How do I express on my resume a desire to change careers?
So you have decided that you are in the wrong job and want to make a change, but you don’t know how to write a resume that would get you into the new career. If your prior experience does not match with the position you are seeking, it is best to include a Personal Statement or Job Objective at the top of the document. This should be a few short sentences or phrases telling your story; explaining your reasons for changing careers; and listing new goals and aspirations. An example might be:
Experienced customer service professional with 3-year-experience; hoping to use my leadership skills and ability to solve problems in a new career within Human Resources. I believe my ability to communicate and understand workplace issues will make me an effective addition to the team. (then list a few appropriate skills with bullets)
The body of the resume should highlight transferrable skills - first, listed under the Personal Statement, and subsequently repeated in your Career History. It is best to review the position description, and make note of important skills that match your capabilities. Under your past jobs, only list skills or experience that are relatable to the new position; do not add any unrelated skills. If there were courses or activities in college that required useful skills for the new job, be sure to list those, as well. As always, try to exactly match the language from the job description so that your resume will be identified by the hiring manager or ATS software. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be looking for the keywords. There are many ways to format your transferrable skills, education and certificates. One example might be:
- Communication: strong customer service experience with the result that clients repeatedly returned and asked for my assistance.
- Writing: responsible for producing extensive written reports on a monthly basis. Wrote many articles for the college yearbook and lengthy research papers.
However, the best way to explain your desire to change careers would be in a brief but clear Cover Letter. Stating in a few sentences your reasons for making a change; how your past experience provides credentials to take on the new role; and how you will add value to the organization will yield the best results. Then, be prepared in the interview to clearly explain how your experience will easily transfer to the position; that you will learn quickly and become a valued employee.