how to write a resume for a career change

Build my resume

how to write a resume for a career change

  • Build a better resume in minutes
  • Resume examples
  • 2,000+ examples that work in 2024
  • Resume templates
  • Free templates for all levels
  • Cover letters
  • Cover letter generator
  • It's like magic, we promise
  • Cover letter examples
  • Free downloads in Word & Docs

11 Career Change Resume Examples Designed for 2024

Stephen Greet

Marketing Manager

Marketing Manager

Best for senior and mid-level candidates

There’s plenty of room in our elegant resume template to add your professional experience while impressing recruiters with a sleek design.

Resume Builder

Like this template? Customize this resume and make it your own with the help of our Al-powered suggestions, accent colors, and modern fonts.

  • Career Change Resumes
  • Changing Careers To Resumes
  • Changing Careers From Resumes
  • Career Change Resumes for Teachers

Noah breathed a sigh of relief as he found a few accounting job descriptions that intrigued him. After spending years in various financial roles and racking up some impressive creds as a financial analyst, he felt confident in this career switch. But was he as ready for the resume overhaul he needed as he was for his career change?

Noah’s confidence went up when he found our library of career change resume examples and time-tested hints. Plus, he knew he’d be able to expand upon his career objective and add even more value by making a cover letter ! The notes he took while preparing his application materials even helped him navigate a victorious interview.

Whether you’re looking to change careers in accounting, teaching, or any other profession, check out our handy resources to build your own success story like Noah did!

Career Change Resume

or download as PDF

Career change resume example with 14 years of experience

Why this resume works

  • A summary merges your background with the opportunities you’re seeking. In other words, a summary demonstrates how your experience has prepared you for your new field. However, you should only use a summary if you’ve had  at least 10 years of experience.
  • Choosing a  professional resume template  and  resume format  can help make your resume look professional and cohesive without much effort.

Multiple Career Resume

Multiple career resume example with 13 years of experience

  • The keywords you include will help tie your expertise together and prove that you have the right abilities for the job. 
  • Start by listing hard skills (aka technical, learned skills) listed in the job description. If you don’t have a lot, then simply use soft skills like “analytical” and collaboration.”
  • Whatever jobs you’ve held, find a common thread between them and the new job, then sew that thread into every job experience. It’ll be a subtle but powerful tool to increase credibility despite multiple career changes. 

Career Change To Accounting Resume

Career change to accounting resume example with 10+ years of experience

  • If you’re applying to be an accountant but it wasn’t your most recent role, be sure to add a certifications section highlighting that you are a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Career Change To Administrative Assistant Resume

Career change to administrative assistant resume example with 7 years of experience

  • Enhance your career change to administrative assistant resume with a short summary that shows recruiters where to draw parallels between your past experience and target title.

Marketing Manager Career Change Resume

Marketing manager career change resume example with 12 years of experience

  • There are numbers everywhere; look for percentages relating to your skills, like how you boosted efficiency or increased sales from last quarter. The sky’s the limit!
  • If you can’t find (or don’t have access to) percentages, then use plain numbers relating to how many team members you worked with, how many clients you took on, or how many referrals you gained.
  • Things like only using active verbs and avoiding personal pronouns might seem minor, but they make reading your resume easier, which is huge for recruiters and hiring managers.
  • And speaking of details, always  double-check your resume  for proper grammar, punctuation, and overall flow.

RN Career Change Resume

RN career change resume example with 17 years of experience

  • An objective is only two to three sentences, so make sure each word packs a verbal punch by showing off your years of experience, skills, and desire for the role you’re seeking.
  • For example, mentioning your adherence to HIPPA guidelines can demonstrate to hiring managers that you will stick to the rules. On the flip side, explaining how you used active listening to assist patients will show your compassion and customer service skills.

Journalist Career Change Resume

Journalist career change resume example with 7 years of experience

  • Start by keeping your resume to a single page. Otherwise, you’ll overwhelm hiring managers (who will likely toss your resume into the recycling).
  • It’s best to use reverse-chronological formatting on your resume to keep your most relevant job history at the top. While other formats are necessarily wrong, they aren’t standard, and they’re harder for hiring managers (and the ATS) to read.
  • In your contact header, include your email address (make sure it’s a professional email), your phone number, and your location. 
  • Consider adding a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile if you have a LinkedIn account.

Mechanical Engineer Career Change Resume

Mechanical engineer career change resume example with 17 years of experience

  • Consider asking a friend, relative, or even a career advisor from your alma mater to scan your resume for errors and discrepancies.
  • Nothing tells a recruiter you’re not the right person for the job like saying you’re great at “time management.” 
  • Put color in your section headers (or company titles) and your contact header. This will add visual interest without being overwhelming.
  • If you’re applying to work at a conservative financial firm, you may want to stick to traditional colors rather than pastel pink or lavender.

Teacher Career Change Resume

Teacher career change resume example with 10 years of experience

  • Look for ways to connect your previous duties to the responsibilities listed in the job description.
  • Many skills  indirectly  transfer from one job to another. Consider your collaboration skills: your ability to work well with fellow teachers will help you work on team projects at your next job.
  • Of course, if you have any skills, projects, or experience in your new field, include them, and explain how you’ve mastered them in your career change cover letter .
  • Using a  resume template  is invaluable here, as you can easily scooch sections to the side, adjust your margins, and fix your font type to give you some extra wiggle room.

Teacher to Project Manager Resume

Teacher to project manager resume example with 6 years of experience

  • The work experience bullet points to occupy the largest share of your CV—no more than four bullets for each role. As for your contact info, education, skills, hobbies, and certifications, a side column will do the trick. The cherry on top is restricting the entire resume to one page.

Teacher to Human Resources Resume

Teacher to human resources resume example with counseling experience

  • But more importantly, mention the relevant transferable skills you bring to this entry-level role, a requirement Elijah executes well in his teacher to human resources resume. Better yet, let your bullet points show how you used these proficiencies in previous teaching roles.

Related resume guides

  • Engineering

Create my free resume now

Logo for The Wharton School

  • Youth Program
  • Wharton Online

How to Write a Career Change Resume [With Template]

Young woman writing resume on laptop

Starting a career in a new field is exciting, but getting your foot in the door often presents a challenge. If you’re worried about your application being overshadowed by candidates with more experience than you, don’t underestimate the role that a well-written resume can play in the hiring process. Even if you don’t have the work experience an employer is looking for, your resume can effectively convey why you’d be a great fit for the job. 

According to iHire’s 2020 Talent Retention Report , 66% of survey respondents have recently considered changing careers. The report also found that not knowing how to write a career change resume was a commonly cited roadblock for would-be career switchers. 

In this guide, we explain what a career change resume is and how to write one. We’ve also included a free template, so you can get to work on crafting a resume for your dream role.

How to Write a Resume for a Career Change

In general, most best practices for writing a resume also apply to career change resumes. However, there are a few areas you’ll want to be sure to emphasize when writing a resume for a new career path. While a traditional resume focuses heavily on work experience, career change resumes focus more on transferable skills.

In terms of how your resume is structured, a combination resume format may be the way to go. This type of resume places an equal emphasis on both skills and experience. Instead of starting the resume with your work experience, combination resume templates typically begin with an objective and a summary of relevant skills. 

The steps listed below can help you adapt your existing resume into one that is tailored for career switching. 

1. Craft a resume objective  

A resume objective is a short summary of your professional experience, skills, accomplishments, and career goals. 

Resume objectives and summaries are often considered optional, especially if you are trying to save room on your resume, but this section is crucial for those looking to change careers. The hiring manager may not make an immediate connection between your experience and the role you’re applying for, so your resume objective is essential for helping convey why you’re interested in this industry. 

Your objective should be no longer than a couple sentences. If it takes up more than two or three lines on your resume, try to shorten it.

2. Include a skills summary 

If you’re in the midst of changing careers, you’ll want to feature your skills prominently on your resume. In fact, we recommend listing them above your work experience. 

In the skills summary section, list a few skills you want to highlight, and add bullet points underneath each skill that provide examples of when you’ve used this skill. 

Not sure what type of skills to include in this section? Scan the job description for the position you’re applying for and use some of the required skills as your starting point. Some soft skills—such as leadership skills —are applicable for almost any job. Including some of the same keywords as the job description can help ensure that your resume makes it past automatic review filters.

In some situations, you might also choose to make a separate section for “Technical Skills.” In this section, you can briefly list your proficiency with various industry tools or software. This can be a great way to capture additional keywords from the job description, without having to list full examples of when you’ve used each tool. 

3. Focus on the most relevant work experience 

For a career change resume, the work experience section is all about transferable skills. You don’t necessarily need to list all of the responsibilities you had at your old job. Instead, focus on the responsibilities that are the most relevant for the new position you’re applying for. For example, if you’re a customer service representative hoping to land a job in digital marketing, you may choose to narrow in on your ability to find creative solutions for your customers. 

Here are a few tips for describing your work experience:

  • Connect your work experience back to the skills listed in your skills summary section
  • Focus on achievements, providing numbers and data whenever possible
  • Tailor your descriptions to each job you apply for, working in keywords from the job description

If you’re running out of space on your resume, keep in mind that you don’t need to list every job you’ve ever had. Stick to your most recent two or three jobs, and leave older, irrelevant jobs behind. 

Related: How to Successfully Navigate a Midlife Career Change and Avoid a Crisis

4. Highlight your education (including certificates) 

Whether or not your education is directly related to the job you’re applying for, it’s still important to include this section on your resume. If you have limited professional experience, you can bolster your resume with some descriptions of your academic achievements, such as your GPA or relevant coursework you’ve completed. 

For example, imagine you have an undergraduate degree in history and are applying for a role as a business analyst. If you took any courses in business or analytics during college, be sure to mention them. They might not have been a part of your degree, but they show that you’ve had an ongoing interest in understanding how businesses operate. 

If you’ve earned any certificates outside of a degree program, be sure to list these, too. Online programs and certificates offer a way to expand your knowledge in a specific subject area, without the time commitment of a full degree program. They can show employers that you are serious about your professional development and would like to gain more experience in a particular industry. 

Related: Top 10 Most In-Demand Online Courses from Wharton Online Right Now

5. Add in notable projects and accomplishments 

Dedicating a section of your resume to projects and accomplishments isn’t always necessary, but if you’re changing careers or do not have much work experience, this can be a valuable way to round out your resume. You can use this space to highlight any personal achievements that are not directly related to work or school—for example, personal projects, volunteer work, or involvement in industry-related clubs or organizations. 

If you choose to include a section for projects or accomplishments, make sure that everything you list ties back to a key skill or characteristic that is relevant for your desired career path.

Career Change Resume Example 

Now that we’ve covered some tips for creating a resume tailored to a career change, let’s explore an example. We crafted this resume for a customer service representative who is applying for a digital marketing specialist position. 

Name and Contact Information 

Abigail Jacobs 

Philadelphia, PA

267-555-0176 | [email protected]

linkedin.com/in/abigail-jacobs-example

Driven and hardworking professional with a proven track record of increasing customer satisfaction levels. Looking to leverage my problem-solving skills and build upon my 3+ years of customer service experience by transitioning into the digital marketing space.

Professional Skills 

Problem Solving

  • Developed creative solutions for unsatisfied customers at Platinum Auto Insurance and Accelerate Call Center
  • Lead brainstorming sessions with team members to improve customer satisfaction metrics

Communication 

  • 3+ years of experience in customer services roles, frequently communicating with customers both on the phone and over email 
  • Completed a B.A. in Communications and was an active member of the Public Speaking Club while in college 

Organization 

  • Used Excel to organize and track customer service metrics, and compiled these metrics into weekly reports for management 

Technical Skills 

  • Microsoft Word
  • Google Suite 
  • Google Analytics 
  • Google Search Console 

Work Experience

Senior Customer Service Advisor

Platinum Auto Insurance | Sept 2019 – Present

  • Resolved over 100 customer complaints per week, communicating with customers via phone and email 
  • Tracked KPIs for each ticket and delivered weekly customer satisfaction reports for management, consistently exceeding target satisfaction ratings by 5-10%
  • Collaborated with team members to identify creative solutions for customers

Customer Service Representative 

Accelerate Call Center | Jul 2018 – Sept 2019 

  • Responded to 50+ calls per day, answering questions from customers and redirecting to other departments as needed 
  • Demonstrated written communication skills by revamping customer service phone scripts, resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction ratings 

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

University of Pennsylvania | Jun 2018

  • Completed courses in advertising and social media

Digital Marketing Certificate 

Wharton Online | Mar 2022

  • Completed a six-week program from The Wharton School
  • Learned about topics such as marketing analytics, customer relationships, social media, and e-commerce marketing 

Personal Projects

Marketing Assistant for Public Speaking Club 

2017 – 2018

  • As a member of the Public Speaking Club at University of Pennsylvania, assisted the club with creating a monthly newsletter
  • Managed social media accounts for the club, consistently posting content and engaging with followers 

Marketing Consultant 

2020 – Present 

  • Assisted a friend with the creation and management of photography business website
  • Used Google Analytics and Google Search Console to measure the performance of website content 

Career Change Resume Template

We’ve adapted this example into three different template formats, with the hope that it can serve as a jumping off point for your own career change resume. Click on the links below to download the template:

  • Microsoft Word .DOCX
  • Google Docs (click on “File > Make a copy” to save to your own Google Docs folder)

Screenshot of an example career change resume

Stand Out From the Crowd With Wharton Online

If you’re looking to switch careers in the near future, an online certificate program can help set you up for success. In addition to gaining valuable insights into a specific industry, you’ll be able to list your certificate on your resume and LinkedIn. This can give you a competitive edge during your job search. 

