Thinking of Changing a Career?

Nancy Anderson
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In the past few years, career switching has become more common even after having stayed successful in one stream for some time. Mid-level careers, such as an IT professional working in accounts or entrepreneurs who chose to come back to corporate life, are a common scenario in today's world.

In order to successfully change careers, you should have the ability to match relevant skills to the position that interests you. Working on your resume is the first and most basic thing you need to do when you plan to make this move.

Here are some things that you need to do to your resume for a successful career change:

Rewrite It Comprehensively

Quick edits! How you wish these quick edits in your resume would get you in the new industry successfully. But the scenario is a little different. If you are switching careers, it is important that you re-analyze your resume and, during the process of editing, add every area of business where you have been able to make a mark.

People who are switching careers should make sure that their resume shows full breadth of their skills in leadership, communication and management. You need to tell the employer how you will fit into the new business setting.

Write Your Summary Using the New Job Description

Your new summary paragraph at the top of your resume should tie everything in the job description along with every accomplishment of the past. For example if you are switching to a career in online marketing, make sure you mention any kind of web experience or marketing experience in the opening paragraph.

Since most companies use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to scan your resume, make sure the first thing they see on the resume relates to the job description.

Delete Some Stuff

While it is important to convey your skills, your resume should not be overloaded with every minor accomplishment. If you are not sure about what to exclude, refer to an expert.

Accompany your Accomplishments with Numbers

Use bullet points to tell the recruiter what have you done to bring a positive impact to the organization. Using quantifiable numbers is a quick way to do so. Numbers gives the hiring manager an idea about your contributions, even if the field is not related to the present job search.

Add Job Titles to Which Recruiters can relate

Help the hiring managers to easily identify your transferable skills through a short descriptor after the official job title. Also, if possible, you can use this approach to cleanly explain your interest to the recruiter. Remember not to exaggerate. Use this approach only if you honestly can.

Use Keywords to Pass Electronic Filters

When it comes to writing a resume, using the right keywords can get you through the electronic filters used by the recruiters today. Career changers especially should know how to play with keywords smartly. Because for a marketing position, a resume filled with finance keyword would have a hard time to pass the filter.

Pick out keywords from job descriptions of the new jobs that match your previous experience and spread them throughout the first page of your resume.

Using a Mixed Format is the Key

Since functional resumes focuses more on skills, career changers are advised to use a functional resume and attract the recruiter with the skills. A traditional chronological format may not work since this format is based upon job succession more so than on skills.

Emphasize Non-Work Related Experience

For career changers, the extra-curricular activities on the resume will help you more than a normal experience. Just be sure that the activities you include relate to the desired role like internships or part-time consulting. 

Find Natural Associations

There are certain accomplishments that are similar across different functions and firms. Look for things from your current position that would add value to the new position you are considering. Make a note of highlighting your top bullet point from your past experience that would help grab the hiring manager's attention and help you secure your new position.

On the Concluding Note

Adding a cover letter to the new resume would add to your chances of getting shortlisted. Do not get intimidated by the idea of not matching the desired qualifications for the new job. If you take the time to create a new resume based upon these suggestions, you will successfully carry out this phase of career transition.


Photo courtesy of Margie Ireland at




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