Tips for a Career Change Resume

Have you decided it’s time to make a career change? Perhaps the pandemic has helped you realize that your current career isn’t a good fit for you anymore, and you have determined that another industry will provide you with greater fulfillment. When making a career transition, it can be hard to know where to start. One important first step once you have decided that it’s time for a career change is to update your resume for the industry you want to transition into. Having your resume updated will allow you to quickly apply for job openings as they come along. Below are some tips to refresh your resume for your career change.

— Clarify your new career direction.

— Use a master document of your accomplishments.

— Create a master copy of your resume.

— Determine what resume format is best for you.

— Tailor your resume to each position.

— Chose which accomplishments you want to feature.

— Write a career change resume objective statement.

— Keep your resume relevant.

Clarify Your New Career Direction

Before you update your resume, it’s important to take time to do some homework. What do you know about your new field? Conduct a few informational interviews with someone in this field for input on the skills you need to be successful. Do you currently have the experience needed to transition into the industry or do you need to take a few online courses? Do you know how to explain to a hiring manager why you would be a good fit for the industry? You can work with a friend, a mentor or a career coach to clarify these questions. Once you are confident about your new career choice and what you bring to the industry, you can better reflect your confidence in your resume.

[See: The 25 Best Jobs of 2021.]

Use a Master Document of Your Accomplishments

Before starting to write your career change resume, it’s helpful to see yourself on paper by using a master document of your professional accomplishments, education, past experience and skills. All professionals can benefit from this, but it can be especially useful when writing a career change resume. This master document can help you to identify transferable skills and other relevant experiences that you can highlight on your resume.

Create a Master Copy of Your Resume

Having a master copy of your resume is a foundation that you can use to quickly tailor your resume to different job postings without having to start from scratch each time. This saves you valuable time and ensures that the look and formatting of each tailored resume will stay the same.

Determine What Resume Format Is Best for You

While this choice is ultimately yours, using a functional resume format when writing a career change resume may be easier to apply across industries. This resume type focuses on your skills and expertise that are relevant to the job position as opposed to a list of your chronological experience. Section out your experience into three to six key competency sections with examples that include measurable results. For example, you could use the sections leadership, communication, adaptability and motivation. Then, create another section below them called work experience to list any relevant work experience. This format is useful for hiring managers since they will more easily be able to see how you qualify for the job position despite coming from a different industry.

[See: 25 Best Jobs That Pay $100K.]

Tailor Your Resume to Each Position

When tailoring your resume to each job position, use the job listing as a reference. What keywords are listed in the job description? What type of language is used in this industry? When preparing your resume, make sure to include those relevant keywords that apply to you and use the vocabulary and language style that is common for the industry.

Choose Which Accomplishments You Want to Feature

If you are a mid-career professional, you surely have a lot of experience under your belt and many accomplishments that you could mention. However, you may find that a lot of this experience is industry-specific, and what may be important in your former industry may not be as important in your new industry. Choose accomplishments that highlight skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for. When making a career change, you have to help the hiring manager connect the dots between your former experience and how it relates to the industry you are transitioning into. You can also include any relevant degrees, additional education and volunteer work.

Write a Career Change Resume Objective Statement

When writing a career change resume, you want to write an effective resume objective statement to stand out from the crowd. Use your resume objective statement to highlight your professional qualifications. This includes things like professional organizations in the new industry. If you don’t currently belong to any, this is a great time to consider joining one. This shouldn’t just be for appearance; these professional organizations can help you quickly get up to speed with the industry and its trends, and they show your commitment to your career change.

For example: “Highly motivated professional with a proven track record of efficiency and leadership for over eight years. As a new member of the ORGANIZATION NAME, I am seeking a job in INDUSTRY to utilize my negotiating skills in a fresh way.”

[SEE: 19 Careers With the Most Job Security.]

Keep Your Resume Relevant

When transitioning into a new career, you may need to transition into a mid-level job to start, as opposed to a high-level position. Remember to keep every aspect of your resume relevant: Accomplishments, industry language, length and content should all be relelvant to the job position and level you are applying for.

More from U.S. News

How to Change Careers Successfully

The Fastest-Growing Jobs in America

10 Best Part-Time Jobs to Pay the Bills

Tips for a Career Change Resume originally appeared on

Update 03/19/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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