Changing careers means starting from square one, you need a new resume and you need convincing cover letter when you apply for the first job in new career path.
Convincing the hiring manager that you are capable and skilled for the new job is essential. In the corporate world, changing careers can be frowned upon however it does not mean that your decision is wrong.
Taking a leap of faith, taking risks is always scary but it is the only way to successful and happy life.
To begin your new career, you need to understand what are the challenges and how to face them. This article will help you with it all. With the guide on how to write a career change resume, what are the challenges of changing careers and also a career change resume example.
Let’s dive in!👇
Challenges of Changing Careers
Most professionals change their career for better compensation. Especially after Covid-19 pandemic, everyone goes for better compensation for their skills because remote work has changed the landscape of corporate world.
Switching careers is good for professional development. Your proven track record and soft skills can make it easy for you as well.
When you change the career, you are taking an adventure trip in unknown land. You will need to figure out a lot of things like a fresh graduate stepping in to the new world.
These challenges can be difficult however with some efforts, you can come out on the other side doing a job that you love.
You need to be aware of these challenges and have an idea of how to face them and overcome them. Let’s talk about it in detail.
The key skills you had in your previous jobs may not all be helpful in your new job. You might need to find ways to utilize some of your skills in different manner so that you can leverage them at your new job.
There are many skills that are transferable skills, meaning you can transfer those skills for your new job and perform well.
When you add these skills in your resume, you can also add some relevant proof of having used those skills in different tasks. It will help you back them up.
You have the interest, it is one of the reasons you might have taken the decision of changing careers. Having interest is your strength and you can use that to do the new job and handle new responsibilities.
However, having interest may not be enough. Any and every field has its downside, you may be extremely interested in your field but there will be moments when you might feel bored or stressed due to number of reasons.
At times you might wonder if you really are interested or it was just temporary fascination. You need to remember that your decision was right and some unexpected moments should not derail you. Because even in most desired field, there are always parts that you do not like.
You need to remember your passion and keep going with the new challenges. Half the battle will be won with passion because working hard and learning new things will not tire you, rather you will enjoy it.
Your new role is different and you have no experience to help you out. It will be challenging to handle new responsibilities.
When this happens, you can try and find similarities between your previous jobs and your new position, even in new terrain, there is always something that is familiar for you.
Draw the skills and knowledge and capabilities of old jobs to your new position and lack of experience will not be an obstacle for you anymore.
It is a new territory, new position, new responsibilities and everything new which may be overwhelming. You might struggle to keep your confidence intact.
Whenever you face new challenges, you might get frustrated and contemplate if you are good enough to do the new role.
Confidence is a shaky tricky human trait, some people have confidence that never budges while some people start doubting themselves at the first sign of new challenge. Some people are overconfident and some have no confidence.
Maintaining confidence with self-motivation and affirmation of your skills and knowledge is difficult however very important to make sure you can do your new role.
When you switch careers, you have next to none relevant experience and the hiring manager might see you as a fresher. Freshers do not get a lot of compensation. It is a lot like just starting your career and getting your first ever job which means your compensation will also be of a fresher.
To negotiate well during the interview, you need to make sure that you get compensated as higher as possible. Although, chances are it will not be more than your last job and might be lower than your last job.
How to write a career change resume?
Choosing the Format
Resume formats are the outlines of your resume. It gives the resume the much needed structure which makes the information neatly described and easy to comprehend.
The best formats help you showcase your profile’s details in a professional manner.
📌 There are various resume formats:
Job seekers should choose the format after taking into consideration what all they need to include in their resume, what level of professional they are, which industry their profession belongs to, what is the hiring manager/employer like and what they might expect.
For the career change resume, the combination resume is suitable. Combination resume templates basically help you focus on the skills and experience at the same time.
You can focus on them and put emphasis on them equally.
The combination resume should be written carefully and with proper knowledge of the format otherwise you might end up creating a chaotic and messy resume that will be difficult to comprehend.
Your work history’s relevance, your skills’ relevance can also decide the length of your resume. You need to know which details are to be included and which details should be left out of your resume.
To have an outstanding resume, you should research the company you are applying to along with, the role, job responsibilities, industry and other companies in the industry.
This research will help you understand what all is expected by the recruiter from an exceptional resume through which candidates get hired easily.
Your career change resume format should have the contact information section on top. This section may have your professional headshot in formal attire however it is not mandatory.
Next in the contact information section, will be the mention of your contact number and email address.
Make sure your contact number is written properly with + sign, parenthesis () and spaces along with the area code.
