If Changing Careers, Include These Elements on Your Resume

Nancy Anderson
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Changing careers is very common among workers, but it requires quite a bit of effort. Before you begin searching through online job postings or local newspapers, carefully tweak your resume to improve your chances of landing interviews and ultimately a great position. Here a few things to put on your resume to give you an advantage as you move into your new career.

A Clear Career Goal

Make sure your resume lets the hiring manager know that you clearly intend on changing careers. Consider briefly explaining your career change plans in the summary section of your resume. The easiest way to do this is with a few clear and concise lines stating your current career goals and why you think you're ready for a career change. If applicable, explain how your past job history prepared you for the position you desire.

Relevant Skills

Before changing careers, decide which of your skills meshes best with the type of position you want. Consider soft skills, such as communication abilities, patience and time management strengths, as well as hard skills, such as computer and foreign language proficiency. Then, highlight those relevant skills on your resume. Use bulleted lists for easy reading and avoid forcing less relevant skills into a framework that fits your new career goal. Stick to the skills that support your decision to change careers.

Quantifiable Achievements

Hiring managers understand that quantifiable achievements reach across narrow job definitions, so build a better resume by adding strategic quantifiable accomplishments. Percents, financial specifics and any hard data provides the resume reviewer with specific information about how you performed in previous positions. When changing careers and entering a completely new industry, this type of hard data offers some assurance of your ability to produce results. This also ensures that you are not simply changing careers because you performed poorly in your old field. Rather, these achievements demonstrate your ability to add value to a new team.

The Right Keywords

If you lack experience in the industry to which you are applying, it is especially important to use the right keywords to move your resume through any applicant-tracking program and into the hands of a real person. Read job postings carefully, and include the exact words used to describe the position in both the summary section and the body of your resume. Don't force these terms. Place them where they fit naturally within your document.

Changing careers can be hard, and crafting a better resume helps make the move a bit easier. Modify your resume with a clear career goal and emphasize achievements that show your readiness for the change. Finish up by using the right keywords to ensure your resume gets though application tracking software.

Photo courtesy of hey tutoring at Flickr.com


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