Making the decision to change careers is a huge undertaking.
Not only do you have to be willing to acquire new skills and step outside your comfort zone, but you also have to be able to sell your past experience to recruiters and hiring managers.
While the majority of this "selling" happens in person during interviews, a well-crafted resume is a key to getting yourself actually called in for one.
There are definitely some special guidelines to consider, according to resume-writing pros.
1.Do Your Research1.
It's critical to talk to those who are in the careers you want to go into to find out what they would want to see in a resume.
What are the hot terms in the field right now? The most in-demand skills and relevant knowledge?
These are things you need to find out, then incorporate into your resume where you can.
2.Hightlight Transferable Skills
When you're changing careers, it's assumed that your recent work experience will not perfectly align with the role you're now targeting.
That's where transferable skills come in.
Some transferable skills are universal, regardless of the field: leadership, communication, analytical skills. But to find industry-specific ones, you'll want to conduct informational interviews and review the job descriptions you're targeting.
3.Show. Don't Tell
This is good advice for any resume, but it's especially important for career changers.
Why? Well, you'll be able to not only highlight transferable skills, but also prove that you're excellent at them.
Use statistics and numbers to show concrete information about the value you bring.
Instead of just saying 'developed and implemented innovative process improvements,' say 'increased operational efficiency and annual revenues by 13% by developing and implementing innovative process improvements.'
4.Learn The Lingo
Each industry has its own jargon–terminology, acronyms, and initialisms that only make sense to people who are familiar with the field.
It's your job to figure out how to translate your experience and past successes into terms that will resonate with your new target audience.
Subscribe to industry-specific publications and follow their social media accounts, and attend trade shows and other events that are relevant to your target field to gain this insight.
5.Use Your Space Wisely
You don't have unlimited space. You get one to two pages to fill with your most impressive accomplishments and qualifications.
Especially if you have a long job history in a previous career, this can be difficult to enforce.
Many people will turn into a sort of hoarder when writing their resume. You can't fit 18 bullet points of details for a job you had in 2002. It's barely relevant, and a busy hiring manager won't read it.
If they want extreme details on the things you've done, your resume has already done its job, and you'll be getting a call for an interview.
Keep it clear, concise, and as relevant to your new industry as possible.
6.Put Education In The Right Place
Most resume advice tells you that once you're a few years out of school, you should move your education down to the bottom of your resume. This is true for the most part, but there's an important exception career changers may want to consider.
If you recently earned a degree relevant to your new field, place your education section before your experience section.
7.Remember That You're More Than Your Resume
Having a great resume is no doubt important, but when you're a career changer, there are things that matter more.
Especially when you are making a career shift, connecting with people in the field through authentic relationship building can give you a leg up, so that someone is willing to take a chance on you–no matter what is on your resume.