Wharton Online offers certificate programs in subjects such as leadership and management, asset and portfolio management, and digital marketing. All of our courses are conducted 100% online, giving you the flexibility to complete coursework on your own schedule. Explore our online programs today , or reach out to us with any questions. 

For more tips on how to navigate a career change, download our free guide, “ The Career-Switching Handbook for 30‑Somethings .”

eBook Cover

Download our eBook: The Career-Switching Handbook for 30‑Somethings

Job-hopping is a growing trend among young professionals, and for many good reasons. Download our free eBook, “The Career-Switching Handbook for 30‑Somethings,” for the latest career-switching tips, strategies, and data.

Download the eBook

The Wharton School is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

The Wharton School is accredited by IACET

Career Sidekick

Career Change Resume: Examples and Tips from Experts

By Biron Clark

Published: November 8, 2023

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

If you want to change careers, you’re going to need a great resume to show employers why they should take a chance on you.

You need to convince them that you’ll succeed in their role, even if you’ve done different work in the past.

And while you can do some of this convincing in the job interview, you aren’t going to get interviews if your resume or CV isn’t great , too, so it all starts here!

Don’t worry if this sounds intimidating – this article has everything you need to write an effective resume for career change…

I spoke to multiple professional resume writers, coaches, and other experts and put together this list of resume tips for career changers, as well as real-life examples of resumes that got interviews.

Here’s what you need to know…

Career Change Resume/CV Format

The best resume format for a career change is the chronological resume (also known as “reverse chronological resume”). With this format, your resume or CV lists your work experience in the order it happened, starting with your most recent or current position at the top.

This is what most hiring managers and recruiters are used to seeing and prefer to see, so it’s the best format to use when switching careers (or in any job search, for that matter).

So the first thing to do with your resume is to make sure you’re using this format. Put your most recent position at the top of your “Work Experience” section , and then go backward from there. You’ll see examples of this coming up – don’t worry.

The bottom line is: You aren’t going to hide something or “sneak” through the process by using a less-common (and more confusing) resume format like a functional resume.

This will just confuse and frustrate the hiring manager or recruiter .

So rather than trying to hide gaps in your experience, you should tailor your experience to be as relevant as possible for the job you’re applying to. That’s how to approach resume formatting as a career changer.

Career Change Resume Objective (And Why NOT To Include This)

You should not include a resume objective when changing careers (or on any resume, in fact). A resume objective is an outdated section that should be replaced with a resume summary section – a brief intro summarizing your experience, skills, accomplishments, and anything else you’d like to share.

Coming up next, we’ll look at examples of how to write this “summary” section as a career changer.

Writing Your Resume Summary for Career Change

Rather than a resume objective, you should include a brief Summary section to show employers what you’ve accomplished and how you can help them in their role.

I asked multiple experts for tips and examples of how to write a resume summary for a career change, so here are some tips from coaches, resume writers, and other experts.

Career Change Resume Example: Switching Careers from Business Development at a Skilled Nursing Facility to Medical Device Sales 

This section is contributed by: Virginia Franco – Executive Resume Writer at Virginia Franco Resumes

When writing a summary section for a career change, think about what you bring to the table that aligns with the role you seek, and what makes you less of a hiring risk for the hiring manager or interviewer.

vfr sample resume summary for career change

In the example above, my client wanted to pivot from a business development role at a skilled nursing facility into medical device sales. In writing his summary, I:

  • Chose a headline that contained some keywords related to the role he currently held AND the role he was targeting.
  • Created a tagline that spoke to his success in Skilled Nursing using language that was industry-neutral.
  • Identified a few differentiators that would make him appealing to a hiring manager and help outweigh the fact that he was new to the role and industry.

In this case, the fact that he:

  • Knew lots of key players meant he could hit the ground running and build a sales funnel fast
  • Was multilingual but raised in the U.S. meant he could interface well with many cultures – important in the area where he lived, and in working with surgeons that are often from other countries.
  • Kept abreast of the industry and trends meant he was passionate about the industry and that he embraced continual learning.
  • Established trust by working to overcome obstacles in a creative fashion meant that he was a problem solver – a trait that would make him attractive to a hiring manager.

In other words, I worked to make him seem like a candidate that was a risk worth taking!

Career Change Resume Example: Changing Careers from Medical Device Sales to Advertising & Technology

This section is contributed by: Austin Belcak – Founder at Cultivated Culture

When your changing careers, one of the biggest resume challenges is getting visibility on the transferable and relevant experience that you have.

Maybe you worked on a relevant project two jobs ago, maybe you took a course that’s buried in your education section, or maybe you’ve been working on a side hustle but are worried about leading with that vs. your current job.

Using resume objectives is a good way to combat this issue.

Resume objectives allow you to cherry-pick the most relevant work experience from your career, education, and side projects and feature it right at the top of your resume. This gives you the chance to lead with the most relevant transferable experience so you make sure it’s seen instead of getting lost in the mix.

This is the exact tactic I used when I was switching careers from medical device sales into advertising/tech.

My day job was in healthcare, it didn’t offer much in the way of traditional skills, but I had been spending nights and weekends learning digital marketing. I took courses, got certified, and even started doing a bit of freelancing. I wanted that to show at the top of my resume so I used an objective to highlight that ahead of my current role:

example of how to write a resume summary for career change

Tip: Target Everything for the Role You Want

This section is contributed by: Sarah Johnston – Former Recruiter, Executive Resume Writer, and Job Search Coach at BriefcaseCoach.com

When writing a resume for a career change, it’s important to target your resume for the role that you want. I recommend finding a few job descriptions that interest you and scanning for keywords and themes. Use the target job title or skill set in the header to frame the resume.

The Ladders did an eye tracking study that found that recruiters and hiring managers only spend 7.4 seconds scanning a resume before deciding to pass or read more. The heat map showed that better-performing resumes have keywords at the top to immediately draw the eye.

Attached is the top of a career changer sample resume. This hypothetical job seeker is wanting to transition from an account manager role to being an executive assistant . The resume plays up her transferable skills and includes a header that references the job that she wants.

Sample Career Changer resume

As a former corporate recruiter, I am not a fan of functional resumes. Recruiters are taught to scan resumes chronologically. When you take the experience out of context or “order,” it often gives the recruiter the impression you are trying to hide or fudge experience.

Tip: Use Bullets to Stand Out

This section is contributed by: Madeline Mann – Human Resources Leader & Career Coach, Creator of Self Made Millennial

Consider writing your resume intro or summary in bullet format, as this makes it easier for people to quickly scan it.

The first couple of bullet points should emphasize the most important keywords from the job description.

Get creative with how you integrate these terms into your summary. For example, use phrases like “experience with” and “knowledge of” to indicate tasks that you have become familiar with inside or outside of your job.

Personal projects, volunteering, and education should all contribute to what you describe here. If the most prominent keywords in the job description are tasks and concepts that you are unfamiliar with, that is a sign that you need to build those skills on your own time. Here is a video on how to build these important skills without getting hired.

The next couple of bullet points should focus on the most relevant accomplishments to the role you are pursuing, which may not be from your most recent role.

This is where the magic of the summary section comes into play. Pull in early-career achievements, side projects, and unpaid work where you did tasks that are more closely aligned with your new career. For example, if you are a Psychology Lab Assistant, and you want to be a Building Manager, many of your lab tasks won’t translate.

But, five years ago you were the treasurer of your sorority (budgeting is a keyword), and you handled many contractors to ensure the house was renovated and maintained (knowledge of the trades is a keyword). While that experience may be buried due to it being 5 years ago and not a paid position, it can hop to the top of your career change resume as a highly relevant accomplishment in the summary.

The summary section is an opportunity for you to truly spell it out for the hiring manager where your transferable skills will be too well-matched to ignore!

Editor’s note: Bullets are also a great way to make your resume work history section stand out. This article explains how to do this with 22 resume bullet examples. 

Career Change Resume Work History Section: Samples and Tips

After a brief summary or intro paragraph, you’ll need a powerful employment history section to continue to impress the recruiter or hiring manager. Use the tips below to help you write yours.

Write Your Resume by Working Backward from the Job Description

This section is contributed by: Kyle Elliott – Career & Life Coach and Resume Writer at CaffeinatedKyle.com

The key to a successful career change resume is to work backward from the job posting. I encourage clients to literally pull language from the posting of the job they are targeting, then massage it until it truthfully reflects their experience. You really want to speak the language of the industry you are moving into.

In the example below, my client was targeting sales roles. However, she has several years of impressive experience from working in higher education that we wanted to include on her resume. So we repositioned her earlier experience as a “customer experience manager” role, pulling language directly from the job postings she was targeting.

career change resume - example of work history

Add Keywords to Get Past the ATS

This section is contributed by: Susan P. Joyce – Publisher of Job-Hunt.org

When your goal is a career change, be sure that your resume contains the relevant keywords for the career you want. Without these keywords, your resume will not be found in a recruiter’s search of the applications and resumes stored in the applicant tracking system (ATS).

Analyze the job description and pay attention to the job’s requirements as well as the nice-to-have skills. Make a list of the skills and other job requirements you meet. Those terms are typically the terms that will be used most often when the employer is searching for qualified job candidates.

If you have acquired skills or experience outside of work, don’t be afraid to include them, too. These include skills you have acquired while volunteering or participating in other non-work activities, especially if those skills are required for this job (and, thus, important keywords).

One of the best places to start including keywords on your career change resume is your “Skills” section.

The Skills section provides a quick way to show employers that you have the skills they’ve listed on their job description.

For example: Assume the job requires hard skills like QuickBooks or SQL, and you have experience with them or have certifications from training you have taken. Include the appropriate term in your Skills section, like “QuickBooks” or “QuickBooks Certified”.

Then, in the “Experience” section of your resume , include those skills in the descriptions of your past jobs (or volunteering) where you acquired and/or used those skills. This will show the employer when and where you demonstrated your skills, which they always want to see!

Repetition of keywords is usually a good thing when the repetition is natural, relevant, and appropriate. So, having these important terms in both the Skills and Experience sections of your resume will help your resume be found.

However, simply repeating keywords at the bottom of your resume is not smart or useful.

Career Change Resume Templates

You should now have a general idea of how to format and write your resume or CV for a career change.

If you need a great starting point and don’t want to create your resume from scratch (or if your existing resume is outdated and doesn’t look great) then this job search resources page has multiple free resume templates that are great for changing careers.

After clicking the link above, scroll down to the section titled: “ATS-Compliant Resume Templates.” All of the templates on that page are free to use and download.

Recap: How to Write a Resume for Career Change

If you’re planning on switching careers, you should write your resume to make your experience seem as relevant as possible for the job you want next.

Always think of the employer’s perspective when deciding what to put on your resume and what to leave off.

Write your career change CV or resume based on the employer’s job description and you’ll be much more likely to win the interview.

That’s how to get a new job in a new field. Employers want candidates who can step into a role, learn the position quickly, and succeed. They want low risk.  The more you can show similarities between what you’ve done and what the employer needs for this job, the better!

To summarize: Your CV or resume for a career change will be most successful if you start with the employer’s needs in mind, work backward, and think carefully about how to position your own experiences – both professional and personal – to make yourself seem capable of stepping into their job and being a success!

Biron Clark

About the Author

Read more articles by Biron Clark

Read our Resume Essentials Guides

10 best free resume builders, what to put on a resume: 9 things to include, sample list of accomplishments for resume (35+ examples), top 14 resume skills to add on your resume + examples, does a resume need an objective, resume summary with no experience: examples for students and fresh graduates, resume keywords: 80+ verbs and power words to use, previous work experience examples for a resume, 24 resume summary examples that get interviews.

How to Write a Career Change Resume With Examples

Quick Navigation:

What are some important elements of a career change resume?

How to write a career change resume, career change resume example.

There are many reasons why you might decide to change careers.  A career change resume allows you to show transferable skills that are relevant to your new industry when you may not have relevant experience yet. Use these tips and examples as a guide when writing your own career change resume.

When changing careers, it’s important to show employers you have the skills needed for the new industry. Your work history will likely be less important than listing the skills you have with specific examples. You want to explain your transferable skills to the hiring manager and explain how qualifications from your past career are relevant to the new industry. 

You can follow these steps to write a career change resume:

1. First, identify transferable skills

Take time to get to know the industry you are moving into. Read industry news and job descriptions to get an idea of skills employers are looking for. Review your current resume and the skills you’ve gained and used during your career. See if there are any skills that you can transfer to your desired field. Many soft skills, like communication and organization, are skills that transfer well.  

Remember that non-professional experience can also be included in your career change resume. Volunteer work and sometimes even hobbies, such as writing blogs or playing a sport, can show specific knowledge and skills. 

2. Second, update your resume objective

Building from the resume objective that appears on the top of your current resume, highlight the type of job you’re looking for. Make sure you explain that you’re seeking a career change in your objective so hiring managers understand immediately. 

