Need a Career Change But Don’t Know What to Do? Start Here

Karen Springer Jun 19, 20180 comments

It’s almost summer! Is anyone else celebrating the return to warm sunshine and going to the beach? We here at Spring Forward sure are! Summer’s also a great time to reflect and relax, and many of us resolve to make positive life changes. Maybe your goal by the end of the summer is to leave an unsatisfying career. This process might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to make a career change – starting before you hit the application submit button.

Play Up What Makes You Unique

Everyone has something that distinguishes him or her from the pool of applicants. Discovering your identifying trait will require introspection and planning. Identify your core strengths and transferable skills by reviewing your current résumé. Compare it to industry news and job descriptions. Check out a list of basic job skills by industry.

A cover letter when trying to make a career change is different from a traditional cover letter. It’s your opportunity to connect your previous work experience to how you’ll be an ideal candidate for your desired field. Hiring managers sift through dozens of these a day, so make every word count. For example, if you are switching from teaching to publishing, point out that both jobs require great communication skills.

Begin Revising

After identifying your core transferable skills and strengths, it’s time to start revising the résumé. One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is using one résumé for every job application. Your résumé, like your cover letter, should be customized to reflect how your qualifications set you apart. It may seem painstaking, but if you’re going to make a successful career change, you must ensure your efforts support your goals.

To create a résumé that catches a hiring manager’s eye, customize your qualifications and accomplishments. Shed light on the appropriate areas. Think of it as an exercise in re-branding. Become versed in industry technology. Showcase your skills in a way that your new target audience will appreciate. When you make a career change, don’t worry about meeting every single qualification the job requires. Hiring managers would rather see a résumé that fits 80% of the desired qualifications while carefully displaying relevant skills. They prefer that over reviewing résumés that take a cookie-cooker approach.

Seek Résumé Help When Needed

Trying to change careers can be difficult. Applicants are often at a loss for where to begin. Start by highlighting your transferable job skills. Downplay any qualification gaps. Present your résumé in the most relevant light. However, if you’re stuck, getting help from experienced professionals can expedite your job search and create a bridge to the career of your dreams sooner.