Resume Tips for Career Changers

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So, you’re ready to try something new and shake up your career! What’s next? Before you do anything else, you must first stop and ask yourself, “What should I do with my resume?” It is a question that is critically important—and if answered correctly—will help you land the job of your dreams. As you embark on your career-changing adventure, here are some helpful tips to make sure your resume isn’t tossed in the bin, but placed at the top of the stack!

Use a Combination Layout

Most experts agree that the best type of resume to use when changing careers is the combination layout. Why? When you don’t have a ton of work experience in the specific field that you’re applying for, it is just as important to emphasize your skills and accomplishments as your work history. A hybrid combination layout is a good place to start, because it includes the timeline of your recent work history, but it isn’t the sole focus. The format usually goes as follows: objective statement, related skills, education, activities, and work experience.

Write a Strong Cover Letter

This is more important than it normally would be, because it gives you the opportunity to showcase your personality, as well as tell your future employer that you are a serious candidate. There’s no need to gloss over the fact that this is a career transition—express your passion about how this job is a right fit for you. Highlight who you are and how you are valuable to the career that you’re currently aspiring to!

Identify Your Transferable Skills

One of the most important things that must be communicated in your career-changing resume are your transferable skills. This can help you stand out among other candidates, since you may have an additional skillset that the employers in your new field don’t normally see in their usual interviewees.  For example, if you are a great communicator and a people person, that is an asset that will translate into almost any job. But your work experience comes with a myriad of strengths—so highlight them!

Brush Up on Your Technology

Different jobs a lot of times can mean working with different technologies that you might not be familiar with. Do they use Mac or PC? Communication preferences can range from plain old email to newer apps such as Discord, Slack and many of others. Also, this is a great time to read up on virtual interview technology—and all the bells and whistles that can go along with that.

Review the Jargon

When transitioning into a new career, there can always be some short-hand or new jargon you might not know. Research and take note of the words and shorthand that is regularly used, so that you are prepared for the apply and interview processes.

Keep it Light

When you lack certain experience, it is tempting to try to jam-pack your resume with as much information as you possibly can, but when transitioning into a different career, a crowded resume full of irrelevant job experience isn’t the best way to try and stand out. Be clear and concise about your work history—but also be smart about it. Make sure to highlight jobs that will best represent who you are and what you can do. That way, these gems won’t get lost in extraneous information.

No matter what career you are looking for, these helpful resume hints will make sure the employer sees all it is that you have to offer!

This article was written by Jennifer McDowell.

Jennifer McDowell is founder and Editor-at-Large of the website www.deskofjdogood.com, where she interviews authors, artists and entrepreneurs. She enjoys coffee, swimming, and all things Jane Austen!

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