Your objective should provide hiring managers with details on how your former career has provided you with the necessary skills for the new industry and the position you’re applying for. If you have any goals you want to achieve in your new career, add those as well. These goals can show the hiring manager why you want to work for them.

3. Third, identify the resume format that works best for you

There are several kinds of resume formats available for you to choose from. A reverse-chronological resume format lists your most recent work experience to your oldest. A functional resume format places more focus on skills instead of where you’ve worked in the past. A combination resume includes components from both the reverse chronological and functional formats. 

For career change resumes, functional and combination templates usually work best as they focus more on what you can do instead of past jobs, which may not be as relevant in a new industry.

4. Next, add a skills section

When hiring managers look through your resume, they most likely will not see familiar responsibilities or job titles from their industry. This makes highlighting your skills important. By adding a skills section to your resume, you can include soft and hard skills relevant to the position you’re applying for. To make this section easier to read, you can separate your hard skills and soft skills so employers can scan them quickly.

5. Then, leave out unnecessary information

Your resume doesn’t need to list every position you’ve ever held, programs used and tasks completed. Your work experience may not transfer to a different industry, so you may be able to exclude a lot of it. In your work history section, include your most recent experience followed by any other jobs that may have similar duties to the position you’re applying for.

Try to include the skills used in your job duties so employers can read specific examples. For example, if you want to highlight your customer service skills, a job description bullet item could be: ‘Assisted over 30 customers per day by making purchasing suggestions and troubleshooting issues.’

6. Finally, use simple, clear language

Explain achievements, job-related tasks, programs and job titles in language that is clear to anyone reading your resume. Try to translate responsibilities and skills into the language used by industry insiders in the field you are moving into. Simple language can also make your resume easier to read quickly, which can help busy employers. 

Writing a career change resume can be challenging. 

Here is an example of a career change resume you can use to get started:

Lee Chang 540 Jeffery Blvd. Chicago, IL 12345 555-555-5555 [email protected]

Engaging and charismatic marketing professional seeking a career change to be an Adjunct Professor of Marketing. Superb presentation talents and communication skills underscored by 15 years of experience in strategic management, financial management, operations management, marketing strategy, market data analysis and technology sales team training. 

  • Successfully directed global marketing operations for a new technology business, increasing international sales growth by 87% within 18 months of being hired
  • Led an international technology company into untapped western Europe and China markets

SALES TRAINING: 

  • Created effective online training modules that were implemented by all company sales offices
  • Trained more than 125 Sales Managers in technology sales strategies across Western Europe, Canada and the U.S.

PRESENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS: 

  • Interpersonal strengths and communication skills that motivate success through one-on-one advertising, discussions and multimedia presentations
  • Contributor to trade publications such as Global Marketing News and Tech Marketing Today

TECHNICAL PROFICIENCIES: 

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Microsoft Dynamics 
  • Google Analytics

Work History

Global Marketing Manager, Franklin Technologies, Chicago, IL, 2012 – Present

Market Research Analyst, Integrative Software Corporation, Milwaukee, WI, 2007 – 2012

Sales Manager, Global IT Communications, St. Paul, MN, 2004 – 2007

Master of Business Administration; 3.8 GPA University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Bachelor of Business Administration; 3.9 GPA St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN

Career Change Resume: Examples, How to Write, and Other Tips To Support Your Career Transition

Career Change Resume: Examples, How to Write, and Other Tips To Support Your Career Transition

Ben Temple

When you make the difficult choice to look for a job in a new industry, it’s important to write a career change resume.

Your old resume, tailored to your old career, won’t suit your new field. For your job search to succeed when you make a career change, you have to make sure that your resume is tailored to the right positions and highlights the right skills.

Important steps for writing a career change resume include:

  • Picking the right resume format
  • Highlighting transferrable skills
  • Tailoring your resume to suit your new industry
  • Emphasizing your most relevant experience

Anyone can reach a crossroads in their profession and decide that it's time to make a change. Maybe you've developed new skills, run out of opportunities, or realized that your current career doesn't motivate you like it once did. Whatever the reason, if you want to change jobs, you will need to know how to write a resume for a career change.

  • What is a Career Change Resume?

A career change resume is a resume specifically designed and written to explain a career transition. From the objective to the mentioned skills, everything highlights the transferability of past experiences and skills to a new job.

Let’s say, you are a marketer who is trying to transition to a project management position. If you send over a generic resume that lists your marketing skills and experience - it would leave the hiring manager confused to see your resume.

If there’s no explanation of why you are even applying for a job, you would be rejected as the hiring manager would assume you are randomly applying for jobs.

  • Why Write a Career Change Resume?

A career change resume better connects your professional work experience and skills to a job when you are applying for either a new job or entering a new industry. You stand out as an applicant as it makes it extremely easy to see relevant past experience and skills that you have is relevant to the job you are applying for.

In our example of marketing to project management career transition, without a career transition resume a hiring manager would not understand:

  • Why do you want to apply for this role?
  • What relevant skills do you bring to this role?
  • What past experience do you have that’s relevant to this role?

Now, some assume that the HR or hiring manager is going to read through their resume and extract the right information. But that in 2023 is a big mistake. No one is going to take the time to read through your resume when there’s no explanation to support the questions above.

But let’s say you did the following to show your marketing management skills are relevant to the project management skills:

  • Highlighted how you did planning, organizing, and execution of projects along with timeline management and
  • Showcase how your collaboration skills for marketing project management required you to foster collaboration with stakeholders and other employees.
  • If you practice agile, scrum, etc highlight that and show how you improved project management through tactical changes (e.g. story points to iteratively improve epics).

The career change resume tips alone make a big difference. But, the real difference maker is how you show relevance for the role through each individual section and your resume layout as well. A good starting point would be to understand how to write a career transition resume.

  • How to Write a Career Change Resume

To write a career change resume and explain your career transition better, follow these steps:

  • Select the right career change resume format. Reverse chronological isn’t the best choice here. We recommend selecting either a functional or a hybrid resume format.
  • While writing your resume header, instead of your current job title, write something like “Entry-level {job title}” to show relevance.
  • Write an objective instead of a resume summary and mention that you are changing careers in it.
  • While listing your work experience, reduce the focus on non-relevant job responsibilities and achievements. Increase focus on relevant responsibilities and achievements. Go as far as removing irrelevant ones. Do this for each job you apply for.
  • The skill section of your resume should be changed based on what skills the job actually needs. And, do it for all jobs.
  • Highlight relevant education or certifications in your resume.
  • At the end, your resume should support your intent to transition in the new role from top to down.

Now that we have looked into how to write a career transition resume, let’s look into each of these in depth.

  • The Right Career Change Resume Format

There are three resume formats that you can consider for a career change resume.

  • Functional : This format emphasizes skills above work experience, and groups past positions by topic rather than chronologically.
  • Combination : This format emphasizes your skills, but still uses a reverse-chronological work history section.

The third resume format is reverse chronological resume format, but we don't advise to use it for you career transition.

We recommend using a combination format for a career change resume. This resume format allows you to showcase your skills while maintaining a clear timeline of your career.

To write a combination resume , create a Skills section near the top of your resume, above your Work Experience section. This is where you can highlight and explain your most impressive and most relevant skills. Your Skills section will be the focus of your resume, as this section is where you can make the case for your skill set, even if your past positions were in a different field.

Your Work Experience section will follow your Skills section. This section can be shorter than in a typical reverse-chronological resume, with less detail than your Skills section, but it should still have a clear timeline. Even if you are changing industries, hiring managers will be interested to see how your career has progressed. A reverse-chronological work experience section allows you to clearly tell that part of your story.

Of course, these aren’t hard and fast rules. You can use a typical reverse-chronological resume format if you prefer. Just make sure you can highlight the right skills and experience for your new industry.

  • Selecting the Right Career Transition Resume Template

Any resume for changing careers needs a great template.

Your resume won’t do you any good if it’s difficult to read, no matter how well-targeted your skill set is. Make sure your resume is easy to read, with simple organization and clear headings.

Additionally, ensure that you choose a resume template suited for the industry you want to work in.

If you want to move into a more formal industry, like law or accounting, find a traditional resume template with simple formatting and no colours. If you are moving into a more creative field, like marketing or design, you can look for a more modern template, with pictures or colours.

To find the perfect resume template for your new career, check out these VisualCV resume templates .

  • What to Add in Your Career Change Resume Header

Your career change resume should begin with your name and contact information. The hiring manager needs this information to contact you, so you should make it easy to find.

Your resume header should include:

  • Prospective job title
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • City of residence

You can also include hyperlinks to your professional online profiles, such as LinkedIn or Twitter. If you’re applying for a software development position, you can link to your GitHub profile. If you are moving into a creative field, you might have an online portfolio to link to.

Career change resume contact information example

You may also want to include a headline or job title in this section. However, if you are changing careers, this could confuse the hiring manager. Avoid using a job title that isn’t supported by your resume.

  • Write an Objective instead of Summary for Career Change Resume

A resume summary fails to explain career transition.

For example, consider this resume summary below of a marketer applying for a project management role: Results-driven marketing professional with extensive experience in developing and implementing successful marketing strategies. Demonstrated expertise in brand management, digital marketing, and campaign execution, driving revenue growth and customer engagement.

The candidate would be rejected right away as the hiring manager would find it difficult to understand why this candidate is even apply for a PM job.

Now, let's use an objective instead of summary to better explain career transition.

Career Change Resume Objective Example

Aspiring project management professional with a proven track record of successfully leading and executing complex projects. Skilled in strategic planning, cross-functional collaboration, and delivering results that drive business growth and exceed client expectations.

Notice how this objective better explains career transition here by:

  • Clearly stating that the applicant is aspiring to become a project management professional.
  • Shifting the focus towards past work experience and achievements relevant to project management.

This would compel a hiring manager to read further dive deeper into your past work experience and skills.

  • Highlight your transferrable skills

Your Skills section is the key to your career change resume. Your past roles may not be directly relevant to positions in your new industry, so your Skills section is where you will need to demonstrate that you have what it takes to succeed.

To identify the skills you will need in future roles, study job postings in your new industry, network with professionals in that field, and learn as much as you can before you start applying.

Then, look back on your career and think about the skills you've developed. Some of them will be relevant to the new industry, and will be perfect for your career change resume.

By reading as much as you can about your target profession and brainstorming your existing skills, you should be able to figure out which transferrable skills to highlight. These may be soft skills like leadership, teamwork, creativity, or problem-solving, or hard skills like writing, software expertise, or bookkeeping. Identifying transferrable skills is the key to a successful career change resume.

Once you’ve settled on the right transferrable skills, think about the best way to showcase them. It may be that a simple list will do the trick. If this is the case, create a simple bulleted list for your most relevant and impressive skills.

Career change resume skills

To really sell your skills, however, you may want place more emphasis on the skills section. Make each skill in the list a heading, and then provide evidence for each skill in bullet points below. The best way to do this is to give concrete, measurable examples of achievements relevant to that skill.

For example, if you count Leadership as a transferrable skill, provide examples of projects you have led, teams you have managed, or decisions you have been responsible for.

Clear, concrete examples are the best way to showcase your skills. When your skills are the focus of your resume, as they will be in a career change resume, it’s important to give your Skills section the attention it deserves.

Career change resume example skills section

  • Time Management
  • Problem-Solving
  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Project Management

How to Support Career Change through Resume Work Experience Section

  • Use numbers and measurable successes as much as possible. For example, if you worked in sales in a previous job, give your sales revenue or the number of clients you gained. This approach makes your claims more concrete and impressive.
  • Use action words to describe your duties. Terms like accelerated , spearheaded , generated , centralized , and mentored can add some energy to your work experience section and make your roles sound impressive.
  • Emphasize any transferrable skills. Your resume should be focused on your next job, including when you describe past ones.
  • Make it clear to the hiring manager that you have the skills to succeed in the new industry.

In each job description, be sure to focus on the accomplishments that could be relevant to your new industry. Think about the requirements listed in the job posting, and consider what employers in your new field are seeking. Every job may not be perfectly relevant, but it’s important to show that even though you are changing careers, you have what it takes to be successful in a challenging role.

Career Change Resume Work Experience Example

Researcher ABC Labs, New York Sept 2018 - Present

  • Instrumental part of a team that completed government-funded research on Alzheimer’s Disease, resulting in a second phase project funding of $5 million
  • Managed and coordinated a 200-person volunteer research program that examined neurological diseases
  • Conducted in-depth research to understand the current state of medications and their efficacy for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Collaborated on data analysis and contributed to research paper on progressive neurological disorders
  • Presented findings at three annual conferences
  • Wrote monthly press releases to update the public about our work and findings

How to List Education on a Career Change Resume

Your education is an important part of your career story. You should list your any degrees, diplomas, and certificates in your resume, even if they aren’t immediately relevant to your desired field. It’s important to show that you can work towards a goal and complete a degree, even if that degree is in an unrelated field.

If your education is completely irrelevant, simply listing your degrees and the institution name is sufficient.

If you would like to give your education more emphasis, however, you can give more details. For example, you may want to give your GPA, list academic awards, or describe relevant projects or areas of study.

Example of a Career Change Resume Education Section

MSc in Mechanical Engineering University of Iowa

  • New Product Development
  • Advanced CAD
  • Advanced Static Analysis

BSc in Mechanical Engineering University of Iowa

  • Engineering Concepts
  • Systems modelling
  • Material analysis
  • Customize your Career Change resume for every application

You should customize your resume for every application.

