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Write your resume like a pro.

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5 Steps to Crafting a Resume When Changing Careers

Use this resume help guide to make changing careers easier, not harder. Here’s how. [TWEET]

If you’ve decided to start a whole new career, congratulations! While it’s not always easy to break out of a comfort zone and into something new, having the courage to pursue your dream can be richly rewarding. In the case of changing careers, the journey starts with a single step: creating a resume tailored to your new career target. While utilizing resume help when learning how to change careers is sometimes not as easy as it sounds, there are five steps you can take to start yourself off on the right track towards your dream career.

Step #1: Your title

Often times, your professional title is the first thing on your resume after your name. Chief Financial Officer or Executive Assistant clearly lets your prospective employer know the role you see yourself playing in their organization. It also strongly implies that you have fulfilled that role in the past. If you are transitioning to a new career, it can be misleading to title yourself or your resume Chief Financial Officer if you have never actually been one. So, instead of starting your resume with a title, you can instead follow your name with “Qualifications Profile,” and a list of your strongest attributes.

Step #2:  The impact statement

If you are applying for a job in your previous field, this is where you write a brief paragraph about what you’ve done and how you can benefit your future employer. When changing careers however, you can use this space to highlight your most relevant transferrable skills, or education, and indicate that you are seeking to leverage them towards a new role as a (whatever your target role is).

Step #3: Make use of keywords

Carefully review job descriptions for your target job. What kinds of skills are they seeking that you already have? Communication, vendor selection, negotiation, staff management and development are all transferrable skills that are highly desirable and not pertaining to any one industry. Make note of all your transferrable skills that are prized in your new target and include those front and center.

Step #4: Highlight education and certifications

Sometimes when people are changing careers, they have education or certifications that suit them more to the position then their actual job history does. If this is the case, it is perfectly appropriate to place the education section before the professional experience section. This will direct the employer’s eye first to qualities that are directly applicable to the new job target and will work in your favor.

Step #5: Identify accomplishments

Finally, comb through your previous job history to identify the accomplishments that are most transferrable to the new job. When you are staying in the same industry, you always want specific accomplishments that mirror the requirements of the new role but when determining how to change careers, you may need to be a little more general to show your versatility.

Rest assured, no matter how dramatic a change you are making, your previous experience has not been in vain. By incorporating the above suggestions, you can best leverage your previous career to launch you into a brand new one.

Need resume help to write the next chapter of your career? Hire a TopResume writer today!

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!