The email address should be professional and formal. It should not have any words that are not your name or unnecessary digits.
The profile summary should be written in bullet points no more than 3 to 5. Begin with your total years of experience and a little background. Follow up with the key accomplishments and key skills.
Try to quantify the details as much as you can with numbers, in your career change resume summary. Reflect how you have achieved results for the employer and made a difference with your contribution.
At last mention your future goal of contributing with your skills and knowledge acquired through experiences. Showcase your eagerness to find a suitable opportunity.
The career change resumes need to show the skills that they had and leveraged in their past job experiences- AND can be transferred to the new role.
The skills in a career change resume should be transferable so they hold the weight for new roles. Transferable skills can be useful to convince the hiring manager of your competency.
You should mention the skill. Follow up with the details from your past experiences- that can back these skills up and work like evidence.
Throughout the career change resume, try to write all the details in bullet points.
The experience section is described in reverse-chronological order. You should begin with the mention of your job title, employer’s full name and the period of time for which you worked there.
The details should be mentioned in bullet points. You should describe the accomplishments and key skills. Along with that, you can highlight some of the responsibilities you had and performed well with.
Focus on how you contributed and helped the employer succeed rather than talking about the usual responsibilities at length in your career change resume.
Your education should be mentioned briefly. Note the name of your education institute and full name of your degree. You can also mention the location of the education institute.
You should keep the education section brief and avoid any unnecessary details.
In additional skills, you can simply list the skills that are relevant (not necessarily key skills) and do not need details. Keep it brief- perhaps in a list form.
These skills are additional, there will be another section for key skills (Skills summary) that are important and need to be backed by more information.
To beat the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), your career change resume should have the relevant keywords. Hiring managers use ATS to scan and shortlist the resumes and the ATS only shortlists the resumes that have relevant keywords.
When you are writing your career change resume, you should ensure that these relevant keywords are included throughout the resume.
Without keywords, your career change resume is likely to be rejected regardless of your skills, knowledge, experiences and overall qualifications.
To find the relevant keywords, you need to research your new role, the employer, the industry and the job description. You will find the keywords for relevant skills, experience and much more.
There are simple rules that should be followed while writing a professional resume for your new career.
- Never use pronouns in sentences
- Always use third person
- Always write in past tense
- Use action words as much as possible
These rules make the resume professional. When you follow these rules the language and tone of the resume becomes professional and formal which is what the hiring managers expect in a professional and appropriate resume.
Cover letters are not always mandatory but they help you make an impression. Most job descriptions might not demand cover letters and many hiring managers do not expect the resumes to have cover letters enclosed.
However, if you write a cover letter, it can make a significant difference. Cover letters are your chance to directly address the hiring manager.
In the cover letter, you should mention your contact details, address the hiring manager and then describe your experience, skills and knowledge.
You can also pitch how you are capable and competent for the role you are applying for. You can also describe your journey and your inspiration.
Cover letters are a lot like letters so the body will look like a letter with your gratitude and name at last. Cover letters are also your chance to include more keywords while talking about important details of your profile.
Career change resume example
- 3+ years of experience as customer service representative
- Improved the customer satisfaction rate by 30%
- Looking for an opportunity to leverage my problem solving skills and contribute
Problem solving skills
- Developed more efficient communication system to solve queries for customer
- Decreased the customer service time to provide quick resolutions
- Communicated with 10,000+ customers and gained the understanding of customer preferences
- Completed BA in communication with highest grades in the batch
- Planned and strategized the content for social media accounts
Customer service representative
Communications Lab January 2022-March 2023
- Resolved 300+ customer complaints daily
- Improved customer service protocols for more efficient and quick customer concerns resolution
- Improved customer service script for better communication
Customer service representative
Target January 2020-December 2021
- Resolved customer queries
- Attended 30+ calls daily
- Collaborated with sales department to improve customer service
- Bachelor of Arts in Communication
University of Windsor
- Digital marketing course certificate
Google Online Courses
- Time management skills
- MS Office
- G Suite
- Interpersonal skills
To conclude, we advice you to follow all the guidelines and tips discussed in this article. You can also check out our resume examples and templates. Make sure you proofread your resume twice.
When you check out resume examples and templates, make sure to personalize them according to your profile.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I need resume summary or resume objective?
You can write the resume summary describing your profile in crisp and concise manner. Hiring managers often don’t look for resume objectives because resume summary tells them what all you bring to the table.
Should I mention all my skills from past jobs?
Not necessary. Stick to the skills that are transferable and relevant to your new role.
Which resume format should I choose?
If you are switching career, the best format is the combination resume format.