How to Use Your Resume to Change Careers
Writing a resume can be a daunting and tedious task. Between trying to figure out where to start and knowing what to include, creating a resume for a career change is even more difficult. Since a cover letter is crucial to your chances of getting noticed, opting to use a cover letter writing service is a great option. If that part of the process can be handled by a pro, writing the resume itself won’t seem quite so intimidating.
Are You Using a Functional Resume? Don’t!
First, let’s get familiar with the term functional resume. A functional resume is one that highlights certain skills, instead of the traditional chronological format. Those looking to change careers should use this technique to draw attention away from their former job titles and play up skills that may be relevant in their new desired field. This sounds like a great idea, except there’s only one problem: recruiters and hiring managers are all too aware of this method. They know you’re trying to hide something. They’ve seen it a million times, and it’s sure to get your resume in the trashcan.
A Better Approach
So what can you do instead? After you’ve used the best executive resume format, try to see things from the employer’s point of view. Don’t treat every potential employer the same; they all have different needs and desires. Some may put more emphasis on past experience, while others have requirements about personality, ethics, work style or drive. Second, do your research. You should know everything there is to know about the company you are after. Figure out what skills they value the most, and use that knowledge to your advantage. This will get you noticed by HR.
Third, don’t forget about any freelance or unpaid work you’ve done. This can be valuable when trying to change careers. Everyone has an executive bio, but this is one chance to stand out from the crowd. If it’s relevant work, it doesn’t matter if you were paid or not! If you don’t have any of this type of experience, now’s the time to consider it. If you’re truly passionate about a career change, you have to use every possible angle to your advantage.
Convince Employers You’re Committed
Now for the most important part. Since you can’t rely solely on your executive bio, you must communicate your passion for this position through your resume as well. Since you may be lacking the typical work history, this is where you can make up for that. It’s vital to emphasize you have thought this change through and are committed to it. The employer needs to feel confident you won’t quickly grow tired of the work and leave after they took a chance on you.
Now you know the basics: start with the best executive resume format, don’t use a functional resume and play up your passion. By using these tips, you will get in the door of your dream job in to time! If you need more guidance during the process, consider enlisting the help of a cover letter writing service. There you will find all the tools necessary to create the best resume possible.
This guest post is by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.