resume for a career change

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How to Update your Resume for a Career Change

Ever felt like your resume is holding you back from making a big career leap? Maybe you’re switching industries, trying something completely new, or just want to dust off those old skills. Don’t worry, you’re not alone!


Changing careers can feel like a rollercoaster ride. It’s exciting but also a bit daunting, especially when it comes to updating resume for career change. After all, how do you show off your skills and experience when they’re not directly related to the new job you want?


The good news is, with a few tweaks and a bit of strategy, your resume for a career change can become your secret weapon. It’s your chance to highlight your transferable skills, show off your potential, and convince employers that you’re the perfect fit, even if your experience doesn’t scream “obvious choice.”


When crafting a resume for a career change, emphasize transferrable skills and highlight relevant achievements to showcase your readiness for the new role. Use these resume writing tips to effectively communicate your career pivot.


So, ready to take control of your career change and land that dream job? Let’s look at this step-by-step guide and create a resume that’ll open doors and get you noticed!


The Different Formats of Resume for a Career Change

So, when crafting a resume for a career change, you’ve got a few options for the layout. Let’s break down the most common types and see which one might suit you best:


Chronological Resume

This is the most traditional format, listing your work experience in reverse chronological order (newest first). It’s great if you’ve got a solid work history, even if it’s not directly related to your new field. It shows your progression and can highlight transferable skills.


Functional Resume

This type focuses on your skills and achievements rather than the order of your work experience. It’s a good choice if you’re making a big career leap and your previous job titles aren’t super relevant. However, some recruiters might find this format a bit confusing, so use it with caution.


Combination Resume

Think of this as the best of both worlds! It combines elements of chronological and functional formats, showcasing both your skills and your work history. It’s a versatile option for a resume for a career change, as it lets you highlight transferable skills while still providing context for your experience.


So, which one should you choose?


Honestly, it depends on your individual situation and the specific job you’re applying for. If your work history is pretty relevant to your new field, a chronological resume might be your best bet. But if you’re making a major shift, a combination resume might be a better choice, letting you emphasise your transferable skills upfront.


Crafting a professional summary for a resume focused on a career change is crucial to effectively highlight transferable skills and demonstrate readiness for the new role.


Writing a Career Change Resume 

Okay, now that you’ve got a handle on the different resume formats, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: writing a career change resume that wows employers and gets you noticed. The goal here is to bridge the gap between your past experience and the new career path you’re embarking on. But how do you do that?


Let’s break down the key components of writing a career change resume, one step at a time:


Begin with a Strong Summary/Objective Statement

This is your first chance to grab the hiring manager’s attention and explain why you’re making the switch. Instead of focusing solely on your past experience, highlight your transferable skills and passion for the new field. 


For example, instead of saying, “Experienced sales professional seeking a marketing role,” try something like, “Results-driven communicator with a proven track record of building relationships and driving sales, seeking to leverage my expertise in a marketing role.”


Highlight Your Transferable Skills

Think about the skills you’ve honed in your previous roles that are still valuable in your desired field. These are your “transferable” skills; they’re like gold when crafting a resume for a career change. 


For example, skills like communication, leadership, problem-solving, and project management are sought after in almost every industry. Make a list of your strongest transferable skills and showcase them prominently on your resume.


Quantify Your Accomplishments

Numbers speak louder than words, especially on a resume. Instead of just listing your responsibilities, quantify your achievements whenever possible. 


For example, instead of saying, “Managed social media accounts,” try something like, “Increased social media engagement by 25% within six months.” This gives concrete evidence of your abilities and the impact you’ve made.


When crafting a resume for a career change, it’s crucial to optimize it for applicant tracking systems to increase visibility and relevance to new job opportunities.


Tailor Your Experience Section

Don’t just copy and paste your old job descriptions. Take the time to tailor your experience section to the specific job you’re applying for. Focus on highlighting the aspects of your past roles that are most relevant to the new position. 


Even if the job titles seem unrelated, you can often find transferable skills and experiences that demonstrate your potential to succeed in a new field.


Show Your Enthusiasm

Employers want to see that you’re genuinely excited about the new career path you’re pursuing. In your resume summary, cover letter, or even LinkedIn profile, express your passion for the industry and explain why you’re making the switch. 


