Pivoting your career can feel daunting, but it can also be exciting as you have the opportunity to self-reflect and change the course of your life. Once you have decided to change careers one of the first things you need to do is to update your resume. Below, you will find tips on how to make your resume stand out by highlighting your transferable skills and portraying yourself as an excellent employee and passionate person.
Do I Need an Objective Statement? Yes.
An objective statement should be 1-2 sentences that directly state your career goals and gives insight into what type of employee you are. An objective statement acts as your resume’s hook and is needed because according to a 2018 study by Ladders, a recruiter spends on average 7.4 seconds when initially screening a resume. Stand out and write a different objective statement for each application.
Below you will find a strong objective statement example. Note, this person is changing careers from customer service to marketing.
“Seeking a managerial position at [Name] Company to apply my 5 years of business communication and managerial expertise to the growth marketing team, while also expanding my SEO marketing knowledge and acumen.”
Why it’s good?
- States years of managerial and communication experience in an exact field, which demonstrates who this person is and their greatest strengths.
- States immediate career goals — wanting to develop their SEO marketing knowledge on the growth marketing team.
Choose a Resume Format
There are three main resume formats to consider using: chronological, functional, and hybrid. The chronological resume is what you are possibly most familiar with. It is a typical resume that lists work experience according to date. The other resume formats, functional and hybrid, are best for those making a career change.
A functional resume should be used by someone who has diverse work experience or an unconventional background. The purpose of a functional resume is to list transferable skills and to state your qualifications for the job. In some ways, it’s a mix of a resume and cover letter by showcasing your abilities and experiences which mask your employment timeline. You’re not tying skills to your job titles.
The other resume for those pivoting careers is the hybrid resume. It’s best for professionals who lack a consistent work history due to contract or part-time work. Or those who are military veterans or recent college graduates. Similar to the functional resume, the hybrid resume highlights skills and achievements, but the hybrid format is better at connecting skills with job titles and duties.
Add a Skills Section
A skills section helps you connect your previous work experience and acquired abilities with the job description’s requirements and the qualified skills section. If you’re pivoting careers, you might not have the one-to-one skills they are looking for, especially for hard skills. Hard skills are technical abilities that you learned on the job. They could be knowledge or master of a distinct software or machinery.
So, to create a skills section that sticks, do the following steps:
1. Take your current or most up-to-date resume and highlight all of the listed skills. If you haven’t updated your resume in some time, or have older versions with more applicable skills, then either update your resume or go through all of your past resumes. Doing so will help you generate your list of acquired skills.
2. Go to ONet Online and search for jobs and career fields you are interested in. Write down skills that show up repeatedly.
3. Now, see which of your skills from your previous resumes and jobs can be easily connected to the skills in your new career. These don’t have to be exact matches. If they are, that’s great. If they are not, then try to make connections between them to exhibit transferability.
4. Finally, write your resume’s skills section. Make sure the section connects your talents with the job requirements for different job postings.