A resume acts as a tool for you to sell yourself as it plays a major and primary role for you to get an opportunity to attend an interview where you can showcase all your qualifications, experience to crack the desired job. It is always a challenge for job seekers to write an attractive resume even for those who are having great experience and education qualifications. When it comes to job seekers who wish change their career there will be a lot of questions that include what is a career change resume, how to pick the best career change resume format; combination resume or functional resume, how to write a career change objective or resume summary, how to provide the right experience on a career change resume, writing a career change cover letter, etc. This article will help you to know how to add the education section on your career change, what steps to follow when adding skills to your career change resume, etc.
What is a Career Change Resume
A resume designed to pursue a new job in an entirely new field or department that is different from the previous experience or educational background is a career change resume. Career change resume is useful for switching careers and you should know how to write a career change resume and how to pick the best career change resume format whether you should use a combination resume or functional resume.
Picking the Best Career Change Resume Format
Being a job seeker preparing a career change resume while switching your career with different work experience is a very difficult job. You should pick the best career change resume format combination resume or a functional resume format to attract the hiring manager. Which resume format you should pick while applying for a job in a different stream compared to your previous work experience.
There are different types of resume formats that include traditional resume format with chronological work history, functional resume format that highlights your skills & abilities, combination resume format which includes both traditional format and also, highlights skills & abilities, etc. The below information will help you to choose the best career change resume format from various resume formats.
When to Use Functional Resume Format:
If you have more skills and abilities that are relevant to your new job search which is different from your previous work experience then you should use a functional resume format. Functional resume format focuses on your skills & abilities that are relevant to your new career job and could attract the hiring manager. It also includes a work history section where you can include your work experiences but ensure to match it with your new roles & responsibilities. Focus on a few aspects such as administrative abilities, problem-solving skills, management skills, etc.
Provide details relevant to your new job search by giving information about your achievements in the previous jobs such as received “Best Customer Service Executive of the Year” (if in case the new job is relevant to support or service-related field where you should interact with customers or clients)” to stand in the queue. But you can always ignore to mention any employment start or date end dates while using a functional resume format.
Major sections that you should include while writing a career change resume in functional resume format:
- Personal Details & Contact Information
- Summary with experience and career goals
- Skills & abilities relevant to your desired job
- Professional Career – details if you have relevant experience that can help in your new job
- Awards & Achievements – if you have any relevant details that you can match with a new role
- Educational Background
When to Use Combination Resume Format:
Combination Resume format is a combination of both the conventional resume with the chronological order of work history and also, list of skills & abilities that are relevant to your desired job. You should use a combination resume if you have relevant work experience and also, more skills & abilities that are unique and would probably help you to make it easy for your new job search.
Make sure that you include & focus on the job roles & responsibilities from your previous employment that are most relevant to your new job search. Also, you can add your accomplishments, achievements & awards that you have won during your employment that is most relevant to the new desired job. It is advised to make it short and simple if the experience is not much related to the new job and instead can focus more on the skills & abilities section.
Sections to Include in a Career Change Resume ?
Major sections that you should include while writing a career change resume in functional resume format:
- Personal Details & Contact Information
- Professional Summary
- Skills & abilities that are relevant to your new desired job including the transferrable skills that you may have and can utilize in your new job
- Professional Career – Work Experience History
- Educational Career – Educational Background with details
But you must know how to write career goals or resume objective or resume summary for any resume format to attract the hiring manager. Here, in this section will help you to understand how to Write a Career Change Objective or Resume Summary (with examples).
Contact Information on a Career Change Resume
Contact information is the most essential part of any resume. While preparing a career change resume ensure to add contact information that includes your full name, email ID (if you have multiple email IDs prefer to give an email ID where you are most available for communication), contact number (where you are reachable by any prospective hiring manager or HR to schedule an interview or conduct a telephonic interview).
In addition to your general contact information ensure to add your social media contact information such as a link to your LinkedIn profile, GitHub profile, Facebook profile, Google+ account, etc. where an employer can find more details about you. Nowadays there are more chances to get your profile picked up for a job interview by having a glance at your social media accounts that helps employer(s) to understand your strengths and interests related to the job.
Writing a Career Change Objective or Resume Summary
Career change resume summary or career change objective helps the prospective employer to understand how your capabilities, skillset, and career goals will be useful for you to handle a new job role. So, ensure to highlight your skills that are transferable to grab and perform at the new job position. Focus on the skills that include planning, organizing, problem-solving, decision making, and transferable communication skills. Mention about personal abilities such as flexibility, adaptability, hard & smart working, etc. using the relevant keywords that will help in your job search.
Listing Skills on Your Career Change Resume
HR or prospective employer will scan your resume to filter out profiles that don’t match with the skillset of the desired position. So, make sure you add all the relevant soft skills and hard skills you have that are required for the position you are trying. Do a little research and find out how your skills can help you to perform at the desired job and clearly explain this while adding your skills and experience to your career change resume.
List of Skills to Put on a Career Change Resume
There are a lot of skills you can add to a resume that includes skills you actually possess but don’t even about it until you get into a situation to use those skills. You should consider the following list of skills to put on a career change resume:
- Leadership Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Communication Skills
- Problem-Solving Ability
- Thinking Capability
- Quick Learning Abilities
- Decision Making Capability
- Customer Service
- Conceptual Thinking
- Business Management Skills
Make sure that the list of skills you add to a resume is a perfect match and useful for your desired job. Check a few Career Change Resume Examples Other” Sections (Additional activities)to understand in detail. For example, you can add a line in your summary or career objective or resume cover letter that makes a difference to your approach while switching careers and attracts the hiring manager.
