Tips to Achieving an Attention-Grabbing Resume When You’re a Career Changer
Employers are looking for the right fitting candidate for the job – and that often means someone with relevant experience. You may be wondering, “How does a career changer even have a shot?” While your latest professional experience may not be in the same industry or field and your technical skills aren’t exactly what the employer’s looking for, there are things you can focus on in your resume for an attention-grabbing effect and to indicate your relevance.
Many of these rules are also applicable to the general job seeker who want employers to take notice of their resume.
Keep what’s irrelevant out of the picture
Clearly understand the job and fine tune your message to indicate you have what the employer is looking for. Don’t bother presenting irrelevant information from your previous job even though it may be a highlight in your old career. Remember, it’s not so much about highlighting personal achievements on the resume, but highlighting relevant experience and skills of value to the employer you’re looking to secure employment with. If the job opening is for a Nurse Practitioner and your previous experience is in Healthcare PR, there’s more impact highlighting your experience with managing patient advocacy groups and/or continuing medical education events. You are showing a connection with a relatable audience of nurse practitioners and physicians. That comes off more relevant and valuable than highlighting the media coverage secured for healthcare clients in major newspapers and trade publication. Albeit your media relations experience is fantastic – it’s irrelevant to the employer looking to fill the position for a Nurse Practitioner.
Talk about what you can do for the employer, not what you want
When it comes to the resume and job interview, it’s not about what you want. The tone of your communication must be “This is what I can do for you that will make a difference – and bring results that matter.” The employer does not want to hear, “I spent 20 years in accounting and now I want to make use of my experience in skills.” Inform the employer of your relevant experience and skills and how it may benefit their organization or address key challenges faced.
Make it easy on the eyes
Professional lingo exists in every profession. Appropriately apply it to resume writing because employers scanning resumes will catch on to keywords. You’ll come off more applicable and relevant. Also, critical in resume-writing is design. Content needs to be laid out in a manner that’s easy to follow. Keep your font style consistent and start with the important information at top. Also, remember to keep proper spacing between sections so that you don’t have large blocks of text. When you need to apply emphasis, use bold. One last tip that makes a dramatic impact on the resume is starting your sentences with active verbs. You want to avoid bland and passive language like: “Responsible for…” Start your sentences with impact, like “Spearheaded collaboration between…..” For more tips, read: “Is Your Resume Easy on the Eyes?”
Follow these basic rules and you’ll be on your way to a resume employers will take notice of whether you come with a background of relevant experience or as a career changer!