How to Write a Resume When You Want to Change Industries

shutterstock_107896715It wasn’t that long ago when people would start a career in their early 20’s and stick with it through to retirement. Today that kind of longevity is rare and current statistics suggest most people will change careers at least 7 times throughout their working years. The problem arises when you decide that the industry you are in is no longer for you; how do you go about re-entering a completely new industry? How do you go about showcasing your talents so that they can transfer from one industry to another?

Creating a resume to help you make that transition is crucial to your success. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Start Fresh

Rather than trying to bend and mould your current resume to fit your new aspirations, you are better off starting with a clean slate. It can sometimes be difficult to decide what to cut and paste when you are working with an original draft that clearly needs plenty of edits. Starting fresh can help you to identify and highlight the most important aspects of your background and skills as they pertain to your new career path. Sit down and first make a list for yourself to work from, pinpointing the reasons you believe you would be a good fit in this new industry. Why have you decided to make this switch, and what do you think should make you a desirable candidate? By starting from scratch, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to reinvent your career history, without being tied down by the definitions and explanations you have used in the past.

Change Your Format

Up to this point, you have probably been using a Chronological resume format. When you are about to embark upon a new career field, however, Functional or Targeted formats tend to be better options. The Functional resume format will highlight your skills and allow you to show off exactly what you have to offer without necessarily focusing on past job titles or the companies you have worked for. This can be especially important when you are moving into an entirely different industry, as it will allow hiring managers to see what you are capable, not the titles you have previously been identified by. A Targeted format can offer a similar level of flexibility, creating a resume which is written specifically to the job description you are applying for.

Focus on the Transferrable

Think about how your previous experience is actually transferable to your new chosen career path. What are the tasks you completed before which could indicate your ability to succeed in this new industry? If you have a history of working with customers, for instance, think about how that could transfer into the role you are now hoping to take on. Even if some of your tasks seem very central to your previous career field and not necessarily applicable now, think about what those tasks specifically required of you and how your ability to excel in completing them speaks to your value as an employee overall.

Sell Yourself

Make sure your resume reflects why you would be a perfect fit for this new career, not why it would be a stretch for hiring managers to give you a chance. You don’t want to draw too much attention to the fact that this would be an industry shift for you. Rather, you want to show the hiring managers exactly what you have to offer and how making you a part of their team would benefit them. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and exude confidence in your resume. Think creatively about your previous work history, and spin it in a way that makes you sound like an incredible candidate no matter what kind of career path you are pursuing. If you are confident that your background could lend itself well to this new job, hiring managers will see that and be interested in learning more.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can influence your career, from growing your networks to helping you develop clear goals and strategies. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our services here.


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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