While this is true for any resume, it is especially true for a career change resume. Your resume has to be perfectly targeted to prove that you have the right skills not only for a new job, but for a new career.

To do this, study each job posting and identify the specific keywords that the company is using. They will be looking for specific skills and experience. Then, look at your own background and identify the skills that overlap, and use the same words or phrases to describe your skills. This will ensure that the keywords match, and get your resume to the next round.

  • Career change resume example

Experienced accounting professional and recent Bachelor of Education graduate seeking a role in education. Proven ability to communicate clearly to all levels of an organization, including legal, technical, and executive, to ensure objectives are met. Versatile mentor with experience teaching and training new hires. Several years of experience in financial analysis, accounting, and auditing. Excellent financial reporting, budget forecasting and team management skills. Experience closing leads and building and maintaining a client base. Established track record of successfully managing and executing multiple projects under tight deadlines to achieve successful results.

  • Team Management
  • Financial Analysis and Reporting
  • Client Education
  • Financial Statement Analysis

Bachelors of Education State University

Master of Business Administration University of Northampton

Work Experience

Financial Accountant Andrew Industries Limited

  • Manage and oversee the daily operations of the accounting department.
  • Hire, train, and mentor new employees.
  • Meet accounting financial objectives by forecasting requirements, preparing an annual budget, scheduling expenditures, analyzing variances and initiating corrective actions.
  • Educate department heads regarding important accounting processes.
  • Analyze and interpret financial information that corporate executives need in order to make sound business decisions.
  • Communicate with other departments by researching and interpreting accounting policy.
  • Recommendations courses of action in plain language.
  • Monitor and analyze accounting data.
  • Produce financial statements and reports.
  • Confirm financial status by monitoring revenue and expenses.
  • Preparing special reports for Banks, creditors and for investors.
  • Maintain accounting controls by establishing a chart of accounts, defining accounting policies and procedures.

Senior Accountant Ambition UK

  • Prepared individual and consolidated financial statements and other accounting reports as per defined policies and applicable accounting standard.
  • Prepared monthly and quarterly management reports with evaluation of divisional performance.
  • Developed and implemented in the effective internal control system to enhance the company financial performance.
  • Set policies for transferred pricing and critical success factors for divisions & branches and relevant financial key performance indicators to align the division’s goals with the organization.
  • Monitored and controlled the costs of activities under different projects. Monitored revenue growth and margin.
  • Monitored the liquidity in banks accounts, management of Daily working capital & liquidity planned.
  • Letter of Credit, Bank Guarantee, Performance bound & other banking transactions.
  • Ensured the maintenance of day to day financial records & transactions as per Group policies and procedures.
  • Ensured the arrangement of funds for timely Processing of payroll.
  • Ensured the proper recording of inventories and monthly adjusting entries.
  • Finalized financial statements, Trail Balance, & formulated various analyses of general ledgers & other documents for submission to external auditors.
  • Participated in various internal audit reviews in the Group as directed by Group Chief Financial officer.

Career change resume example

Community Success Manager & CV Writing Expert

Ben is a writer, customer success manager and CV writing expert with over 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their best careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume summary and the power of coffee.

How to list freelance work on a resume

We live in a world where working as a freelancer is easier than ever. An Internet connection alone makes it possible for an artist to land a gig designing a logo for a company on the other side of the planet or a writer producing marketing copy from a coffee shop.

November 11, 2015

James Clift

Co-Founder & Director

2024 Hiring Statistics: Job Search, Recruiting, AI Jobs, & Interviews

The top hiring and human resource statistics for 2024, including data on AI resumes, job interviews, remote work, and recruiting.

December 8, 2023

Ben Temple

This guide will prepare you to change careers past 30. It's never too late for a great career!

July 12, 2022

Waverly March

Content Writer + Resume Expert

Copyright © 2024 Workstory Inc.

Select Your Language:

How to Write a Resume for a Career Change (with real examples)

If you’re struggling, staring at a blank page, wondering how to write a resume for a career change when you don’t have any of the actual experience required, you’re not alone. As a professional resume writer, I’ve helped jobseekers position their skills for pivots for over 10 years, the pandemic and ensuing great reset/great resignation […]

If you’re struggling, staring at a blank page, wondering how to write a resume for a career change when you don’t have any of the actual experience required, you’re not alone. As a professional resume writer, I’ve helped jobseekers position their skills for pivots for over 10 years, the pandemic and ensuing great reset/great resignation really kicked career changing into high gear.

In 2021, some 53% of employed U.S. adults who quit their job did just that, changing either their occupation or field of work, according to an analysis from Pew Research.

If you’re like most jobseekers, you’ve found yourself contemplating a change in career. Whether a total transformation that requires bootcamp or a new degree, or leveraging soft skills and functional knowledge to pivot to an adjacent industry or role. And you’re not alone! The average person holds 12.4 jobs  between the ages of 18 and 54 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, if you’re sitting here rubbing your forehead or nodding in agreement, this article will be your guide to crafting a career change resume that hiring managers want to read and answers the “why me” question for busy recruiters. Finally, I’ll let you in on my little tip that increases your potential for successfully navigating career change by upwards of 50%.

In this article, you will learn all about resumes for career changes:

How to know what information to include in your career change resume.

  • How to write a resume summary and headline for your career change resume and whether or not to use an objective on your resume for a career change
  • What order information should go in on a career change resume

The biggest mistake jobseekers make when career changing

  • How to 2X your interview power with this one shift in strategy.

When writing a career change resume, you’re not really writing about your experience in the same way out would for a promotion or lateral move. Instead, think like the hiring manager to identify the problem the person in this role would solve and select information using that filter.

If you are IT manager with a lot of project management experience, maybe you want to apply for more of a straightforward PM role. In this situation, you would lean more heavily into the why and how of you delivered project results than you would on your IT resume.

Your IT resume might be chock full of tech specs, but your PM resume has a different focus. For example: methodologies used, project budgets, stakeholder management, everything a project manager would deal with in their day-to-day.

Think like a hiring manager. Take the time to research the role and get clear of what someone in a hiring capacity would want to see.

When trying to decide what to include, you can base decisions your goal. You know your audience, what they would care about, and select details accordingly.

How to write a resume summary and headline for your career change resume

Writing resume summaries and headlines is never easy. Adding in the complexity of a career change makes it all the more complicated.

Luckily, my favorite tips and tricks for headlines and summaries hold true for career change resumes! First up, your headline. This is THE most important real estate on your headline because it’s the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager sees.

You can certainly use something generic like Summary of Qualifications. I I actually recommend this for an ATS-friendly version because it makes it easier to parse. I also recommend using a branded headline using your desired role OR a headline that consists of three high-value, role specific keywords.

If you’re not comfortable putting your target role at the top of your resume, remember, its more of a signal to hiring managers that you know what you’re looking for. A career change resume with a generic headline looks like you’re just blasting out our your resume to anything vaguely interesting.

You can clearly indicate that you’re not sending out tons of resumes and crossing your fingers that something sticks. Using a branded headline that quickly registers alignment with the hiring manager. It can look like this: Rebecca Henninger Montville, NJ 07045 | 973.270.1777 | Rebecca@thejobgirlcom⠀ Marketing Manager or this Rebecca Henninger Montville, NJ 07045 | 973.270.1777 | Rebecca@thejobgirlcom⠀ Target: Marketing Manager

What should a summary for a career change resume look like?

No worries, I have a failsafe formula that you can use!

Position Title   (what you aspire to)   who delivers   (what you’re uniquely known for)  by   (insert soft skills)   in   (types of environments, e.g. publicly traded multinationals, start-ups, etc.) . Achieved   (insert top achievement)   as   (role/function)   at   (Name of Company) .

Here’s a sample to give you an idea how it goes! Aspiring creative services manager who delivers high-ROI, integrated campaigns. Focus on customer experience and business needs in high-tech B2B marketing environments. Achieved record-setting gains in engagement, adoption, and conversions as head of digital marketing at Acme Corporation.

Since we are talking about career change resumes, go ahead and add aspiring to the job title. OR, try just leading with what you’ve done in like this and add your target near the end.

High performer who delivers high-ROI, integrated campaigns. Focus on customer experience and business needs in high-tech B2B marketing environments. Achieved record-setting gains in engagement, adoption, and conversions as head of digital marketing at Acme Corporation. Seek to leverage high-value CPG network and readily transferable people and project management in agency-side client-facing account management role.

What order information should go in on a career change resume?

The order of information on your resume is one of the biggest differences between a traditional resume and career changes. For a career change, you will need to make strategic decisions based on what is most critical to highlight for the hiring manager.

For example, if you had a corporate career, left to raise kids, and are now returning to the workforce, you can create a Relevant Professional Experience to highlight business experience. That can then be placed directly under your summary, rather than in traditional reverse chronological order.

If your education is the most relevant, or if you recently upskilled in an area, completed a boot camp, or something similar to bridge the gap into your desired field, don’t bury those goodies on page 2!

For boot camp, you might want to create a relevant projects section. This would highlight tech skills developed and the scope of projects you delivered. Don’t forget to position these achievements in terms of business value. This will show you understand the scope and impact of the role you are applying for within the broader context.

I have worked with a lot of career changers. The #1 mistake they make is not taking the time to get clear BEFORE they start putting their resume together.

Your resume seems like it would be a logical starting point. Remember, your resume is not a biography, it’s a highlight reel. Your highlight reel needs to be customized to an audience. Think of yourself like a product. Different buying groups would find value in different benefits. The same goes for your career change resume.

If you don’t begin with clarity, hiring managers won’t take the time to do it for you. They will not call and ask what you’re interested in and how they can help. They are busy, recruiters are overwhelmed, and YOU are in the drivers seat of your job search. Take the reins and accelerate your impact by identifying the role or fields you are targeting BEFORE you start writing your resume.

While it might feel counterintuitive and scary, like you may be putting yourself out of contention for a role, remember that you can always pivot and adapt your strategy. In fact, I highly recommend it! When you begin applying and networking, you’ll be getting tons of feedback. Feedback could come in the form of rejection, praise, or even just information that begins to compound.

You can always course correct but it’s so critical to start with a clear goal in mind.

This simple shift can increase resume response rate by 50%—or more!

Most jobseekers get their resumes ready, outlining everything they’ve ever done in their roles. Then they start applying to jobs that seem like them might be fit or might be interesting.

They get no or lackluster responses and recruiters reach out on LinkedIn for jobs that are irrelevant or too junior.

There’s a better way! Instead of working on your resume first, career changers in particular should start with an in-depth evaluation of their skills, values, experience, and interests. From there, identify a few potential targets. Additionally, start thinking about your network strategically to identify who might be able to help you in this critically important research stage.

Clients in my career coaching practice follow this guidance, starting first with an assessment. They gather insights and feedback to develop clear goals for their job searches. As a result, they see measurable improvements in resume response rate and interview success.

Do you need a specific format for a career change resume?

No, career change resumes do not have a specific formula or format. Rather, the most important point is to ensure that you have a strategy for your resume. From there, allow content and strategy to lead all formatting decisions. Any resume templates you use should be clean and crisp. They should allow hiring managers to read and ATS to parse easily without distracting from your measurable achievements.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of metrics. This holds true whether or not the results are the same ones you’d be counted on to deliver in your next role. Metrics shows that that you have achieved results consistently and these quantified achievements are a game changer.

Still struggling with your career change resume? Check out career change samples that have worked for my clients here and here , improving response rates by upwards of 50% or schedule a discovery call at https://www.rhresumes.com/discovery .

Similar posts

Are professional resume writers worth it.

Great professional resume writers do more than just write resumes! Investing in a top resume writing service can help you build a powerful personal...

6 Principles for Writing Branded Executive Resumes

At the executive level, your resume challenges begin to change. You now have an impressive body of work to share, but are tasked to distill all of...

How to customize your resume in 5 steps. Increase response rate today!

Customizing Your Resume for Each Job You Apply To? Should I customize my resume for each job I apply to? This is one of the most common questions I...

Get notified on new marketing insights

Be the first to know about new B2B SaaS Marketing insights to build or refine your marketing function with the tools and knowledge of today’s industry.

Career Change Resume for 2024 [9+ Examples]

Background Image

Thinking of switching careers?

It might feel a lot like taking a leap of faith. 

You’re stepping into the unknown - that alone takes a lot of courage and determination.

You might even feel like a recent graduate all over again.

You have 0 experience, entering an entirely new field, competing with people who’ve been doing it forever!

That sounds pretty scary.

But here’s the thing:

As long as you’re armed with the right resume, the transition can be a piece of cake.

And luckily, we’re here to help and guide you through the process.

So, if you’re thinking of breaking into a new career industry, be sure to read on.

  • How to pick the best resume format for a career change
  • How to create a skill summary and wow the recruiter
  • How to show off transferable work experience
  • 3+ other ways to impress the recruiter (even if you have 0 relevant work experience)

Choosing the Best Career Change Resume Format

career change resume

A big part of creating an effective resume is choosing the right resume format to tell your story with.

You need to structure your resume in a way that best shows your transferable skills and experience.

And when it comes to switching careers, the combination resume format does that best.

career change resume example

Here’s why:

This format places equal emphasis on skills and important work experience . 