Experience on a Career Change Resume
If you find that your new career change job is related to some of your previous work experiences or previous job roles and responsibilities. Then, ensure to highlight those relevant roles & responsibilities of previous work experience to relate and convey that to your prospective HR. This way you can get an opportunity to be considered by the recruiting team and get yourself a chance to be interviewed. Use relevant keywords and explain the previous job responsibilities in a detailed way such that relate that to your new job role. This will help you, &your employer, to know how you can transfer your existing skills to perform in the new job role.
Adding an Education Section on Your Career Change Resume
The education section will play a vital role in a resume. While you are preparing a career change resume it is obvious that you may or may not have enough data to provide in the professional experience section. As you are looking for a career change, you may not provide detailed information about your previous job descriptions. But you can always mention the details of your education and match that with your new desired job. Such that ensure to highlight your achievements during your education and add value to those accomplishments as these will help you in performing in the new job.
Career Change Resume (Example)
To understand more clearly how to write a career change resume please have a glance at the below sample career change resume (please note that the below sample resume is focussed on the job description part and may not have enough details of the complete profile).
Blog Writer to Technical Writer
In general, a blog writer’s responsibility is to write articles, blog posts on any general topic and this doesn’t require in-depth technical knowledge about the topic they write. For example, writing about a topic say “How to write a career change cover letter” a blog writer may write an article, in general, explaining a few simple steps to write a career change cover letter and career change resume. But a technical writer explains the topic technically in detail and ensures to convey the message of the topic written to every reader. For example, a layman would easily understand a technical concept written by a technical writer easily compared to the topic written by a blog writer.
Here we will see how to write a resume when you are changing your career as a Blog Writer to Technical Writer:
- Add professional summary including your work experience as a blog writer.
- Add educational background that is technically relevant to your future job (say you have completed your graduation in electrical & electronics and working as a blog writer for general content, then you can write a combinational resume to add your blog writing experience and education qualification to become a technical writer in an electrical and electronics based company where you can write eBooks, Infographics, articles, user manuals, application notes, help manuals technically and make sure that these are useful to the layman or end-users of the company who may not have technical knowledge).
- Write a career change cover letter including your future goals, plans, expectations, and expected contributions.
- Explain how your blog writing experience could help you to become a successful technical writer.
- Add skillset that includes any technical tools (applications), authoring tools such as MadCap Flare, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe InDesign, MS Visio, etc. that are used by technical writers.
Sample Career Change Resume (Text-Version)
1737 Marshville Road, Alabama
“Accomplished Technical Writer/Editor with extensive experience in the IT industry writing and documenting work processes. Dynamic, team-oriented individual with a strong reputation for high-quality work in challenging work environments”.
Project Management, Copy Writing, Comprehensive Editing, Photoshop.
Climbing, Snowboarding, Cooking, Reading
Inkhaus Creative – September 2013 – Present
- Researched, developed, and documented technical design specifications and test scripts.
- Produced electronic documentation in addition to hard copy materials.
- Maintained a comprehensive library of technical terminology and documentation.
- Analyzed documents to maintain continuity of the style of content.
- Drafted, edited, and proofread letters for content and grammatical errors.
ABC Corp – September 2009– 2012
- Handled the task of writing unique titles and descriptions for various web pages.
- Responsible for conducting research and writing content on a regular basis.
- Handled the task of editing and proofreading content before uploading it on web pages.
- Handled SEO optimization to ensure product to be ranked by Google and other search engines.
- Assisted with the rebranding of the site, driving traffic, offering technical ideas in efforts to improve the user experience.
Master of Advanced International Studies
Career Change Resume Sample
Career Change Cover Letter
A cover letter plays a vital role in getting identified by a hiring manager while they may scan abundant profiles. If you can write the best career change cover letter then you are halfway through your new job search. Add your professional summary and education qualification, skills & abilities that you possess and relevant to your prospective job in the cover letter. Include your career goals, briefly explain why you are looking for switching careers, include any short-term and long-term goals, etc. that are relevant. As a job seeker make sure that your cover letter gives an overview of your whole resume and make use of it to get identified by a hiring manager. Highlight all relevant experience, education, goals, skills & abilities and focus on explaining these relevant details in a catchy way using appropriate keywords.
Switching careers is not an easy task but doing it an efficient way could be a life-changing step. Focus on your career goals, long-term plans if any, and identify your skills & abilities before you decide yourself about switching careers. Research, analyze, understand, and write an effective career change resume and career change cover letter before you start your job search in a different field.
1). Who should use a combination resume?
We suggest you use a combination resume if you feel that you will fall under any of the below categories:
- Professional with only 1 to 3 years of experience
- Recently passed out (graduated or post graduated) and have minimum work experience
- Want to change career field or department or industry
- If you have been consistent with your experience and have no gaps in your professional career
2). Career change job interview questions
While switching careers you may probably come across some typical questions during your career change job interview that include but not limited to:
- Why do you want to work in a different field?
- What made you choose this field?
- Why do you want to switch careers while you are performing well in the previous job?
- Explain how you will excel in this field?
- Give one example of a typical situation or problem that you faced during your professional career and explain how you handled it?