Crafting the perfect resume for career shifters is tough. What if you spent two decades in accounting preparing and presenting budgets and projections and then you’ll move to human resources (HR) management? How will you describe yourself so possible employers and the new industry will find you interesting? Hence, if you want to learn how to write the perfect resume for people changing careers, read this list.
Techniques to Creating the Perfect Resume for Career Shifters
1. Use the right keywords.
In writing your resume, include keywords relevant to your new career goals. Then again, Randi Bussin, career coach and counselor, suggests asking key people what skills they consider vital to the job or industry. Likewise, she urges searching for “several job descriptions online” in the new field. “Review them and make a list of what the companies and/or hiring managers are seeking,” she advises. She says blogs and publications help you “get a better feel for the industry, understand its jargon, and become familiar with some of the challenges faced by the industry.”
2. Use the functional resume format.
This format is perfect for career changers, “new graduates, ex-military personnel, seasoned aces, and those with multitrack job histories, work gaps, or special issues,” says Dummies.com. In addition, since it “omits dates, employers, and job titles” and “focuses on portable skills,” it shows employers your potentials instead of detailing your work history.
Take the example of Roberta Chinsky Matuson, a contributing writer at Monster, in her article. She claims, “If you have worked as a retail manager, chances are you were responsible for hiring, training, coaching, evaluating, and handling employee relations issues. If you were to submit this information in a chronological resume, there’s a good chance a hiring manager (or computer) might skip right by you”. Why? You’re not a human resources manager, even if most of your daily tasks focus on HR work. Yet, if you highlight your transferable skills as a retail manager, you’re sure to pass the first screening phase.
3. Stress accomplishments that brand you to the new role.
The key to resume writing, for career change or not, is to make sure it’s sprinkled with “strong achievements and success stories,” comments Bussin. Further, include stuff that’ll showcase your skills and the attributes you can bring to the potential employer/new industry.
Thus, to narrate your success stories, Bussin suggests using the Problem, Action, Result (PAR) format and answering a handful of questions:
Problem: What was the current problem or challenge?
Action: What actions did you take to solve the problem?
Result: What resulted from your efforts?
4. Maximize your relevant transferable skills.
“Identify which of your skill sets are valuable to another field, and in what capacity,” says Jacquelyn Smith, Business Insider editor. Then again, don’t put everything on your resume. Just pick the relevant ones. While it’s easy to list the skills common among industries, “it gets trickier when you’re considering a switch from a very specialized role to a different field”. Amanda Augustine, a career expert at The Ladders observed this.
Thus, reach out to people in your target field. In particular, talk to and share your insights with them. By learning your skills and credentials, they can already tell which post suits you best.
5. Study your target company.
Know their needs and show how you can attend to them. Since it’s typical for employers to look for experience, what you must check are the traits they want in applicants. Besides, see if they have detailed requirements on personality, work style, or level of commitment. Further, this will help you create a resume that attracts hiring managers even if you have little (or no) experience.
How to Succeed as a Career Changer
In making a huge leap from one line of work to a new one, it doesn’t mean you’re in dire straits. It will depend much on how you package yourself. Your degrees and certifications will confirm your academic readiness. Then again, the years you’ve spent in your other careers prepared you for the challenges in your new role. Likewise, the above tips can help you create a winning resume employers can’t ignore.
If these tips on how to make a perfect resume step by step aren’t enough or writing isn’t your forte, hire a resume writing firm. Go through our top resume reviews and choose one that can craft the perfect resume for career shifters.