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There are several reasons why some of us decide to do a career switch. It could be to chase after a passion or interest, to pursue greater job satisfaction or work-life balance in another industry, or even to take advantage of job market trends and changing economic demands.
Whatever the reason may be, venturing into a new industry may feel rather daunting. This is especially true when you’re not sure how to show prospective employers that you have what it takes to make a successful career move. Here are some actionable changes to make to your career switch resume to get your application noticed!
1. Use the right resume format
Hiring managers want to know one main thing: Can the person they hire get the job done? And it’s hard to show that with relevant experience when you’re a career-changer. To prove that you have what it takes, your resume format should be skills-based to showcase your skills, unlike traditional formats that detail your work experiences first. Organise your career switch resume so that, at a glance, the hiring manager can see a summary of your skills, as well as any relevant work experiences, projects and certifications.
2. Include a strong resume objective
As a career switcher, having a resume objective or summary is a great way to demonstrate the skills, experience, accomplishments and goals for your career. It also helps to convey to the hiring manager why you’re interested in this industry and give context between your experience and the role you’re applying for.
An example of a career change resume objective could be: “A passionate and hardworking healthcare professional wanting to transition into a marketing position. Looking to leverage my 10 years of interpersonal and leadership skills, and client management expertise to add value to my next role.”
3. Highlight transferable skills with a skills summary section
When switching careers, don’t underestimate the value of skills that can be applied to a new industry or role. Identify the transferable skills you possess that will be important to the industry and highlight them in your resume to show how you can adapt to a new career. These can be soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving or project management skills, or technical skills including coding, data analysis and copywriting. Focus on how your existing skills are relevant to the role you’re applying for.
With each skill, detail how this was showcased in your previous work or education in point form to make it easier for employers to scan. Here’s an example below:
- Lead brainstorming sessions with team members to improve customer relations onsite.
- Developed creative solutions to keep track and manage email customer complaints more effectively.
4. Showcase most relevant work experience
Similar to traditional resumes, include your work experiences. However, trim this section to include only relevant experiences that showcase skills and responsibilities related to the job. Because you’re making a career switch, choose to emphasise accomplishments instead of daily tasks to show what you can bring to the table. Include numbers and metrics to show that you can make an impact at work.
5. Emphasise relevant courses and certifications
Completing relevant courses and attain certifications can make a strong case for you to move into a new industry. Similarly, highlight the skills you learnt in class and any other relevant academic achievements to bolster your resume. Online programmes also help expand your knowledge in a specific subject matter, which show employers that you’re serious about your professional development and are putting effort into gaining more understand of the industry.
6. Add in notable projects and accomplishments
This section helps to further add value to a career switch resume, especially if your current work experience doesn’t adequately reflect your relevant skills. Include any personal achievements that are not directly related to work or education, such as volunteer work, personal projects, involvement in clubs or organisations, etc. This shows hiring managers that you have the practical skills for the new role. Just remember to link it back to how this provides value to your career change.
Career transitions take effort and may be feel like a chore in the beginning. But taking the time to switch up your resume is a strategic move that can prove its value in securing a new role in a new industry, especially when you’re better equipped to impress prospective employers.
Making a career switch? Try this resume template
We’ve taken the liberty to summarise the points mentioned above into this template. Here’s how you can structure your resume if you’re look to switch careers. Bear in mind that, even for a career switch resume, the document is best kept to one page and shouldn’t be more than 2 pages long.
Include your contact information so employers can contact you.
<RESUME OBJECTIVE / SUMMARY>
Write about 2-5 lines of text to summarise the relevant skills, achievements and goals related to the industry and career you’re looking to move into.
Highlight the existing skills that will be useful to the job you want to switch to. This includes both soft and technical skills.
<RELEVANT COURSES & CERTIFICATIONS>
Input certificates to relevant courses that you’ve attended to upskill or reskill.
<RELEVANT ACHIEVEMENTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS>
Include projects and volunteer work experiences that can provide skills and experiences related to the role you’re applying for.
Include work experiences here, especially highlighting those that related to the new role.
Briefly mention your formal education received here, such as your diplomas and degrees.