This way, you can show you have the right industry transferable skills , even if you haven’t had the actual job title.

The format is ideal for people:

  • Making a career change with transferable skills or work experience.
  • With some employment gaps.
  • With a diverse range of skills and experience .
  • Applying to both creative and traditional roles.

And here’s what you include within this format:

  • Contact information
  • Resume objective or summary
  • Skills summary
  • Work experience
  • Certification

Now, we’re going to go over each of those sections and explain how to write them step-by-step.

Here’s what you need to know:

How to Add Your Contact Information the Right Way

Your contact information is arguably the most important part of your resume.

Even if you’re the most qualified person in the world, it’s not going to matter much if you misspell your email and the HR manager can’t contact you.

So, here’s what you should include in this section:

  • First name, last name 
  • Phone number - Make sure to include your country code if you’re applying outside your country.
  • Email address - Something professional like [[email protected]].
  • Location - The company needs to know if you’re located in the region or if they may have to sponsor your relocation.
  • Title - Either your current professional title or your new desired one. We’d recommend including the job title you’re applying for word-for-word.

Once you’re done, we’d recommend that you double-check, even triple-check everything. You wouldn’t want to miss your chances of landing the job because of a typo, would you?

  • Got an online portfolio? You can also mention the links here. For example, if you’re a developer, you can include a link to your GitHub profile. If you’re a writer, a Medium link, and so on...

All clear? Good!

Now, let’s cover how to write a successful career change resume objective or summary.

Impress the Recruiter With a Career Change Resume Objective or Summary

So you’ve got your contact details down.

Now, you need a reason for the HR manager to continue reading the rest of your resume.

So, how do you get the recruiter to stop and read your career change resume when they only look at resumes for 6 seconds on average?

The answer: by using a resume objective or summary.

Both of these sections explain why you’re the best person for the job and act as a preview to the rest of your resume.

Here’s how the two differ:

Your resume summary shows your best accomplishments that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Your resume objective highlights how your current skills are relevant and will transfer to your new position.

As someone going through a career change, you can include either one.

But as a rule of thumb, if you were working in a related field and have some transferable skills, go for a resume summary.

On the other hand, if you were working in a completely unrelated field, go for a resume objective.

Check out these examples to get a better idea of what both of these might look like:

Career Change Resume Summary Example

  • “Customer support specialist with over 4+ years of experience in over-the-phone technical support looking to leverage communication skills as a Sales Agent at Company XYZ. Excellent track record of delivering quality support, with an average rating of 4.6/5 over the past 2 years.”

A career change resume summary helps the HR understand how your skillset from your previous job can translate into your new one.

In that case, it’s best to mention:

  • Your current relevant skills or experience.
  • How your background can help you excel at the current job.

Career Change Resume Objective Example

  • “Organized and hard-working employee looking to join XYZ as a marketing assistant. Looking to take advantage of my skills in Photoshop, graphic design, and creative copywriting to help XYZ with their marketing efforts.”

See the difference here?

Even though the person doesn’t have any relevant work experience, their resume objective still shows how their skill set is relevant to the new job.

Show Off Your Know-How With a Skills Summary Section

Your resume summary / objective is only an introduction. Now, you need to show the HR what you’ve got.

To do that, you need a good skills summary section.

Skills summary is a must-have section for just about any career change resume.

It puts more emphasis on your skill-set, as opposed to your work experience. This allows you to show how you’re a qualified candidate, even though you haven’t done the job before.

Here’s what a sample skills summary section might look like for a front-end developer.

Career Change Resume Skills Summary Example

  • Built an online personal portfolio and resume website using HTML, CSS, JS.
  • Created an online JS/jQuery quiz game that takes multiple answers and shows results to the user.
  • Built a beautiful weather app with Angular 8 from scratch, designed UI with Sketch.
  • Created responsive website templates (that are also mobile friendly) using modern CSS techniques and JS libraries.
  • Worked with design and development groups to create applications from mock-ups in Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
  • Familiar with Git, XDebug, and Chrome Developer Tools.
  • Debugged over 10 JS web apps for a SaaS project.

Simple enough, right?

You list out each of your key skills, and then back it up with how you’ve used it in the past.

Now, you might be thinking, “what about the work experience section?” Do I just skip it, and use a skills summary instead?

Nope - you still need to list your work experience.

In this case, though, you’d want to use it to show off your transferable skills. Here’s how:

Use Your Work Experience to Show Off Transferable Skills

Let’s take a different example and say you’re moving from a job in sales to copywriting.

A resume you’d use for sales compared to a more creative field like copywriting is probably going to be a bit different.

But what do both of the roles have in common?

Well, for one, they both require you to have excellent communication skills. You also need to be good at understanding your target market and conveying complex information in simple language.

And that’s the common thread you want to focus on in your work experience section.

So, when listing your previous jobs, think of some transferable skills that you bring to the table that are going to be relevant.

Even unrelated jobs have some universal skills that are helpful everywhere.

To give you a better idea of what we mean, let’s look at some examples:

Sales Executive

Company X - 11/2016 - 04/2019

  • Created and presented pitch deck that secured a $500,000 deal - largest for Company X to date.
  • Boosted sales for the most underperforming product by 40% by developing helpful and instructional material for prospects.
  • Created and edited sales materials, scripts, and technical documents for accuracy and consistency.

Here’s what’s done right:

  • Shows transferable skills and achievements.
  • Highlights only the parts from the experience that are related to the new role.

While the above example doesn’t talk about product descriptions or ads, communication materials and sales scripts do show that the candidate can write.

So, for a copywriting position, it’s going to be relevant and worth mentioning.

Now, compare that to the career change work experience below:

  • Cold-emailed 100+ prospects daily.
  • Closed 14+ deals in 2019 so far.
  • Hit and exceeded company KPIs for the past 2 years in a row.

Sure, this example is good. But only if the candidate is applying for a sales job.

For copywriting, though, none of the skills mentioned are going to come in handy.

So, when listing previous job positions, you should focus only on what’s relevant.

job search masterclass novoresume

Now that you know how to properly list work experience, let’s move on to the next section: Education.

Make Your Education Section Shine

Your education section is going to be an important requirement for just about any position above entry-level.

Listing education on your resume is pretty straightforward.

All you have to do is list your latest educational entry (e.g. college degree), and then include all the important stuff below it.

For example, you can include things like:

  • Name of degree (Minor - optional): e.g. B.A. International Business Administration.
  • Name of educational institution: e.g. University of Groningen.
  • Years attended: e.g. 2015 - 2019.
  • Location of the program (optional): e.g. Groningen, Netherlands.
  • GPA (optional): 3.84 (only include if you excelled).
  • Courses that are relevant to the job (optional): e.g. Advanced Business Finances.
  • Exchange programs (optional): e.g. exchange program in Florida, U.S.

Here’s what the full listing for this educational entry might look like:

career change education on resume

You might be wondering, what if I don’t have the right education for the job? Maybe, you have an M.A. in Philosophy, but you’re applying for a job in marketing. Do you still list it?

The answer is a definite yes.

Even if the degree is not relevant at all, it still shows that you’re passionate about learning and education.

In some cases, you might even be able to show off some transferable skills with your degree.

Let’s say, for example, you have a B.A. in English Literature , and you’re applying for a job in marketing. 

You could stress on how your degree gave you amazing writing skills (a must-have for most marketing roles), like so:

B.A. in English Literature.

University XYZ - 2014-2018

  • Excelled in creative writing courses
  • Part-time as a reporter for the university website

PS - Do you still have some questions on how to list your education section? Maybe you’re wondering what else you can include? Check out our full guide on how to list education on a resume with 13+ real-life examples.

Done with your education section? Awesome!

This brings us to the next section on your career change resume.

How (and Why) to List Skills On a Career Change Resume

skills on career change resume

When it comes to the skills section, what most recruiters want to know is if you can actually do what the job ad asks for.

And like with the other sections till now, relevance is key.

You should only ever list skills that are appropriate to the job you’re applying for.

To find out what’s relevant, start by scanning the job listing.

Most job ads usually include a list of requirements or skills they expect for a good candidate to have.

So, all you have to do is mention those exact skills on your resume.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Career Change Resume Skills Example

Assuming the job ad is for a junior front-end developer who has:

  • 2-4 Years of professional experience using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.
  • Up to 1 years of visual design experience focusing on strong UX/UI.
  • Good communication skills and team-player

You’d want to list the following skills:

  • Communication Skills
  • Team-Player

So, all you have to do is mention these skills, and you’re good to go!

  • Not sure which skills are a must-have for your role? Check out our complete list of all must-have skills for any given field or position!

Showing Career Certifications on a Resume

When you’re switching careers, certifications are an amazing way to show you’re serious about your craft.

This shows you’re willing to put in the work and that you’ve already taken the first steps.

When listing certifications though, make sure they’re relevant to your field.

For a marketing role, here’s what that might look like:

  • HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified, 2019.
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification, 2018.
  • SEMrush Content Marketing Toolkit Course, 2018.

And here’s an example done wrong:

  • TechCamp Python Bootcamp, 2019.
  • Udemy JavaScript 101 Course.

For a marketing role, those certificates are completely irrelevant and aren’t even in the same field.

While they might be impressive on their own, that doesn’t mean they make you a better marketer.

Listing Personal Projects

Another great way to show that you’re the right person for the job is to list personal projects.

This can be just about anything:

  • Founding a sports team in university
  • Project you did for business class
  • A Part-time online store you created on Etsy
  • Passion-project for wood-working
  • And whatever else you love (that’s relevant for your new career)

Pretty much anything that can make up for your lack of experience in the field counts.

But of course, keep in mind that your projects should be relevant to your new job.

Getting into coding? Here’s what your projects section could look like...

personal projects in career change resume

Make sure to stick to relevant projects, though.

The HR manager cares about your CODING experience, not about the fact that you started a basketball team in college.

Now, compare that to:

  • Excelled in Anthropology and Archaeology classes at University X.
  • Self-taught knitting pro.

You shouldn’t list projects just for the sake of standing out or filling up space. 

The more irrelevant information you mention in your resume, the more likely it is for the recruiter to accidentally skip out on all your must-have sections.

  • Still have some space on your resume? You can also include the hobbies & interests section. Check out our guide to learn how (and why)!

How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter

Done with your resume?

But wait, before you get too excited - you’re still not done.

You need to back up your resume with a career change cover letter.

And no - it’s not like the usual cover letter you’re used to writing. 

When you’re switching careers, you want to use your cover letter to highlight WHY you’re switching fields and WHY your skills are a good match for the new role.

To do this, make sure you bring up a ton of examples and call out any key statistics or measurable results to draw upon, if possible.

To help you craft the best career change cover letter, check out the example below:

career change cover letter sample

Here’s what’s done right with this cover letter:

  • Addresses the reader (i.e. “Dear Doris” or if you can’t find their name, “To Whom it May Concern.”).
  • Makes it clear they want to transition into a different career (from marketing and retail sales into public relations in this case).
  • Shows they’ve done the research and the letter is tailored to the company's products and brand.
  • Provides specific examples and achievements (“raised more than $ 10,000 for the event.”).
  • Ends on a confident note and provides a call-to-action (and where to contact them).

Think your cover letter game is lacking? Check out our complete, step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter.

If you're thinking about a career change, and want to join a community of global professionals who are also re-designing and reframing their careers, then consider Unsettled’s Lifestyle Incubator.

Unsettled’s Lifestyle Incubator program is a 4-week highly interactive “virtual retreat” for professionals seeking to redefine their career trajectory and be more intentional about designing their next steps.

Through original workshops, weekly live sessions, practical tools, frameworks and peer-to-peer conversations with a global and diverse community of professionals, they will help you identify the core tensions between the lifestyle you want and the career trajectory that aligns your values, interests, and skills.

Key Takeaways

To recap, going through a mid-career transition probably sounds intimidating. 

But if you craft your career change resume focusing on transferable skills and experience - then you’re good to go!

Just make sure you follow these main key tips while working on your resume:

  • Use the combination resume format to highlight your transferable skills and work experience.
  • Include all the essential career change resume sections - contact information , resume objective or summary , skill summary , work experience , soft and technical skills , certifications and personal projects.
  • And while doing so, highlight only what’s relevant to your new position.
  • Finally, make sure you attach a tailored cover letter to your resume and mention WHY you’re switching fields and what unique skills you’re bringing with you.

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you land your dream job, every step of the way. Be sure to check out our career blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice and more actionable tips.

Suggested Reading:

  • How to Get Your Resume Layout Right [3 Free Templates]
  • How to Write an ATS Resume
  • 20+ One-Page Resume Templates [Free Download]

cookies image

To provide a safer experience, the best content and great communication, we use cookies. Learn how we use them for non-authenticated users.

Protect your data

This site uses cookies and related technologies for site operation, and analytics as described in our Privacy Policy . You may choose to consent to our use of these technologies, reject non-essential technologies, or further manage your preferences.

  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • Make the Perfect Resume For a...

Make the Perfect Resume For a Career Change

10 min read · Updated on May 09, 2023

Ken Chase

Before you start pursuing a career change, make sure that your resume is ready to play its part

According to various studies, the average American holds many different jobs throughout their career. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that Americans born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of more than 12 jobs during their working years. Gone are the days when people worked for the same employer for their entire career! As a result, you should expect that you'll need to make at least one career change between now and your eventual retirement.

