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Changing your career can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a nerve-wracking and stressful one as well. If you have decided to follow a new, professional path, then a career change resume is your first important step.
A career change may lead you toward interesting opportunities and the potential to earn even more money. Your resume is the first thing that can help you get your foot in the door.
Although there may be more experienced, more skilled professionals applying for the same role, we will take you through how to build a resume for a career change in order to get a leg up on the competition.
Making A Career Change With Your Resume
We all know what they say about first impressions. Think of your resume as the first impression you will make on a prospective employer. The resume helps answer one of the most important questions you will be asked: Why are you changing your career?
A career change resume shows your true potential to the employer. Despite the lack of experience and relevant skills, you can showcase what you will bring to the role. This presents an opportunity to highlight the benefits you bring to the team in particular, and the organization at large. Most importantly, your resume enables you to better prepare for the challenges you will face during a career change.
3 Resume Strategies For A Career Change
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There are specific strategies to build a career change resume. But remember that the foundation remains similar to a regular resume – A clear outline of your skills and experience, no typos, no grammatical errors, and easy-to-read formatting. Here is what a career change resume should look like:
Think of a personal statement as your pitch to the employer on why you are changing careers. The statement needs to be honest, and straightforward and reflect why you are the ideal candidate for a given role. An expert tip is to detail your reasons for the change: Your motivation, drive, and expectations. To give you a concrete example, here is a sample statement recommended by the Harvard Business Review,
I’m a customer service professional with four years of work experience, who is interested in marketing. I’m a creative and curious person, with a passion for technology. I’ve recently completed a certificate program in digital marketing. I believe that my experience in client-facing interactions helps me better understand audience needs and makes me an effective and strategic problem-solver.
Highlight Your Skills
Here is where things get interesting. On a regular resume, your job experience takes center stage. On a career change resume, your skills should be highlighted. Since you do not have the requisite experience for the new role, your skills need to convey why you may be a good fit for the position. Here is a sample from the Harvard Business Review for you to consider:
Assisted 100+ clients as a customer service representative with their purchases. Named “Employee of the Month” two times in a year.
Supported the project team for outreach events for the company’s digital outreach for the company’s summer campaign in 2020. Managed related communications with five external clients.
Set up an automated email response for different types of client complaints, making it easier for the customer service team to sort and prioritize queries.
Wrote 500+ social posts across popular platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as email content for the company’s internal newsletter.
Connect Work Experience To The Role
One of the most important resume tips for a career change is to connect your work experience with the new role. Keep this section short and to the point. Remember to mention only relevant work experience. This helps the recruiter to see the roles and responsibilities you have undertaken that could be helpful for the new role. An expert tip is to include numbers and statistics to highlight your experience. For instance, “Increased sales by 21% by upselling services to customers.” Another useful tip is to use action verbs such as ‘managed’, and ‘oversaw’ where appropriate.
Here’s a sample from the Harvard Business Review that will help you understand this strategy better:
Customer Service Coordinator, XYZ Company, New York City
(Feb 2021 – March 2022)
Promoted to coordinator in eight months based on my high performance and target achievements.
Analyzed complex data sets about customer complaints to set a process in place to sort and prioritize queries.
Set up an automated email system to respond to customer queries, freeing up at least 30% of the customer service support team’s time.
New Career New Adventure
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Transitioning from one career to another can be one of the most exciting phases of your life. A career change resume can help you switch careers in a calm, calculated manner. You can use the strategies outlined in the article, and enlist the support of a resume writer career change to boldly take the first step on a new career path.
If you’re thinking of making a career change and need help creating a resume that will stand out from the crowd, contact Dallas Writing Project and one of our expert resume writers will help you get started on your new journey.