10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

Published on: 29 August 2018 Last updated: 25 March 2019

Career change happens to most of us at some point in our lives. In fact, the single-career trajectory is becoming less and less common. Some of the greatest anxieties surrounding career change centers around the process – how do I get an interview, what does my resume need to look like, what skills do I need?

Below, we’ve analysed the career change of our real users (Sam, Marcellus, Eric, and Steffany) to provide top tips on how to craft your career change resume.

Tips for Your Career Change Resume

1. Show yourself

It can be difficult for recruiters to generalise your previous experience in unrelated fields to the position you’re looking for. While highlighting transferable skills and determination is important, recruiters need to see who you are to determine if you fit the company and industry culture. Sam used her resume to highlight books that she loves, her hobbies, and even some information on her cat. This piqued recruiters’ interest at Spotify and sparked conversations which ultimately demonstrated her culture fit and helped her stand out.

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

2. Be bold

Changing industries and making a career change takes courage (even for people in the military). This courage needs to be reflected in your resume to show recruiters that you have what it takes to navigate the difficulties of the new sector you wish to enter. Marcellus switched industries back in the 90s from working in the military to network engineering (a famously difficult career change). Since then, he has kept boldness in the veins of his resume. Recruiters at Verizon Digitial Media Services saw this as he mentioned obtaining a patent in his resume – something that takes a lot of dedication and motivation.

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

3. Face the change head on

Often, we want to conceal the fact that this will be our first exposure to a certain field-of-work. This can lead to overcompensating at every turn and forcing experience to fit the vacancy where it really doesn’t. Facing the reality of your career change head-on and explaining why you’re determined to make it a success is the way to go. Steffany did this by acknowledging her career change in the objective of her resume. This isn’t a weakness for her, it’s something she thrives on. It’s evident that her mission is to make her career change a success which got her a spot at IE Business School.

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

4. Your resume is your story

Your resume is your conversation starter with the recruiter. With this in mind, it’s important that the recruiter gets an understanding of exactly what you have been doing and what you want to be doing in this career change. Giving mention to the reasons you’re making the move will answer questions you know the recruiter will have in their mind already. Eric did this by including his Approach in his resume as he transitioned from musical performance to working at SideWagon

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

5. Research into your new career

There’s a certain expertise that comes along with being in a field for some time. With moving into that field, that expertise is something you’re lacking. Researching into your new career is best for understanding the language used, expectations of employees, trends in the field and more. Sam made new connections through Meetups (she used the tool Meetup to easily check the best events near her), communities like Lesbians Who Tech, and events at tech firms. This helped her tailor her resume to fit into the tech world after working in banking for so long.

6. Develop an eye-catching career change resume

Recruiters go through hundreds of resumes in a day. Resumes that weave aesthetics in with high quality content are more likely to catch their attention. This was something Sam had to think about when moving into Tech as her banking experience may have come across as boring and drawn-out. Using carefully selected graphics on her resume helped her stand out and entice the recruiter at Spotify.

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

7. Utilize volunteering experience

Volunteering experience can be used to show the recruiter you’re capable of working outside of your traditional field. It also demonstrates your dedication to things you care about. Including volunteering projects not only provides the recruiter a reference of the versatility but also proof that things you’ve chosen to pursue (i.e., a career change) are things you’re successful at.

Steffany went one step further with this and included her volunteering as her “Global Impact”.

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

8. Diversify your achievements

Much like the variability you can show in your volunteering work, it’s also important to show diversity in your achievements. Include a variety of achievements that highlight different aspects of your work, experience and life. This way, the recruiter will have more evidence to believe you’re not stuck in the pigeonhole of your previous sector.

Eric included very different achievements in his Most Proud Of section. Here, he highlighted his professional accomplishments of being the Youngest Influencer employed by Mercedez-Benz, but also his personal achievement of backpacking.

Enhancv 10 Career Change Resume Tips (with examples) Career change resume

9. Have your resume reviewed

You may have lots of experience writing a resume for working Retail, but you don’t have experience writing a resume for working in Tech. Recognising this venture as new territory and reaching out to those in the field to review your resume is one of the last few steps you should take. This way, you can gain insight into how your resume is perceived by others and they can notice any mistakes you might have missed. To do this, you can utilise the built-in referral link in Enhancv’s platform.

10. Get your resume to the right people

There’s no use in creating the perfect career change resume only for it to sit on your shelf. Ensuring your resume gets to the right people is the final step you should take on your career change journey. To get your resume to the right people you can:

  • Attend careers fairs
  • Apply directly to the company online
  • Ask to come into the firm to learn more about their business and introduce yourself
  • Attend Meetups

Writing your career change resume

There’s a few things you want to accomplish with your career change resume. Like any other job, you need to answer the job description and check as many boxes before you get the interview. Applying the above tips will have you on the right track to finding you next gig – no matter how different or alike it is to your current role.

Dean O'Reilly

Psychology student with keen interest in academic research. Currently exploring the world of marketing distribution and content creation with Enhancv to help people get closer to the job of their dreams. Read more about my journey to Enhancv on Fast Company or Gay Times.

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