In this post, we'll look at some of the steps you should take before making a career change and examine the important role that your resume can play in helping you to successfully make that switch. We'll also provide some tips that you can use to create the perfect resume to convince prospective employers to meet with you and consider you for their open positions.

Are you ready for a career change?

There are many reasons why people choose to change careers. For example, you might find yourself in a job that doesn't really fit your career goals. Or maybe your workplace has become toxic over time, and you just need to find a new and more positive environment. Whatever your reasons, only you will know when you're ready to move on to that next stage in your career. Making the decision to switch careers is only the first step, though. You also need to figure out what type of career change you need.

1.      Do some serious self-reflection

Before you make any serious change, do some serious self-reflection and assess your goals and aspirations. What type of work best fits your skill set and aligns with how you see yourself as an employee? How much money do you need to meet your needs and feel some sense of satisfaction? What type of work environment do you prefer? Check out our great post on career assessments to learn more:  Can a Career Assessment Help You Figure out Your Future?

2.      Make sure you've researched your options

You also need to do your homework to ensure that you're picking the right career path before you make that change. Get online and start researching everything you can find about your desired job and the industry. Read industry articles, news reports, and other information to ensure that you're up to speed on advancements in the sector. You should also consider talking to others in the industry, especially those who are already doing the type of work you want to pursue.

As you consider these things, think about some of the best jobs for a career change.  Lifetime earning potential may be key considerations if you're thinking about a career change at 30 or 40 years old. If you're considering a  career change at 50 , you might want to look at some of the fastest-growing careers that might offer quicker advancement. Older workers will also want to consider how  ageism might impact their job search so that they can counter it before it occurs.

3.      Determine whether you have the experience and skills you need

Take a hard and honest look at your own skills and experience. Do you have the transferrable skills needed to perform the job you want? Do you have at least some relevant experience that can convey your qualifications to a potential employer? Are there  skills that you need to acquire before you'll feel confident pursuing a new job?

4.      Create a plan

Don't make any concrete career chance decisions until you have a plan in place to help you to reach your goal. Make sure that this plan is a step-by-step roadmap that sets specific micro and macro goals to help you move toward your career objective. Be sure to include time estimates and metrics that you can use to measure your progress and hold yourself accountable.

Why you need to update your resume

When you are finally ready to begin that career change, the next step is to make sure that you have a compelling resume that reflects your qualifications and skills. Don't make the same mistake that so many job seekers make and think that you can simply continue to use your existing resume. 

That could be disastrous to your prospects, since that old resume won't be tailored to fit your new career goal. It likely won't focus on the transferrable skills you need to perform a different type of job, and probably includes experience and other information that has no direct relevance to your desired position.

With that in mind, we've compiled some simple tips that you can use to update your resume and ensure that it's suitable for use in your career change and job search.

Tips to help you to create the perfect career change resume

Before we get started, it's vital to understand that a career change resume is going to look a little different than your typical resume. As a result, the process that you use to craft that resume is going to be a little different too. That's why we've compiled some tips that you can use to create a compelling narrative that can increase your chances of using your resume to secure an interview. As you might expect, a good career change resume needs to demonstrate that you're qualified for the position, even though your experience may not be directly relevant to that job.

Use a hybrid resume format

There are three main resume formats that you can choose for any resume: the chronological format that highlights your work experience, starting from the most recent job, the functional resume that focuses on your skills and achievements (often a necessary choice for candidates who have no work experience), and the hybrid format which combines both options. When you're switching careers and relying on transferrable skills and achievements, that hybrid option is often the best choice.

By using the hybrid format for your resume, you can focus the hiring manager's attention on your qualifications at the beginning of the resume. That way, the reader can quickly see all your relevant attributes, including transferrable abilities that match the position's needs. 

Create a compelling resume summary

The old objective statement has gone out of fashion - and for good reason. Candidates who stated their objectives were usually focused on their own needs rather than those of the company. The more fashionable resume summary statement reads like a sales elevator pitch. It is a brief, two or three sentence summary that highlights your background, experience, notable skills, and major achievements. It's a great way to quickly showcase the value that you offer as a potential hire.

Your summary may include reference to the fact that you're seeking a career change. Follow that by highlighting relevant experience that speaks directly to the qualifications needed for the position you're seeking. Then, include mention of the key transferable skills you bring to the table, as well as an attention-grabbing achievement that shows your value. The following template shows an example of how this can be done:

Former [Previous or current job title] seeking a [job title you are seeking] position. Proven track record of success, using [list most relevant transferable skills] abilities to provide consistent value for employers. Recently [cite major recent achievement, using action verbs and measurable value provided to company or customers].

Focus on transferable skills

If you're not sure what transferable skills you might have, take the time to research those needed for the position you want. Since most transferable skills tend to be soft skills, chances are that you possess at least some skills the company will want to see. By placing your transferable skills right below your summary, you can draw the reader's attention to your suitability before they ever get to your work experience.

Wherever possible, you should make sure that you include skills listed in the job description. When you have them, be sure to use the posting's keywords in your resume too. That will help to ensure that the  applicant tracking system recognizes your skills. Be sure to include relevant hard skills, as well as any that you're in the process of developing. For instance, if you're taking classes to learn project management analytics, include mention of your studies.

To identify your transferable skills, think about all of the soft skills that you possess that could benefit you in a new career. Abilities like communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and effective customer service are needed in almost every profession. By examining the job description, you should be able to get a good idea about which of your soft skills can provide value to a specific job role and employer.

Tailor your work experience

When you're trying to switch careers, it's likely that your current resume's work experience section won't be tailored to showcase your qualifications for the new job. That shouldn't be a problem, though, if you know how to revise that section to ensure that it focuses on your key transferable skills. To do this the right way, you simply modify your bullet points to ensure that you highlight those skills. For example, if you want to convey your communication and problem-solving skills, you might include something like this:

  • Led successful search for new invoicing solution, facilitating communication between multiple departments to implement processes that reduced labor involvement by 35%, resulting in an average 2-day reduction in invoice turnaround times
  • Implemented new outreach and donor management systems to address 20% decline in donor support, reversing the decline and increasing donor contributions by 31% in the first quarter

No matter what each previous job entailed, make sure that you focus your bullet points on relevant skills you'll need to land your desired job. Even more importantly, make sure that you include those measurable results that will enable the hiring manager to see just how valuable you might be if they hire you for their team.

Highlight any relevant education

Since you may not have the work experience a hiring manager might be looking for, you'll need to bolster your transferable skill list by also including relevant coursework, training, or certifications. If you lack any relevant education and feel as though your resume could benefit from those qualifications, you might want to consider getting some online training or a new certification.

Don't forget to include related projects

One other way that you can highlight relevant experience is to include any  projects that demonstrate the skills you need for the job. For example, if you were involved in the development of your employer's customer service app, listing that achievement could be a great way to showcase some of your more relevant teamwork, problem-solving, and collaboration skills.

Include a career change cover letter

Don't forget to create a tailored career change cover letter that explains your transition. Of course, you should create a cover letter for every resume you submit, but it could be especially important when you're trying to switch careers. Use that cover letter to focus on your best qualifications and try to convey how your skills and experience have prepared you for your new career.

Like most people, you will probably switch jobs and career directions several times over the course of your life – and each time, you'll need to ensure that you have the right resume to successfully make that career change. By focusing on your transferable skills and knowing how to highlight the right kind of experience, you can increase your chances of landing the interview and job offers you need.

Get your  free resume review today to ensure that your resume presents the compelling narrative you need for a successful career change!

Recommended reading:

How to Include Relevant Coursework on a Resume (with Examples)

How to Write a Targeted Resume That Lands You an Interview

How to Write a Resume Outline that Can Simplify the Resume Creation Process

Related Articles:

Top 5 Resume Strategies for Career Shifters - Get Hired!

TopResume on SkimmThis: New Year, New Resume

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?

See how your resume stacks up.

Career Advice Newsletter

Our experts gather the best career & resume tips weekly. Delivered weekly, always free.

Thanks! Career advice is on its way.

Share this article:

Let's stay in touch.

Subscribe today to get job tips and career advice that will come in handy.

Your information is secure. Please read our privacy policy for more information.

15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

Avatar image

In This Guide:

Battle-tested tips on writing a career change resume, writing your career change resume.

Resume image 1

Quick Answer: "Crafting a career change resume can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be! Here are 15 tips to help make your resume stand out. Identify transferable skills

Career change happens to most of us at some point in our lives. In fact, the single-career trajectory is becoming less and less common . Some of the greatest anxieties surrounding career change centers around the process – how do I get an interview, what does my resume need to look like, what skills do I need?

Below, we’ve analyzed the career change of our real users ( Sam , Marcellus, Eric , and Steffany ) to provide top tips on how to craft your career change resume.

Upload & Check Your Resume

Drop your resume here or choose a file . PDF & DOCX only. Max 2MB file size.

1. Identify and get creative with your transferable skills

If you’re switching jobs, transferable skills are your new BFF.

Soft skills are obvious candidates here, but you can also find hard or job-specific skills that are useful for your current and would-be line of work.

Find five to 10 job ads in your chosen line of work then highlight the skills and qualifications required. Compile all the stuff you highlighted in a separate file.

Next, review your current resume and highlight all the skills, work experience, and achievements that are also relevant to your new target role.

Some of these may be obvious, while some are not. For instance, if you’re in sales and moving to copywriting, skills in market research are obviously transferable.

Don’t be afraid to get creative.

As a lawyer, for instance, you have transferable skills for roles in writing, teaching, and even sales.

Lawyers can be good proposal writers because of their research and impeccable writing skills.

They can also be good salespeople because of their ability to tell a compelling story and come up with good rebuttals.

Avoid overreach in your career change resume though.

Helping your cousin with his math homework doesn’t make you a qualified or licensed teacher.

Although, it’s reasonable to say that you have a good grasp of mathematics and knowledge in engaging young kids.

2. Use a hybrid format for your career change resume

Most resumes use the reverse-chronological format. Your contact information is at the top, followed by a summary and your employment history.

Starting with your current or most recent position and walking backward through time, this format plainly shows recruiters exactly where you’ve been.

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford or are lucky enough to stay in the same company for 10, 15, or even 20 years.

For these candidates, a linear trip down their professional memory lane isn’t the best way to explain their career trajectory.

A combination or hybrid format is your ally in this situation because it shows your transferable skills first followed by relevant work experience.

Check out Enhancv’s resume builder to see how you can create a hybrid resume that will highlight your skills.

We’ll discuss how to write relevant work experience for a career change resume in a bit.

3. Show yourself

It can be difficult for recruiters to generalize your previous experience in unrelated fields to the position you’re looking for.

While highlighting transferable skills and determination is important, recruiters need to see who you are to determine if you fit the company and industry culture.

Sam used her resume to highlight books that she loves, her hobbies, and even some information on her cat. This piqued recruiters’ interest at Spotify and sparked conversations which ultimately demonstrated her culture fit and helped her stand out.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

Changing industries and making a career change takes courage (even for people in the military). This courage needs to be reflected in your resume to show recruiters that you have what it takes to navigate the difficulties of the new sector you wish to enter.

Marcellus switched industries back in the 90s from working in the military to network engineering (a famously difficult career change). Since then, he has kept boldness in the veins of his resume.

Recruiters at Verizon Digitial Media Services saw this as he mentioned obtaining a patent in his resume – something that takes a lot of dedication and motivation.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

5. Face the change head-on

Often, we want to conceal the fact that this will be our first exposure to a certain field-of-work. This can lead to overcompensating at every turn and forcing experience to fit the vacancy where it really doesn’t.

Facing the reality of your career change head-on and explaining why you’re determined to make it a success is the way to go.

Steffany did this by acknowledging her career change in the objective of her resume . This isn’t a weakness for her, it’s something she thrives on.

It’s evident that her mission is to make her career change a success that got her a spot at IE Business School.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

6. Your resume is your story

Your resume is your conversation starter with the recruiter. With this in mind, it’s important that the recruiter gets an understanding of exactly what you have been doing and what you want to be doing in this career change.

Acknowledging the reasons you’re making the move will answer questions you know the recruiter will have in their mind already.

Eric did this by including his Approach in his resume as he transitioned from musical performance to working at SideWagon

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

7. Research into your new career

There’s a certain expertise that comes along with being in a field for some time. With moving into that field, that expertise is something you’re lacking.

Researching into your new career is best for understanding the language used, expectations of employees, trends in the field and more.

Doing this also ensures you’re updated and familiar with the jargon in your chosen field.

For accountants, AP means accounts payable. If you’re switching to writing though, that now means AP style or Associated Press style writing. For those in IT, AP means access point.

Using the jargon in your chosen industry shows that you’re not an outsider so don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some on your career change resume.

Sam made new connections through Meetups (she used the tool Meetup to easily check the best events near her), communities like Lesbians Who Tech, and events at tech firms. This helped her tailor her resume to fit into the tech world after working in banking for so long.

8. Take advantage of your relevant education and certifications

Your education might be more in line with your original field, but that doesn’t mean all your academic units are irrelevant.

General education units and elective classes you took might be relevant for your new role. Psychology classes, for instance, will be useful for those switching to HR, management, or training fields.

