Making a Career Leap

Career Objectives







It used to be that people would choose a career field early on, do what they needed to do to pursue that field, and then  remain in the same job for most of their lives. But Millennials have changed that, pursuing a variety of different jobs  and careers over the years and rarely ever just settling into one thing.

The good news for you is, if you are considering a big career change – a lot of other people are doing the same. Which  means that unlike 20 years ago, these changes are no longer looked down upon. Hiring managers are more  understanding of the fact that it can sometimes take a little longer to nail down what you want to do with your life, and  they care more about your performance in the jobs you have had in the past while you were there, than whether or not  you remained for 10 or more years at a time.

Still, when making a career change it becomes all the more important to present yourself as a valuable employee. If you don’t have a decades worth of experience in the field you are trying to transition into, you need to find ways to prove your worth compared to those applicants who do have that experience.


Doing Your Research

The first step to making a big career leap is learning more about the field you want to enter, including the basic education and experience requirements that are typically required. The best way to accomplish this is sometimes finding a person in the field who is doing exactly what you want to be doing, and enlisting their help in learning more. Consider this person a mentor of sorts, and work on forging a relationship where you can go to them with questions and for guidance about how to best position yourself for entry into the field. Remember that people often have a lot on their plates, and not everyone will be interested in serving in a mentorship capacity, so how you approach those you hope to learn from is important. Be professional and humble when expressing your desire to enter the field and to one day become as successful as they are.


Proving Your Commitment

Making this switch doesn’t end with finding a quality mentor. You need to be willing to put in the work, and to prove your commitment to this career leap. Pursue any additional coursework that might help to improve your chances, and be willing to consider internship opportunities that could help to get your foot in the door of an organization you would like to work for. It is also important for you to recognize that making a career leap may mean starting from the bottom once more. You won’t necessarily be able to retain your current rank or pay grade when starting off in a new and unfamiliar field.


Converting to a Functional Resume

A traditional resume presents your experience in chronological order, highlighting your job titles and companies you have worked for in the past. But if you are making a career leap, you need a resume that instead highlights your skills and experience, pushing those job titles further down the page. A Functional Resume format (otherwise called a Skills Resume) accomplishes just that, arranging your information so that your skills are at the top of the page and your job titles are at the bottom. This type of resume puts a great focus on what you can do, and eliminates the need for listing out your job duties at each and every position you have ever held.

The goal here should be to highlight anything that proves your capacity for excelling in this new field, because while you already know you are perfectly capable of making this switch – you need to show that to hiring managers.

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

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