As the new year approaches, many professionals reflect on their careers. At times, this leads them to decide that a change is in order, allowing them to head in a different direction that may be a stronger fit for their skills, offers more security, or ignites their passion.
In many cases, navigating a career change is tricky. But by updating your resume the right way, you can increase your odds of success. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some tips.
Identify and Highlight Your Transferable Skills
When you want to change careers, you have to show the hiring manager that your experience is applicable, even if it doesn’t directly connect to the new role. Usually, the easiest way to do that is to identify your transferable skills.
Transferable skills include any capabilities that align with your new field or position. Soft skills are the most obvious ones, as they can be valuable in nearly any job. For instance, written and verbal communication are universally important, as well as time management, attention-to-detail, accountability, adaptability, and a willingness to learn.
However, you might also have technical abilities that are important in your target role. Project management skills are a great example, as well as software applications that are commonly used.
If you aren’t sure which of your skills are transferable, review a few job ads for your target role. Often, the job descriptions there will give you some valuable insights, allowing you to gauge what the typical hiring manager for those positions wants to find.
Once you do, you can adjust your resume to focus on achievements that highlight those capabilities. This makes your existing experience look more applicable, and that can make a big difference.
Craft a Compelling Professional Summary
Usually, your professional summary is a synopsis of what you bring to the table. You want to make sure that yours focuses on the role you want to land, not just where you came from before you decided to make a career change.
Update your professional summary to focus on relevant, transferrable skills. By showcasing the right strengths, you increase the odds that the hiring manager will keep reading and, ultimately, deem you a great candidate.
Follow-Up with a Skills Section
After you craft a compelling professional summary, consider adding a short skills section to your resume. This allows you to highlight additional relevant capabilities before your work history.
Technically, this is considered a hybrid resume format. It uses the skill-showcasing approach you find in a functional resume but will be followed up with a traditional work history section, just as you’d find in a chronological resume.
When you choose skills to list, focus on those listed in the job ad first. Then, sprinkle in a few relevant transferable skills, if necessary. Generally, your list should include about six to nine key skills, depending on whether you use a column approach or put them all together in a straight line, separated by dots or dashes. That way, there are enough to be compelling, but the list doesn’t become overwhelming.
In the end, all of the tips above can make it easier to update your resume for a career change. If you’d like to learn more, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.