In this case, you should also include relevant course units to your education section. You can even mention clubs you joined and the work you did for that group.

Listing relevant certifications also adds to your credibility. It shows that you took the time to learn about the new field that you want to enter.

Here’s a good example of an education section for someone who wants to switch into project management:

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

Check out our collection of resume examples for education and course sections on different industries.

9. Write a skills summary

A skills summary is a must-have for any career change resume because it’s one way to prove that you’re a capable candidate even if you’re applying for a role totally different from your current job title.

Use this space to write about the transferable skills you listed in tip #1, including both soft skills and job-specific skills common to your current and would-be job.

Here’s an example used for a network engineer’s resume:

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

But don’t you think it can be used for a career change resume in sales or business development , too?

PRO TIP: Prove your competence in these skills by adding quantifiable achievements.

Communication, organization, and time-management skills are just a few of the soft-skills you can quantify by asking the question “ How many?” when thinking about your tasks.

Visit our library for more visually appealing resume templates with a skills section.

Examples of quantified skills for a career change resume :

  • Organization : Organize and follow-up with 15 leads that contacted us through our website for a quote
  • Time management: Completed sales presentation for major client 1 week ahead of schedule

10. Claim achievements you’ve helped with using the right keywords

You may not have direct job experience in your new field but there’s a huge chance that you’ve helped colleagues with those jobs.

In this scenario, you can still claim credit for the achievements, as long as your words can’t be construed as claiming sole responsibility for said achievements.

In the example below, using “Collaborate” instead of “Led” or “Supervised” makes it clear that you had help.

Example : Collaborated with the HR team in creating the brochure and company presentation for a roadshow that yielded 15 new hires from top universities.

Even if you just created the brochure or you proofread the slide’s content, this would make for a good bullet point for someone who wants to transfer to HR-related work.

11. Focus your work experience on what you want to do

First off, trim your work experience to only include tasks and achievements related to your desired line of work.

Now you might think that doing so will make your resume look bare.

Well, keeping the old irrelevant achievements from your past job won’t help your application anyway.

Keeping them will make you look experienced, alright….

Experienced in the wrong field!

Let’s say you’re switching from copywriting to real estate.

Ask yourself, what do these roles have in common?

Both copywriters and real estate agents need good research skills to suss out what their market wants.

Both also require good written skills. For real estate agents, good writing skills translate to good offer write-ups.

For copywriters, this means good headlines, slogans, etc.

Focus on the common threads and write how you used those skills in your work history.

The work experience below is for an HR manager but as you can see from the bullets written, it can also work for a school administrator, lead trainer, or account manager because of the focus on creating programs and training other coaches or trainers.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

12. Develop an eye-catching career change resume

Recruiters go through hundreds of resumes in a day. Resumes that weave aesthetics in with high-quality content are more likely to catch their attention.

This was something Sam had to think about when moving into Tech as her banking experience may have come across as boring and drawn-out. Using carefully selected graphics on her resume helped her stand out and entice the recruiter at Spotify.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

13. Utilize volunteering experience

Volunteering experience can be used to show the recruiter you’re capable of working outside of your traditional field. It also demonstrates your dedication to the things you care about.

Including volunteering projects not only provides the recruiter a reference of the versatility but also proof that things you’ve chosen to pursue (i.e., a career change) are things you’re successful at.

Steffany went one step further with this and included her volunteering as her “Global Impact”.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

14. Diversify your achievements

Much like the variability you can show in your volunteering work, it’s also important to show diversity in your achievements.

Include a variety of achievements that highlight different aspects of your work, experience, and life. This way, the recruiter will have more evidence to believe you’re not stuck in the pigeonhole of your previous sector.

Eric included very different achievements in his Most Proud Of section. Here, he highlighted his professional accomplishments of being the Youngest Influencer employed by Mercedes-Benz, but also his personal achievement of backpacking.

Enhancv 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

15. Have your resume reviewed

You may have lots of experience writing a resume for working Retail, but you don’t have experience writing a resume for working in Tech.

Recognizing this venture as new territory and reaching out to those in the field to review your resume is one of the last few steps you should take.

This way, you can gain insight into how your resume is perceived by others and they can notice any mistakes you might have missed.

To do this, you can utilize the built-in referral link in Enhancv’s platform.

Bonus Tip: Get your resume to the right people

There’s no use in creating the perfect career change resume only for it to sit on your shelf.

Ensuring your resume gets to the right people is the final step you should take on your career change journey.

To get your resume to the right people you can:

  • Attend careers fairs
  • Apply directly to the company online
  • Ask to come into the firm to learn more about their business and introduce yourself
  • Attend Meetups

There are a few things you want to accomplish with your career change resume.

Like any other job, you need to answer the job description and check as many boxes before you get the interview. Applying the above tips will have you on the right track to finding your next gig – no matter how different or alike it is to your current role.

Author image

  • Resume Guides

3 Steps To Write A Killer eCommerce Resume

How to list an associate degree on resume, how to announce your job search on linkedin, how to write a cover letter for a job with no experience in that field, how to write responding to recruiter email [templates included], how to write cold emails for job opportunities.

  • Create Resume
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Preferences
  • Resume Examples
  • Resume Templates
  • AI Resume Builder
  • Resume Summary Generator
  • Resume Formats
  • Resume Checker
  • Resume Skills
  • How to Write a Resume
  • Modern Resume Templates
  • Simple Resume Templates
  • Cover Letter Builder
  • Cover Letter Examples
  • Cover Letter Templates
  • Cover Letter Formats
  • How to Write a Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter Guides
  • Job Interview Guides
  • Job Interview Questions
  • Career Resources
  • Meet our customers
  • Career resources
  • English (UK)
  • French (FR)
  • German (DE)
  • Spanish (ES)
  • Swedish (SE)

© 2024 . All rights reserved.

Made with love by people who care.

  • Resume Writing
  • Resume Examples
  • Cover Letter
  • Remote Work
  • Famous Resumes
  • Try Kickresume

How to Write a Resume If You’re Changing Careers in 2024 (+Example)

  • Kaja Jurcisinova , 
  • Updated January 16, 2024 6 min read

Changing careers is both scary and exciting. While you're happy about starting a new adventure, you may also wonder where to begin. Well, updating and tailoring your resume is always the best start for a career change. 

At first, the prospect of starting from scratch all over again may seem daunting. But remember that you're not alone in this. People change careers all the time for all kinds of reasons, and they do so successfully. 

What's more, you won't really have to start from scratch, will you? After all, now you have all the skills you've acquired during your career up until now. You just need to be able to demonstrate that you can also make use of them in your new professional path. 

So if you're among those who are brave enough for a career change , we've got tips and advice for how to write about your skills and abilities in your resume so you can land a job in a new field.

Table of Contents

Click on a section to skip

Are you ready for a career change? 

1. choose the right resume format, 2. open strong with a resume objective, 3. emphasize transferable skills, 4. make your past work experience relevant, key takeaways: career change resume.

First of all, are you really sure that you're ready for a career change? Or are you just temporarily fed up and rather than a new professional calling, you need a nice long vacation (or a sabbatical )? 

There are some “signs” that can help you determine it.

Take a look at these four common reasons why people decide to make a career change :

  • Low career satisfaction. There's nothing really wrong with your workplace, but you just know that the job you do now isn't your calling. 
  • Low salary. Half of the respondents would be willing to change a job if they were offered a higher salary, according to a FlexJobs survey . And you may be among them. After all, a good salary can easily make you feel satisfied in a position that you otherwise wouldn't consider staying in long-term.  
  • Bad work-life balance. Do you have enough time for family, friends, and hobbies? Or do you have to work constant overtime and long weekends? We should work to live and not the other way around, right? 
  • Bad workplace relationships. There's a difference between not being friends with your colleagues, and dreading coming to the office every morning because of that one mean colleague, or a rude boss.

Are any of these reasons on your list as well? If yes, it truly may be the right time to move on. 

Here's how to do that:

Introduce yourself with a BANG!

Create a new resume for your new career right now.

Once you've truly made up your mind about changing careers, it's time to take concrete steps. 

In this case, you should start by tailoring your existing resume to the needs of your newly chosen career path.

Most likely, you'll have to re-arrange your resume sections in such a manner that you'll be able to make your transferable skills shine through and push less important information towards the same end of the document.

What will help you do this is choosing the most appropriate resume format . 

Generally, there are three common resume formats: 

  • Chronological resume format. This is the standard type of the resume. The work history is the primary section of this resume format. Simply list your current/most recent job first and then continue in reverse-chronological order.
  • Functional resume format. This format lets you put more emphasis on your skills and most important accomplishments. The reverse-chronological list of your work experience is seen as less important. Place it at the bottom of your resume and describe it in less detail.
  • Combination resume format. The combination of the previous two types. You still want to place your work experience below skills and accomplishments, but you describe it in bigger detail (as you would in the chronological resume).

At the end of the day, the functional (or the combination) format is the best choice for your resume if you're switching careers.  

These two resume formats will let you highlight the skills you've developed over years of hard work, while putting less emphasis on the fact that they have been gained in a different industry. 

After you've successfully chosen the right resume format, let's see what else you can do to impress the recruiter at your new workplace. 

HR managers are busy people. They don't have much time to go through each resume in detail, as they receive dozens or hundreds of them. 

What's more, many of these resumes may come from people who, unlike you, have plenty of industry-related experience.

Because of that, you want to catch the hiring manager's attention from the get-go. This will allow you to take control of how they interpret your lack of experience .

Do so by putting a well-written resume objective at the very beginning of your resume .

However, your resume objective should do much more than just make the recruiter pay attention to the rest of your resume. 

A good resume objective can also help you to:

Explain your lack of experience in the industry

Address the elephant in the room before they even notice it's there. As a career changer, you need to take control of your story as soon as possible. Otherwise, they might see you simply as someone who lacks the necessary skills — and you know there's more to you than meets the eye. After all, you've gained success in your previous career. There's no reason why you should be less successful in the new one.

Communicate your motivations 

Why would anyone want to change careers? In the end, employers are going to ask you about your motivations at some point. The sooner you explain your "why", the better. Just like everybody else, hiring managers are more inclined to trust those candidates whose motivations they can understand and relate to. However, never say anything negative about your past employers . Rather articulate your reasons in a way that emphasizes future growth and opportunities.

Emphasize your transferable skills

You need to look for intersections between your old and new career. Take a look at the job advertisement and emphasize any points where the two overlap. Even if you're transitioning into a completely unrelated field, you should be able to fall back upon your soft skills like leadership, communication, or even your language skills.

Show that you've already embarked on a new career

Chances are you've already come in contact with the field you want to transition into. Ideally, you've even acquired several related hard skills. Emphasize them in your resume objective to show you're serious about pursuing your new career.

How does this advice translate to reality? Take a look at this resume sample below: 

Career Change Resume Example

This resume was written by our experienced resume writers specifically for this profession.

Now, let's take a closer look at the resume objective and see if it follows the guidelines we've just outlined:

Career Change Resume Objective Example

Certified Human Resources Associate aiming to leverage an extensive background in experience in digital marketing to develop a career in human resources.

Knowledge of multiple HR software programs, such as Bamboo HR and Zenefits.

Results-oriented and self-driven professional with exceptional communication and leadership skills, and the ability to adapt quickly to change.

Looking for a human resources-related job within a company that offers flexibility and opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.

Here's a rundown of the strongest points made in the resume objective above:

Pros: 

  • Engracia ' s background in digital marketing and her goal to transition to HR is clearly presented right at the beginning.
  • The focus is on relevant hard skills and certifications, such as being a certified human resources associate and proficiency in HR software such as Bamboo HR and Zenefits. 
  • The last two points highlight the soft skills and personal motivation for a career switch. Both of these bullet points are extremely important when trying to move into a different field, so if applicable, you should include them in your resume objective as well. 

Cons:  

  • The resume objective may be a little too long. If the text was divided using bullet points, it would have been easier to read. 
  • Placing the “Skills” section right after the resume objective instead of “Work experience” may have worked better for a career change resume.

This brings us to the next point.

As you probably know, there are two types of skills : hard skills and soft skills. 

  • Hard skills can be: computer skills, writing skills, management skills, technical skills.
  • Soft skills can be: leadership, time management, listening, problem-solving.

In your previous career, you probably gained (or perfected) skills from both categories. But unlike hard skills, most soft skills are easily transferable. 

This will come in handy once you're changing careers, as most of your earned hard skills may no longer be relevant. 

However, there's no need to worry. Despite the name, hard skills are usually easier to learn than soft skills. 

Also, 67 percent of HR managers said they'd hire a candidate with strong soft skills even if their technical abilities were lacking.

Career Coach Advice

“When re-positioning your work history for a role in a different industry, focus on describing how you used your soft skills and the results you achieved by applying them. Your soft skills will be the most transferable, and often transcend niche industry specific experience, making you attractive to hiring managers in other industries.”

Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, Accredited Career Coach and Founder of  Tribe and Seek

How should you include the transferable skills on your resume?

1. First, take a look at the job advertisement . Have you acquired any of the listed hard skills in your previous career? If your answer is yes, bingo! Make sure you include them in your resume.

2. Second, think of any soft skills that could be useful in your new career. Even in more technical jobs, dealing with people is a necessity. Because of that, leadership, negotiation, and communication skills are in high demand in every industry. If you have them, they for sure belong on your career change resume. 

