After working in a particular field for many years, some individuals decide that it is time for a career change. If this is a decision you’ve recently made, you are likely aware of how daunting it can seem to reenter the job market with a new set of goals. As you craft a new resume to suit your new career objective, remember that the skills from your previous position can be used to advertise your worth to an entirely new field.
Change the Format
When creating a resume that reflects your desire to start over in your career, the traditional chronological format may not always suffice. Instead, you’ll want to craft a resume that highlights specific and practical skills that will apply to your new career. As seen in the segmented example below, emphasizing these skills in bold (and listing them as parts of a “profile” rather than as job history) will clarify to employers that despite your seemingly unrelated work experience, you possess the abilities required for the position they are advertising.
Sample Functional Resume
•Patient with excellent communication skills. Honed highly developed interpersonal and instructional abilities over a decade of training new employees, creating and delivering presentations on financial data, and working one-on-one with clients in the banking sector.
•Extensive training in mathematical concepts. Possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Math and a Master’s in Finance, and put this academic training to use on a daily basis when working in finance. Recent teaching certification demonstrates knowledge is sharp and up to date.
The Cover Letter
In addition to reconsidering the format of your resume, you will also want to spend some time crafting your cover letter. This will be your chance to explain your career shift and to convince potential employers that the skills you honed in your previous career will, in fact, translate. To help fashion this letter, conduct some research: what does the company to which you are applying value in its employees? What is its mission? Try to use similar language in your letter.
Sample Cover Letter
For instance, if you have decided to become a teacher after years as an investment banker, a segment of your cover letter might read as follows:
To Whom it May Concern,
I recently discovered the listing for an open position as an 8the grade algebra teacher at Johnson Middle School. Though I have spent the past years in the banking sector, I have recently received my teaching certification, and am eager to pursue the challenging and rewarding career in the educational field. I believe my skills in the finance world will prove incredibly useful to my work as a teacher, as my previous work required me to carefully explain mathematical concepts to others, and to work patiently with a variety of individuals.
Making a career change will inevitably require some additional training, certification, and preparation; however, this does not mean that you should simply forget about your past work experience. Instead, work on reemphasizing and reorganizing your skills so you can successfully rebrand yourself.