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Your Resume is a Key Part of a Successful Career Change
If you find yourself in the career switch mode, you’re not alone. Research indicates that the trend is for workers to change careers several times during their adult lives. There are many reasons for this: changing goals, changes in marital status, moving from being childless to having a brood of kids, changing professional interests, and downsizing within one’s chosen industry. Any and all of these things can cause one to abandon one’s current career path and start a new.
Still, although people change careers everyday, it is certainly not the easiest process. After all, you have to get used to new corporate cultures…cultivate new professional contacts…undergo new training…pursue another college degree…and, most importantly, secure that first job in your newly-chosen career.
You will find that your career transition will progress much more smoothly if you have a stellar resume to send to a prospective employer. But how do you go about crafting an effective resume—when you have virtually no experience in your new career? Thankfully, there are ways you can organize and word your resume so that it will help you to land that all-important first job in another line of work. Here are some ideas for drafting a resume that will really make an employer take notice:
Focus on Transferable Skills
While you are trading in one career for another, you are not giving up those skills and experiences that have made you a successful professional in the past. Therefore, it’s important to recognize those qualifications you possess which would be an asset to you in your next career.
For instance, suppose you worked for ten years as a teacher and you’ve recently decided to launch a career in real estate. You’ve decided you’d like to work for an established firm for a time before you go out on your own and launch your own independent realty business. You need to submit a resume that demonstrates that some of the skills and accomplishments you had as a teacher will serve you well in real estate.
In order to do this, you might enumerate the transferable skills in the profile section of your revamped resume. For instance, you might list phrases such as “consistently received superior performance reviews,” “spearheaded the search for a new location for a private high school,” or “led a one-hundred-thousand-dollar fundraising drive for my school.” In this way, you’re showing a would-be employer that you are a top performer—someone who will be a true asset to the company.
Highlight Your Educational Background
When you’re switching careers, it is essential that you highlight the educational experiences that have prepared you for your career switch. Since, admittedly, you may have little, if any, experience in your new career, it is important that you emphasize your educational training, since that may prove to be one of your chief selling points.
Because of the special considerations involved in a career change, you might consider expanding the education section of your resume. For instance, rather than simply listing your newly-acquired Master’s Degree in Business Administration, name specific courses that would be relevant to your new career. In this way, you are demonstrating that you have the specialized knowledge needed for a position in your new occupation.
Building Up Your Experience Section
Still, it would be a mistake for you to assume that the experience section of your resume is a lost cause. There are ways for you to beef-up the experience portion—even before you’ve secured that initial job.
For instance, it may be possible for you to land an unpaid internship in your newly-chosen field. In fact, you might be amazed at how much you can learn about “real world” experiences from such training. In noting the internship on your resume, be sure to focus on your accomplishments and the specific skill sets you developed during your time with the company. Believe it or not, many employers are impressed with individuals who are willing to take on an internship in a new field after being established in another field for a considerable length of time.
Another possibility is freelancing. Freelancing is certainly not limited to writing these days. One website dedicated to matching freelancers with companies offers services ranging from web design to bookkeeping. The additional advantage of freelance work is that it shows your initiative in generating work, your ability to interact well with clients, and your leadership ability. Since the freelancing will be compensated, it also adds an important line to your “experience column.”
Finally, you might consider whether you’ve done any volunteer work that would be applicable to your new career. It’s entirely possible that the experience you gained volunteering with the Red Cross, for instance, would help you in your new career in health care administration. Or your work as a Girl Scout leader might be incredibly beneficial as you pursue a career in school curriculum planning. Don’t make the false assumption that, just because work is not compensated, that does not mean that it isn’t valuable.
Make the Most of Your Career Objective
Another technique you can use to enhance your resume for a career change is by paying particular attention to how your career objective is crafted. The objective should clearly indicate the fact that you are heading in a new professional direction. Yet, it should also demonstrate how your prior accomplishments in your former career relate directly to the new position that you’re applying for. It’s possible that, in writing your objective, you’ll need to make special note of those personal qualities that make you an exemplary worker. Those personal traits may help you to compensate for your lack of experience in your fledgling career.
Maintain an Upbeat Attitude During the Resume-Writing Process
It is critically important that you maintain a positive attitude during the resume-drafting process. After all, there may be a number of skeptics who will question your new career path. You cannot allow such negativity to affect your writing, causing you to underplay your professional achievements. By accenting the positive, you will be in the best position possible for embarking on a new journey in your work life.
About the Author: This article was written by the certified professional resume writers of Resume Services. The writers at AccuroResumes will help create a perfect professional resume suited to your best needs. See why thousands of people are discovering the benefits of a perfect professional resume written by AccuroResumes.com. You are guaranteed to be 100% satisfied with your new, professional resume or, your money back. Reproductions of this article are encouraged, but must include a link pointing to http://www.AccuroResumes.com/.