If you’re an engineer who has been recently laid off and you’re thinking of making a lateral move to another career, you’ll need to prepare what HR people and recruiters call a career-change resume. Here are four suggestions for helping you steer your resume in a new direction:
- Redefine Your Career Statement. This should be concise and to the point. It should reflect the new direction you want your career to take. And it should include an "overview capsule" of the contribution you expect to make to the company that will hire you.
- Emphasize the Right Skills. Your career-change resume must focus on the skills and experience that apply uniquely to the new position you’re seeking. If you’re looking to segue into sales and you did some sales work as an engineer, highlight it. If you performed some product management duties during your last job, underscore these if you’re eager to make the switch to product management.
- Re-Order Your List of Accomplishments. This applies to work, academic achievements, awards and other accolades. Put the ones that apply most directly to the new position at the top of list. Don’t forget to be as specific as you can about results--using percentage of improvement, sales increases, etc.
- Don’t Forget Personal Skills. This includes your ability to lead a team, chair a committee, and give presentations. List these in order of importance as they apply to the job you’re hoping to get. It also includes any accolades presented to you by your peers, supervisors or company. Companies place a heavy value on these skills, since many of the things you'll need to know, you can usually pick up on the job.
For an added perspective, check out this video:
Got any thoughts on career change resumes? Include them in the comments section below.
Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.