Tips to Get the Resume Ready for a Career Change
Good resume-writing is about knowing how to appeal to the target audience. When it comes to the career changer the task of getting the resume ready can seem insurmountable. How does one with no direct experience appeal to the employer? With the help of a professional resume writer, there’s a game plan to help highlight your past and present experience along with important skills used on the job to present appeal and relevance.
Some of the tips used by professional resume writers are presented here.
- Start fresh
In most cases, what worked on your resume in the past will not work now. The focus of your previous experience and skills needs to be highlighted in a different manner for a career change. Starting fresh helps to ensure your resume is written with the target audience in mind. If you don’t start fresh, be prepared that a major overhaul may be necessary to your existing resume.
- Don’t convert from the chronological format
There is a lot of misleading advice that those going through a career change will benefit from having the resume reformatted to focus on function or skills, as opposed to keeping the traditional layout with your experience presented in chronological order. For many, the reason is because it’ll allows candidates to focus on the skills. The problem is recruiter or hiring manager receiving resumes in that format tend to think the candidate has something to hide. The solution many professional resume writers provide is to produce a combination (hybrid) resume. Read more at: “How to Give the Resume a Boost for a Career Change.”
- Make the most of your Summary
The top of your resume has an important role. It’s where the Summary or Career Highlights are presented with your value proposition (what you bring to the table). As a career changer, it’s necessary to reflect on the job description so that your resume’s content touches on the specific experience and requirements of the job. For instance, a job candidate transitioning from clinical to HR will focus on presenting a headline and highlights that reflect relevance for the role. The candidate may brand their Summary section as “Human Resource Generalist” or “HR Business Partner” and indicate strong background experience in mentoring, training, operational excellence and go on to highlight competencies in areas like Employee Training & Development, Organizational Restructuring, and Compliance.
- Refine your job titles
One thing on the resume that almost every hiring manager will look at to tell if the candidate is applicable is the previous job title. As a career changer, the job title alone can knock you out of the running if information is presented improperly. It’s important to refine what your job title means. If your job title comes off as vague or irrelevant to the new career, add in parentheses a brief description that can help others better understand your applicable experience and skills.
- Be selective with what to include
There may be aspects from your previous experience where you’ve had significant achievements and accomplishment – these are personal accomplishments, but not all of them may be relevant and applicable to the new career. Hone in on what’s important to the employer and don’t dilute your message with information that’s irrelevant.
As a career changer, your resume needs to lay out information in a manner that immediately convinces the employer that you are relevant and the right fit. Remember that you’re the story-teller to your own professional brand. Don’t assume the employer will make the connection on how your previous experience and skills used applies to the new career, you have to do it for them when it comes to writing the resume.