After recruiting for multiple Fortune 500 companies and top tech startups, I’m going to share the best tips I’ve found for a successful career change.
We’re going to look at resume tips for career changers, and then job interview tips for career changers.
Let’s get started…
We’re going to talk about your resume first
The top thing employers want to see in your resume employment history is relevant, recent experience.
They’re looking at what you’ve done recently first, and they’re comparing it to the job description and job duties.
They’re asking themselves, “does this person have the skills and experience to step into this job and succeed quickly?”
So you really need to tailor your past experience and skills on your resume to highlight what’s most relevant. And your employment history should be on the top half of page 1 of your resume.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’ve never been a manager before but you’re applying for a manager position.
And let’s imagine that in your most recent job, you trained new team members and led small projects. It was only a small part of your job, but you did it.
That should be the FIRST bullet point under that job on your resume… since you’re looking for leadership jobs now.
Especially if leadership/management is the first thing listed on the job description of the role you’re applying for. (Looking at the job description is a great way to know what’s most important to the employer).
So your first bullet on your resume would talk about training new team members and leading project teams. You’d want to share specific results you achieved too, ideally.
Don’t rush through your resume. Take the time to “tailor” everything and put things in order of what the employer wants to see, based on their job requirements.
As a career changer, you’re not going to have every requirement listed, but your goal on your resume is to show them whatever’s most relevant and useful for the job you’ve applied for.
Just do your best.
As one final adjustment to your resume, consider tailoring your intro paragraph/resume summary section as well. You can highlight a couple of key accomplishments from your career that you feel are most relevant in this new career you’re pursuing.
You could also mention that you’re looking to change careers in this section if you’d like.
Example intro paragraph for your resume as a career changer:
High-performing marketing executive responsible for the strategy and execution behind $105 million in ad campaigns over the past five years, seeking to transition into corporate strategy consulting.
In that example of a resume summary, you’re highlighting the most relevant piece of your past work -strategy — before explaining that you’re looking to transition into a new career/field.
Note: It’s not necessary to say what you’re seeking next in your intro paragraph/summary. I did it in the example above, but if you’d rather not, you could just focus 100% on accomplishments and highlights of your career.