Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to write the daunting career-change resume

Creating a resume for a job you have experience for is hard enough. When you decide to change careers and don’t have a lot of relevant experience, it becomes even more challenging. You should start with a clean slate when pursuing a new direction. Using your old resume can hinder your ability to convince a hiring manager to take a chance with you, so update your resume to focus on skills, achievements, and qualifications most applicable to your new career track.

Only include necessary and relevant information. If you provide achievements that would be impressive to an employer on your previous career path but not your future one, then skip it. “Perhaps you don’t have a ton of experience in the area you want to be in, so be as detailed as possible but keep your resume clean. Remove the excess stuff that will keep you locked in your old career and confuse hiring managers. Think of your resume as your first impression and an opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers,” explains Veronica Concepcion, Branch Manager at CFS of Orlando.

Describe your experience so that it fits your new career path. “You can include individuals, departments, or organizations you may have collaborated with that are relevant to the new position – operations, research, marketing, sales, IT, etc.,” explains David Furlano, Staffing Manager at CFS of Boston. This makes it easier for hiring managers to understand your background, and it allows you to appear as a better overall fit.

Anytime you can quantify your accomplishments, do it! This establishes your credibility and provides a more tangible example of your qualifications. Employers ultimately want to know if you’re someone who can contribute to the organization’s goals and objectives.

“Tailor your resume to the new role that you’re targeting and be sure to include a summary at the top that openly states you’re a professional looking to make a career change,” Furlano explains. Research the position you want to gain enough insight to write a summary that gears your attitude, personality, and relevant experience towards that.

BONUS TIP: “When you can include a cover letter to explain your story, I recommend doing so. You want to call out the career change explicitly to describe how and why you’re making the change. This will grab the employer’s attention and help them understand where you’re coming from,” adds Furlano.

Have more questions about updating your resume? We want to hear them! Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter. 

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