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How to Transform Your Résumé for a Career Change

When you’ve worked in one industry for the duration of your career, it’s easy to feel trapped. However, with good networking and the right résumé, you’ll be able to show a potential employer that your skills are completely transferrable. Don’t let lack of experience in that particular field keep you from giving a new venture a shot. Instead, tweak your résumé and let it speak to how you’d thrive in a different environment. Here’s how to do it:

How to Transform Your Résumé for a Career ChangeFocus on the skills, not the jobs

For many people, it’s easy to just put together a résumé that goes in chronological order. You’ll talk about where you worked, how long you worked there, and what you did while you were there. This is fine if you want to keep working in that industry, but when it’s time to change careers, this format is no longer as effective.

Instead of focusing on past jobs that will not properly demonstrate why you’re qualified for a new and different role, focus on the skills you do have. Sure, you’ve never worked in PR before, but what did your journalism job teach you that would be useful in the PR field? The ability to communicate with others? Ability to adhere to a deadline? Focus on

these strengths instead of simply where you worked and when.

Don’t just copy and paste

When you’re switching fields, copying and pasting your old résumé over isn’t an effective tactic. You can certainly take chunks of the old document and use it on your new one, but you’ll want to take some time to really think about wording. How can you explain to a potential employer about the knowledge and experience you’ve gained, even if you weren’t working in your desired field at that time? Your résumé will need to do a little more selling for you in this situation, so make sure each sentence is as powerful as possible.

Realize it’s not all about the jobs you’ve had

Many people accidentally sell themselves short when they’re creating a résumé in preparation for a career change. Remember: just because you haven’t worked in that specific field before, doesn’t mean you’re completely unprepared. Change your perspective and realize that experience can be much broader than you might have originally thought.

How did you use your résumé to navigate a career change? Let us know in the comments!

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.