Changing careers can be a groundbreaking move. It is more seismic than moving from one job to another.
Many individuals switch careers at some point in life, with an average person changing careers five to seven times in their working lives. This change is often a result of changes in the job market, more financial benefits in the new industry, or some aspirations and dreams that have long been forgotten.
Whatever the case may be, changing careers means changing and creating a new resume.
One of the biggest challenges you will face is to show how relevant your career history is. All you have to do is downplay a lack of forthright experience and, at the same time, highlight your successes and skills that apply.
If you are wondering how to write a CV that is different and appealing, we have got you covered.
To begin, let us consider the basics of how to write a CV.
Choosing the right structure for your CV
The hybrid CV is often the best, especially when you are sending your CV online. This type of resume structure combines the best parts of a functional and a chronological CV and enables you to focus attention on what you want an employer to know.
Personal details like your name, phone number, and email address should be at the top of the page. They should be followed by a personal statement; Who you are, your career goals, and most importantly, what you can offer the organization.
Also, list your achievements, skills, and experience to date and make sure they match the job description of the hiring employer.
This is the section where you at I’m on the phone skills like management, sales, planning, communication, etc.
Also, include a line or two describing how you’ve used these skills before.
This section will contain the job experiences you’ve had throughout your work life.
You can use the chronological format, listing the most recent jobs first, including job titles, employers’ names, and dates.
Furthermore, focus on achievements in that role and pay attention to the new job description and requirements.
In this section, you will need to indicate if you are a college graduate or in the university. Add the name of your qualification, institution names, and dates of attendance.
If you are a school dropout, put a spotlight on your results.
This section is very significant on a CV if you are changing careers.
Add more transferable skills, including second languages, or any volunteering experience that could be important. You can also add hobbies and interests.
Without further ado, here are a few tips on how to write a CV for a career change.
- Do some research on your new career.
Studying your new career should be the first thing on your mind before you write a new CV.
It is essential that you do proper research and make sure you know and have as much information as possible about your career.
For starters, look at some of the best and substantial employers in the industry and figure out the attributes that are best valued in their employees. You can get details on the most in-demand qualification and skills required for the position you are applying for.
One of the best places to start with this is to research important job descriptions and make a list of the most frequently asked requirements. It’ll give you a good insight into what recruiters want and prepare you with the knowledge to succeed in your new career path.
- write a whole new resume.
A new career requires a new CV.
At this point, you already know what the recruiters are looking for. Don’t try to save time by editing an old CV, because it might reduce your chances of producing a powerful and appealing application.
Besides, your old resume was specifically designed for your previous career.
It is therefore a good idea to start from scratch, choose the format and content that will make your new CV stand out. This is especially valid when you don’t have a large qualification or relevant experience and you want to impress your recruiters with your achievements and skills instead of your employment history.
Furthermore, do some research on the CV structure and format that will be great for your career change.
- Include a section for skills.
When you must have chosen a resume structure, and format, add a section to highlight your skills or show that you have the hard and soft skills that the employer requires.
If you noticed that some skills and qualifications are missing in your new resume, you could continue to work towards gaining new experiences and qualifications or learn and acquire new skills.
Some online courses will help you gain significant qualifications or you can sign up to do some volunteer work that is related to your chosen career path.
Include skills that will increase your chances of impressing your employer.
- Make an outstanding first impression.
The first quarter of your CV is crucial because this is the part that grabs an employer’s attention.
During the process of acquiring new skills and gaining your qualifications make sure to update your resume regularly. Add any new impressive experience or achievements to your profile.
Also, add the relevant transferable skills you have.
Write an engaging cover letter. This is your first chance to impress the employer. Indicate reasons why the experience and skills you possess make you the perfect candidate for the job.
This will help your employer to identify rapidly the difference between your resume and other candidates.
Also, endeavor to update your important social media profiles with the new achievements and skills you have acquired. This is because most employers nowadays use social media to screen applicants.
- Cut out the unnecessary information.
Don’t include every bit of information from your past careers like every single task that you completed or every position held.
This can be detrimental and ruin your chances of being employed.
Make your resume shorter but more persuasive and relevant rather than long and full of junk.
In that case, leave out any information that is not related to the career path you have chosen.
Highlight only the information that will make your resume relevant and attractive to your new recruiters.
Be careful not to include irrelevant past experiences in your resume as it will draw recruiters’ attention away from the relevant stuff and reduce your chances of standing out and being invited for an interview.
- Find out what resume format is good for you.
There are three CV formats to choose from.
The functional CV format enables you to highlight more important parts of your work. It appears to be the best choice for an individual who wants to change careers. This CV format pays close attention to experience and skills rather than where you worked in the past and the dates.
The chronological CV format, on the other hand, outlines your work experience from the most recent to the oldest. It is the most utilized CV format.
Finally, we have the mixed format which combines the chronological and the functional format.
It is advisable to choose the hybrid format that combines the functional and the chronological CV formats.
- Relevant non-work-related experiences should be included in your CV.
Your best professional experience may appear to be irrelevant and may not relate to your new career.
Make sure to include relevant extracurricular activities on your resume to add more weight.
If you have taken any internships, training, indication, important volunteering, make sure to highlight that too. This will demonstrate transferable skills and also show you are dedicated, passionate, and enthusiastic about the new career path you have chosen.
- Use numbers to show your significance
When naming your successes in past roles, use bullet points that illustrate your contribution to the bottom line.
Numbers are a precise indicator of your assistance and accomplishments, it doesn’t matter the field you have worked in.
Numbers are extremely crucial on career change resumes as they help recruiters to rapidly connect to unfamiliar work history, and foresee what the applicant can do for their company.
- Don’t be disturbed if your qualification section is scanty.
When changing careers, you’re bound to have gaps in your qualification, especially if your previous professional background is not connected to the new field.
Don’t be frustrated by this. Keep in mind that very few applicants will have every single needed credential.
Most recruiters would choose to employ an individual who meets three-quarters of the criteria but is passionate and driven.
Focus on spotlighting your skills and capacities, and don’t forget the desire to change careers shows your level of motivation, passion, and confidence.
- If you are applying online, make sure you save your CV as a PDF file, except the job opening doesn’t agree. Also use fonts like Calibri, Garamond, and Arial.
A mixed career change CV offers you the best experience from a little bit of both chronological and functional structures.
It stands out as a traditional layout but helps you to highlight your accomplishments and communicable skills.
Since you have little or no experience in this new career path, it is up to you to show the employee that you are an asset to the company.
Hope these tips helped you. Good luck with your job search.