Highlight any relevant coursework, certifications, or volunteer experience that demonstrates your commitment to learning and growing in this new direction.


The key is to tailor your resume for a career change to each specific job you apply for. 


This means highlighting different aspects of your experience and skills based on what the employer is looking for. It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s a crucial step in demonstrating your suitability for the role. Remember, this holds true even for a career change resume with no experience.


Career Change CV Advice and Formatting Tips

You’ve got the content for your resume for a career change nailed down. Now, let’s make it look as good as it sounds! Here are a few tips to help you format and polish your CV, along with crafting an effective cover letter, to make a lasting impression:


Choose the Right Length

While a two-page resume for a career change might be tempting, aim to keep it concise and to the point. Recruiters often scan resumes quickly, so ensure your most relevant skills and experience are easy to spot.


Clear and Concise Language

Use simple, direct language that’s easy to understand. Avoid jargon or overly technical terms that might confuse the reader. Remember, your goal is to make your resume for a career change as clear and reader-friendly as possible.


Highlight Accomplishments, Not Just Duties

Instead of just listing your responsibilities, focus on your achievements in previous roles. Use action verbs and quantify your results whenever possible. For example, instead of saying “managed projects,” try “successfully led a team of five to complete a project under budget and ahead of schedule.”


Visually Appealing Design

Your resume should be easy on the eyes. Use a clean, professional font and plenty of white space to make it easy to read. Consider using bold headings or subtle colour accents to draw attention to key sections. However, avoid overly flashy designs or distracting elements.


Tailor Your Resume

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all resume for a career change. Tailor your CV to each specific job you apply for. Highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the position, and use keywords from the job description to show that you’ve done your research.


Focusing on these key elements can help you create a compelling resume that showcases your skills, experience, and passion for your new career path. It’s all about highlighting your potential and showing employers that you’re the right fit for the job, even if your past experience isn’t directly related.


Career Change Resume Example Template

[Your Name]

[Your Phone Number] | [Your Email] | [Your LinkedIn Profile (Optional)]



[A brief summary highlighting your transferable skills, passion for the new field, and career goals.]



[List your most relevant transferable skills. Example: Communication, Project Management, Leadership, Problem-Solving, Data Analysis, etc.]



[Previous Job Title] | [Company Name] | [Dates of Employment]

[List your most relevant achievements and responsibilities, focusing on those transferable to your new field. Use action verbs and quantify your results whenever possible.]



[Your Degree] | [University Name] | [Year of Graduation]


Additional Sections

  • Certifications: List any relevant certifications or courses you’ve completed.
  • Volunteer Work: Highlight volunteer experience that showcases transferable skills.
  • Awards and Recognition: Mention any awards or recognition you’ve received.


How 6 Pence Helps

We understand that creating a resume for a career change can be daunting, especially when you’re juggling the many other tasks involved in a job search. At 6 Pence, we’re not just a staff outsourcing company in UAE– we’re your partners in career success.


We offer a range of services designed to help job seekers and connect them with exciting opportunities in Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, and Iraq. Whether you’re seeking temporary staff assignments, permanent placements, or specialised expertise, we can help you get through the job market and achieve your career goals.


If you’re ready to take the next step in your career change journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to 6 Pence today. We’re here to help you make a smooth transition and find the perfect role for your skills and aspirations! Drop your CV by visiting our Careers page.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mention a career change in my resume?

The best way to address a career change in your resume is through a strong resume summary or objective statement. Use this space to briefly explain your career transition, highlighting transferable skills and expressing your enthusiasm for the new field

What type of resume is useful when an applicant has to change careers?

The combination resume format is often the most effective for a resume for a career change. It allows you to showcase both your skills and experience, even if your work history isn’t directly related to the new field.


The combination format starts with a skills summary, followed by a chronological work history section. This allows you to highlight your transferable skills upfront while still providing context for your experience.

What should a resume summary for someone switching careers?

Your resume summary should be a concise and compelling snapshot of your career change goals. Focus on highlighting your transferable skills, your passion for the new field, and any relevant experiences or achievements. Avoid simply summarising your past work history; instead, focus on what you bring to the table in your new career path. 


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