“Cindy” from California writes: “I’m trying to make a career change into training and development, moving away from my technical job. I have barely any experience. How can I write this resume?”
If you’ve ever struggled with writing a resume to make a career switch, you know how frustrating it can be.
Because you have to prove you have the right stuff to succeed in a different field. And, like Cindy, you may not have much traditional experience.
Here’s how to make Resumes for Changing Careers!
1. First, consider a half-step toward a new career.
Say you’re an accountant … who wants to be a graphic designer. You can certainly try to move straight into graphic design, but it may be hard to prove your claims based on your experience.
The “half-step approach” is to get an accounting job at a design firm. Then, network with designers and pick their brains. Come in on weekends — with permission — and learn the software. After you’ve had a chance to learn from those on staff, ask for an internal move to a design role. Voila — you’re a designer!
2. Avoid functional resumes.
A functional resume, which usually lists “skills” or “areas of expertise,” followed by a sparse career history, is the kiss of death. Why?
It’s used by job seekers to hide something, like irrelevant experience, which is a red flag for most hiring managers.
So, what resume style works best?
3. Try a hybrid format.
Write a resume that mixes relevant skills, achievements and paid/unpaid experience. Put your most valuable points near the beginning.
You could lead with a tailored objective, like this:
“Position in graphic design where software skills and a strong knowledge of design principles will add value.”
Then, add a PROFILE section. Here, describe 2-4 skills or areas of expertise you offer. These can come from anywhere — a degree you completed last year or a hobby that makes you an expert. Just be sure to prove them.
If room allows, include a SELECTED ACHIEVEMENTS section, with 2-4 bullet points describing good things you’ve done related your target job. Include achievements from paid or volunteer work, hobbies or education, for example.
Then include your EDUCATION/TRAINING or EXPERIENCE section, depending on which is more relevant to your new career.
So, don’t despair! You *can* change careers and land the job you’ve always wanted. Just make sure your resume makes it clear that you have the skills and desire to do that job well.