your first job – you have to compete with others who have been in the industry longer than you, and who probably have more experience. In many cases, that position you’re applying for might be a step forward in someone else’s career.

Learning How To Create a Resume For Career Change:

So how do you persuade a hiring manager to choose you instead of someone who’s been doing a similar job for some time now? Basically, you have to show them you have what it takes, and then some, by highlighting your key skills. The first thing you need to do is rethink, and write a resume as a career changer.

Throw away your old resume

When creating a new resume, you need to keep in mind the following:

  • Think about all your transferable skills that the new industry or position will require of you.

  • Think about the language to present these skills in.

  • Think about the resume type which will most emphasize these skills.

The number one mistake career switchers make is, they apply to a new position or a new industry with the same old resume. That’s simply not going to work, as you’re not placing the emphasis on the right things. Your resume needs to be skills-oriented, and achievement-oriented, as those are the only things that can persuade the hiring managers to give you a call. The best solution would be to hire a company to craft a professionally-looking resume for a career switcher, but you can also do it yourself.

Instead of using your old resume, which focuses on all the previous work experiences (which are probably irrelevant at this point), write a new resume and cover letter, with a focus on all the skills and competencies you can use in your new career.

Know Which Resume Format To Use For a Career Changer:

Start by choosing either a functional resume, or a hybrid resume. Both these types of resumes focus on skills, instead of work history. Make sure you push all relevant skills to the fore, to convince the hiring managers that you are a solid fit. Your next step would be to think long and hard about any transferable skills.

Transferable skills’ is a pretty broad term, for a reason. It describes all the skills usable in a wide array of jobs. You can obtain such skills everywhere: in previous jobs, different projects, voluntary work or your hobbies. At home, in the gym, pretty much everywhere. They are the ones making you flexible and capable of adapting to a new environment and a new career.

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Research the more effective keywords and search phrases for your resume:

When writing a resume for a career switch, you should always keep in mind that your resume will most likely have to pass the ATS (Applicant Tracking System). The software scans all incoming resumes and filters only the most relevant ones. It chooses the best ones, among other things, based on most powerful keywords and search phrases on a resume. That is why it is of the utmost importance to understand the industry terminology, and add any relevant skills and competencies in their lingo.

Challenging times ahead:

It is perfectly fine to want to switch your career, but be prepared for a hard fight. Your previous work experience will probably become irrelevant, but some skills won’t, and that’s where you have to put your emphasis at, in order to be noticed and invited.

You need to write a new resume for a career change, and make sure it’s in a format which highlights skills instead of work history. Think long and hard about all the skills you possess, as some are most likely transferable and usable in your new future calling. You’ll want to research industry keywords and search phrases thoroughly, and describe your skills in its terminology. That will help your resume pass a company’s software filtration system and reach the hiring managers desk.

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