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How to Write a Career Change Resume Summary With Examples

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Apr 21, 2023 4 min read

You’ve spent years developing your skills and perfecting your craft.

You’ve built a career in your industry, but now it’s time for a change.

Whether it’s because you’re ready to move on to the next level or just want something different, deciding to take the leap on a career change can be scary.

Your resume is going to be up against countless qualified candidates, how will you stand out when you’re new to the field?

A strong career change resume summary is important. It can show recruiters why you deserve a chance, even if you haven’t been in the business that long.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why a strong resume summary is so important
  • Career change resume summary examples
  • Key takeaways for writing a great career change resume summary

When you’re ready to dive into writing your career change resume, use our resume builder to get started.

The importance of a strong resume summary

Before you start writing your resume summary, it’s necessary to understand its purpose.

You might think your resume doesn’t need a summary, but it can make a big difference in your impact on recruiters.

What is the purpose of a resume summary?

Your resume summary is the first thing recruiters see following your header. It is your first opportunity to showcase your value in the industry and a bit of your personality.

Summaries put specific career highlights and accomplishments on display. They help you make maximum impact in minimal time.

This can be especially valuable when making a career change. You want to let recruiters know right away that you’re a strong candidate, even if your experience is lacking.

How to format a resume summary

Like every section of your resume, your summary needs to be clear and concise. Recruiters have stacks of resumes to review. Don’t waste time and get to the point quickly.

Your summary should be no more than 3-5 sentences. Cover the most important and most relevant information.

A good formula to use when writing your summary is the following:

Introduce your role > State your greatest accomplishment > Show that you’re the right fit for the role.

For more specifics on everything that goes into a good resume summary, check out our detailed summary guide and collection of examples.

Including a career change in your summary

The formula above may be simple enough when you’ve got extensive experience on your side, but what about when you’re making a career change?

How can you introduce the idea of a career change in your summary without losing the interest of recruiters?

The key to a strong career change summary - and an entire career change resume - is focusing on transferable skills.

Where is the overlap between your current position and your desired job? What skills do you have that are relevant to your target role?

Even if you don’t have experience in the specific field, hiring managers should be able to see what you will accomplish at their company.

Career change resume summary examples

Now that you have an idea of what goes into a career change resume summary, let’s take a look at some examples.

The summaries below capture some of the most common career changes in different industries. Use them as inspiration when you’re ready to write your summary.

Project manager to product manager

Summary
Technology sector professional with 10 years of experience in management roles. Increased annual sales revenue at CloudComputing by 20% for 3 consecutive years. Seeking product management position at TR Software to identify customer needs and grow sales.
RIGHT

In the example above, the candidate highlighted management experience in their work history and desired role.

They also shared an accomplishment that is relevant to both project management and product management.

The focus of the summary is on transferable skills and relevant achievements rather than specific job titles.

Product manager to product consultant

Summary
Healthcare Product Manager with AIPMM certification. My proudest accomplishment in my 12 years of product management experience is providing the strategic plan that led to $1.2B in revenue for Atlantic City Hospital. Seeking the opportunity to leverage my experience in the healthcare sector at R&T Consultancy Firm.
RIGHT

This example shows a different kind of career change. After building a long career in a particular area, you may decide to step out on your own.

For a career change summary from employee to consultant, focus on your accomplishments and the expertise you can share.

Sports journalist to celebrity journalist

Summary
Broadcast Journalist with a strong track record of reporting for 3 major television networks. Received the Fan Favorite award at the Global News and Entertainment Conference in 2021. Seeking opportunity to increase viewership and fan engagement at Celebrity News Corner.
RIGHT

This candidate is making a change to a different niche within their industry.

Like any other summary, focus on transferable skills and what you will bring to the company. In this example, the candidate focuses on reporting and viewership rather than subject knowledge.

Let’s look at a few more examples.

Project manager to COO

Summary
Management professional with 12 years of experience in the financial sector. Led a team of 8 representatives in a project that grossed $8.2M in 2022. Seeking opportunity to expand customer reach and grow portfolio at Platinum Corporation.
RIGHT

Graphic Designer to Ux Designer

Summary
Graphic Designer with a passion for web development and e-commerce. Certified in UI/UX design and proficient in HTML and CSS. Seeking UX Designer role at Diamond Co to improve customer experience and engagement.
RIGHT

Web Developer to Technical Writer

Summary
Tech professional with 10 years of frontend and backend experience. Certified in Technical Writing by Technical Writer HQ and have provided software documentation for 15 companies. Seeking opportunity to provide technical knowledge and improve user experience in the position of Technical Writer.
RIGHT

Software Engineer to Ux Designer

Summary
Tech professional with 11 years of development experience at 3 of the country’s leading software companies. Expert in HTML and CSS with a focus on user experience. Seeking opportunity to provide solutions and enhance digital design in the position of UX Designer at TechMarket.
RIGHT

Data Scientist to Software Engineer

Summary
Data and programming expert with 12 years of experience in cloud-based software. Provided statistical analysis for software development project that earned $3.5M. Proficient in Python, Java, and SQL. Seeking opportunity to leverage software product knowledge and engineering experience as a Software Engineer at DataTech.
RIGHT

Product Manager to Sales Manager

Summary
Management professional with 14 years of experience in the retail sector. Led team of 15 in product launch that earned $2.8M in sales revenue. Seeking opportunity to leverage expertise in product success and coach sales representatives in the position of Sales Manager.
RIGHT

Marketing to Advertising

Summary
Communications professional with 9 years of experience managing creative teams and marketing campaigns. Managed project that took 1st place in creativity category at annual Marketing & Advertising Conference in 2021. Seeking opportunity to join ZZ Consulting as Advertising Representative.
RIGHT

Director to Vice President

Summary
Youth program professional with certification in organizational leadership. My greatest accomplishment is improving program rank from 32nd to 6th in the state as Youth Program Director. Seeking opportunity to restructure summer school program at EduTeach and improve organizational rank as Vice President.
RIGHT

Manager to Director

Summary
Retail leadership professional with 12 years of experience in the women’s clothing sector. Managed highest ranking luxury clothing store in the state in 2022. Led a team of 22 employees in the opening of a new retail location that earned $500K in profits in the first quarter. Seeking opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and improve company ranking as Retail Director for Two Sisters Clothing.
RIGHT

COO to CEO

Summary
Executive leadership professional with 18 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Recognized as Most Successful COO in Nonprofit Magazine following the approval of a $6M expansion project. Seeking opportunity to strengthen leadership and expand reach as CEO at Literacy House.
RIGHT

Final thoughts on creating a strong career change resume summary

Take the time to include a summary when writing a career change resume. Let recruiters know right away why you’re a strong candidate.

Keep your summary clear and concise. In 3-5 sentences, introduce yourself, highlight an accomplishment, and explain why you’re the right fit for the role.

Focus on transferable skills and relevant accomplishments. Show hiring managers what you will achieve at their company.

Add a career change summary to your resume and get ready to start applying to jobs!

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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