When thinking about making a career change, keep in mind that the more closely your new career relates to your existing resume, the easier your transition will be. For example, a transition from a career in marketing to a career in sales would generally be easier than a transition from a career in marketing to a career as a teacher.
Transferable skills are those work functions you do well in your current career that are also important in your new career. For example, the strong communication and interpersonal skills that are so important to a sales person are also skills that are valuable in careers such as convention planning and public relations.
Structuring Your Career Change Resume
Remember, the key to a successful career change resume is your transferable skills so focus on your document with the following modifications:
- Introduction – Write this section to show off any skills, talents, training, or expertise you possess that relate to the positions you’re targeting.
- Experience – Again, focus this section on the skills and accomplishments you have in your current and previous positions that are important to the position you’re targeting. Avoid lengthy descriptions of your day-to-day duties and focus on the big picture. For example, if you’re currently a dental hygienist trying to transition into a pharmaceutical sales position, don’t talk about cleaning teeth. Talk about your strong interpersonal and communication skills that allow you to work well with a wide variety of people (patients, office staff, other dental professionals).
- Education & Professional Development – Be sure to include any education or training related to your new career. If you’re currently enrolled in any related training or educational programs, include them, too.
- Community Service – Include any volunteer work that relates to your new career or where you have any transferable skills that would be important to your new career. For example, if you are a Girl Scouts leader and have a lot of experience organizing banquets and other events, that’s great information to include if you’re targeting a position as an events planner.
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