Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Career Change Resume

Preparing a resume as part of a career change can be a challenge. Slight content changes and simple reformatting can help retool your resume, giving it a better shot at grabbing the attention of an employer in a brand new field.

Without prior experience in the industry you’re targeting, consider hobbies, school, clubs, or other non-work situations where you were able to gain pertinent skills. Skills can be much more valuable than prior positions, so it’s important to cite specific examples. To give you an idea read the following:
  • Works well under pressure. Supervised a volunteer group through a series of “get out the vote” initiatives in the final days of the 2012 election. Increased new voter turnout by 20% in the district.
  • Thrives in a team setting. Led three committees at Forgotten Harvest, resulting in record-breaking donations and recruiting in 2011.

Remember to use key words from the new job description in your resume and cover letter. When describing prior employment, consider what your prospective new employer will be looking for. Here are a few examples:
  • Attorney transitioning to sales: Managed a client-focused law firm; successfully negotiated hundreds of agreements.
  • Banker transitioning to a non-profit: Implemented fundraising effort for local shelter, resulting in $30,000 for new equipment.
  • Secretary transitioning to sales: Responsible for distributing department sales quotas and tracking sales activity.
Change is good in this job environment, so try and get that across on your resume. Show that you’re passionate about your new endeavor. After all, the purpose of the resume remains the same—to get the interview!

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