3. Third, avoid buzzwords at any cost . Everybody is flexible. Everybody is hard-working . Today, it's hard to find a single person who's not an out-of-the-box thinker . Unless these words were used in the job advertisement you're responding to, don't use them. Rather focus on skills that are listed in the job ad or skills that are highly relevant for the specific job position.

3. Finally, complement your “ Skills ” section with a strong work experience section . Anyone can say they have leadership skills. But if you tell them about how you've already led a team in your previous job, they'll have one more reason to take you seriously.

Here's an example of a career change skills section:

Career Change Skills Section Example

Languages: Spanish, English, French

Computer skills: ActiveCampaign, Moz, Hubspot Marketing, BambooHR, Zenefits

Interpersonal skills: adaptability, communication skills, change management, leadership skills, negotiation skills, project management, team work, time management

So — what did Engracia do right here? 

First, she divided her many skills into various sub-sections. This always increases readability and can help you to draw attention to more important information that you want to highlight. 

Second, the hard skills that she has included are relevant to the HR field. Therefore, she's demonstrating that although she's never worked in the field before, she already possesses the abilities necessary for succeeding in it. 

Don't disregard your past accomplishments just because you've decided to transition into a different field. 

Your past work experience can say a lot about who you are and your work ethic. 

Let's take a look at the career change resume example from before and see how Engracia included her work experience:

Career Change Work Experience Example

Online Marketing Specialist 09/2017 – 11/2019 APPR Group, Inc., Barcelona, Spain

– Recruited, trained, and coordinated 5 summer marketing interns and maintained relevant documents and files. – Co-managed the annual digital marketing budget and completed detailed reports on the performance of existing online promotional campaigns. – Awarded employee of the month for completing all assigned tasks and projects ahead of schedule. Special recognition for team work and leadership abilities.

As you already know, Engracia sought to transition from digital marketing to HR. 

Because of that, she first mentioned how she recruited and onboarded summer interns in her previous position. This way, they demonstrated that they already know how to employ the skills necessary for the job they sought to transition into.

Additionally, Engracia was well-aware that HR involves plenty of administrative work. So, she didn't forget to mention that in her past position, she "maintained relevant documents and files" and "completed detailed reports" .

All that remained was to convince potential employers that she's dependable and has a way with people. She did that by including the fact that she was awarded an employee of the month for timeliness and teamwork. 

Pro tip: Ultimately, you want to make use of your past experience to show that you’re already familiar with some aspects of the new industry and that you’re a reliable and proactive employee who’s eager to learn. 

Now that we've covered the basics, let's see the final things that you can do to ensure that your career change resume will land you an interview: 

  • It's a good idea to do some work related to your new career before actually transitioning into it. Attend related courses, take a part-time job, or try job shadowing and volunteering in the desired field. Then include it in your resume. 
  • A good place to start are these 30+ best online courses to get a job which include courses provided for free by institutions like MIT, Harvard University or top companies like IBM (e.g. AI Chatbots without Programming course by IBM ).
  • Tailor each resume to a specific job opening. Sending a generic resume rarely leads to success. 
  • Double-check, proofread , and avoid typos. 
  • Use bold text. Highlight any essential and the most impressive parts of your resume information that needs to get noticed by the recruiter. 
  • Be critical when deciding what's relevant. You don't have to include everything that you've ever done. Focus on the most relevant things and the biggest achievement of your past career. 

And that's it! If you'd like more general tips on how to write a resume, refer to our complete guide . 

Not a fan of writing?

Kickresume’s AI writer tool will write the first draft of your resume for you.

So, for a quick recap let's look at how to write a resume if you’re changing careers.

The functional resume format is the best choice for your resume if you're switching careers. It places your skills to the forefront and will, thus, let you highlight the skills you've developed over years of hard work, while putting less emphasis on the fact that they have been gained in a different industry. 

A well-written resume objective can help you 1.) explain your lack of experience in the industry, 2.) communicate your motivations, 3.) emphasise your transferable skills, and 4.) show that you've already embarked on a new career.

In your previous job, you probably gained both hard and soft skills. Lucky for you, unlike hard skills, most soft skills are easily transferable. This will come in handy once you're changing careers, as most of your earned hard skills may no longer be relevant. Hard skills are, however, easier to learn.

Highlight specific achievements, tasks, or experiences that demonstrate how your previous roles have prepared you for success in your new field. Connect the dots between your past and future roles to showcase your adaptability and the value you bring to the table in your career transition.

This article was recently updated. The original article was written by Martin Poduska in 2019.

Kaja Jurcisinova is a junior copywriter at Kickresume. Kaja completed her undergraduate degree in Art History at the University of St Andrews in 2018 and graduated with a Master’s in Arts and Culture from the University of Groningen in 2021. She was an intern at multiple cultural institutions across Europe, including the Dutch Museum Association in Amsterdam, the Matter of Art Biennale in Prague, and the European Cultural Centre in Venice. At the moment, she resides in Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland.

Related Posts

Microsoft resume: analysis of a cloud program manager’s resume hired by microsoft, 10+ accountant resume samples that’ll make your application count, share this article, join our newsletter.

Every month, we’ll send you resume advice, job search tips, career hacks and more in pithy, bite-sized chunks. Sounds good?

how to write a resume for a career change

  • See All Courses >
  • SUCCESS STORIES

how to write a resume for a career change

  • GET YOUR FREE LINKEDIN HEADLINE SCORE >>

how to write a resume for a career change

  • GET YOUR FREE RESUME SCORE >>

how to write a resume for a career change

  • GENERATE YOUR JOB-WINNING COVER LETTER >>

how to write a resume for a career change

  • FIND ANY CONTACT’S EMAIL ADDRESS >>

how to write a resume for a career change

  • ResyMatch.io Scan and score your resume vs. any target job.
  • ResyBuild.io Build a job-winning resume using proven templates and advice.
  • CoverBuild.io Have AI generate a personalized, job-winning cover letter in
  • HeadlineAnalyzer.io Transform your LinkedIn headline into a job-generating machine.
  • ResyBullet.io Scan, score, and upgrade your resume bullets.
  • Mailscoop.io Find anyone’s professional email address in seconds.
  • The Job Search Email Playbook Our 100+ page guide to writing job-winning emails.
  • Value Validation Project Starter Kit Everything you need to create a job-winning VVP.
  • No Experience, No Problem Learn how to change careers with no experience.
  • The Interview Preparation System A proven system for job-winning interview prep.
  • The LinkedIn Launch Formula A proven system for six-figure success on LinkedIn.
  • See All Blog Posts Check out all of our job search articles & posts.
  • HeadlineAnalyzer.io Scan your LinkedIn Headline and turn it into a job-generating machine.
  • LinkedIn Profile Optimization Our comprehensive guide to optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
  • LinkedIn Headlines Learn how to write a crazy-effective LinkedIn headline.
  • LinkedIn Profile Picture Learn how to create a job-winning LinkedIn profile picture.
  • LinkedIn About Section Write a job-winning About section (with examples!)
  • LinkedIn Cover Photos Learn how to create a job-winning LinkedIn cover photo.
  • GET YOUR FREE LINKEDIN HEADLINE SCORE >>
  • ResyMatch.io Scan your resume and turn it into a job-generating machine.
  • ResyBuild.io Build a beautiful, job-winning resume using recruiter-approved templates.
  • Resume Examples Check out example resumes for a range of job titles and industries.
  • How To Write A Resume Learn how to write a resume that actually wins job offers.
  • Resume Summaries Our guide on writing a job-winning resume summary.
  • Resume Tips & Action Words 175+ tips & examples to supercharge your resume.
  • GET YOUR FREE RESUME SCORE >>
  • CoverBuild.io Use our tool to generate a personalized, job-winning cover letter in
  • Cover Letter Examples Check out example cover letters for a range of job titles and industries.
  • How To Write A Cover Letter Learn how to write a cover letter that actually wins job offers.
  • Cover Letter Templates Check out our proven, job-winning cover letter templates.
  • Addressing A Cover Letter Learn how to start a cover letter the right way.
  • GENERATE YOUR JOB-WINNING COVER LETTER >>
  • Mailscoop.io A tool to help you find anyone’s professional email in seconds.
  • How To Get A Job Without Applying Online Our flagship guide for effective job searching in today’s market.
  • How To Network Our comprehensive guide on learning how to network.
  • Tips For Better Networking Emails 6 tips for writing networking emails that actually get results.
  • What To Ask In An Informational Interview 10 great questions to ask during a networking conversation.
  • FIND ANY CONTACT’S EMAIL ADDRESS >>
  • How To Prepare For Interviews Our proven preparation framework for turning more interviews into offers.
  • How To Create A Job-Winning Interview Presentation Learn our “silver bullet” Value Validation Project presentation strategy.
  • Interview Questions & Answer Examples Job-winning example answers for common interview questions.
  • What To Wear To An Interview A simple guide to dressing for the job you want.
  • How To Write A Job-Winning Thank You Note Learn how to write a post-interview thank you that wins job offers.

9 Proven Tips For A Career Change In 2024

how to write a resume for a career change

  • Pinterest 0

Thinking about a career change? You’re not alone.

You’ve probably heard about The Great Resignation , right? In 2022, a record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs each month, representing about 3% of the U.S. workforce.

The phenomenon, also known as the Big Quit , was referred to by economists as a pandemic-era trend. But recent data from Microsoft and LinkedIn is showing otherwise. According to the survey, nearly 50% of people are considering leaving their jobs in 2024.

That’s even more than The Great Resignation.

According to the research, high inflation and better labor market conditions are the main drivers for career changes.

But if you ask me, I would add other motivators to the equation: work-life balance, desired lifestyle, and simply working for a job you love. In some cases, changing roles or working for another company can do the trick here; but in others, it might require a whole different switch.

Whatever the case is for you, we’re here to help you take that first step and make this transition as smooth as possible!

In this article, I’ll share 9 proven steps that can help you make that shift. As usual, I recommend reading this piece from top to bottom – but you can skip to the sections of your interest below:

Step #1: Finding The Right People To Take Advice From

Step #2: getting foundational knowledge, step #3: creating a portfolio, step #4: creating a sandbox, step #5: volunteering, step #6: consulting, step #7:  documenting the journey, step #8: action-oriented education, step #9: packaging it all up.

Let’s get started!

When looking to make a shift, most of us turn to the same people looking for advice. They are usually friends, family, colleagues – even career services.

And while their advice may come from a good place, they aren’t always relevant or effective because many of these people aren’t making the same leap you are trying to.

So instead, you’ll want to go to the people who made a similar move.

Here’s how you can find them:

  • Make a list of 10 companies in your *current* industry
  • Make a list of 10 companies in your *target* industry
  • Run a LinkedIn search for the job title you’re aiming for
  • Click the “All Filters” button on the right hand side of the filter bar
  • In the “Past Companies” filter, add the 10 companies from your current industry
  • In the “Current Companies” filter, add the 10 companies from your target industry

Boom — now you have a list of people working in your target job title who successfully made the transition from your current industry to your new industry!

These people have been down the path and can point out mistakes to avoid, show you what strategies worked, and help you learn how to position yourself.

Pro Tip: Want to uncover more LinkedIn features and maximize your networking? Check out this article!

Start learning the basics of your new field. You can source the web for the top 3 introductory courses and dedicate one or two months to completing them.

But education alone doesn’t get you hired – results do.

This will give you the foundational knowledge to start a new project and get some tangible results.

Okay, so how do you get experience and showcase results in a new industry if no one will hire you?

The answer is simple: you create your own.

Want a job in social media? Start an account and grow the following.

Want a job in sales? Call up prospective customers, say you’re a “supporter” of the company, and sell them on your target company’s benefits.

Want a job in software engineering? Start building some apps.

Want a job in data science? Find some public data and use it to tell a compelling story.

You can make a great portfolio out of your own experience.

Now, I know you might be thinking: ” I don't know what to create or build”. You might feel like your target field isn't cut out for a portfolio. But the truth is,  anyone  can build a portfolio as long as they have:

  • Case studies:  And I'm not talking of a case you took ownership of. You can build cases around companies you would like to work for, inspiring projects you love, institutions you admire… the list goes on!
  • A platform to show your work:  It can be LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube…

Take the example from this guy called Callum Brich, who posted an amazing analysis on his Substack on how Kajabi could produce an estimated $286,560 monthly recurring revenue. He's not documenting his own experience — he's making a compelling case study and showing how, based on his analysis, the company could increase its revenue.

That’s how you show experience without traditional experience!

Set up a space where you can get hands-on with the tools you will actually be using in your new role.

For example: let’s say you are looking to take the leap into digital marketing.

You can set up your own website and start exploring strategies like SEO content writing, paid campaigns, social media marketing, and e-mail marketing.

This way, you’re creating the opportunity to test and trial what you’ve learned in the books (or, in most cases, the internet) and develop problem-solving skills.

Now it was time for the real deal.

Reach out to local businesses and offer them your services for free, with an out to cut ties at any time.

This is what’s going to give you real-life experiences – and testimonials.

After a while, you’ll be able to start charging for your services.

You can start by offering a low monthly retainer and use your volunteering case studies to get new clients.

Eventually, you will get to the point where you’ll be able to increase your rates as you help more clients, all while you’re expanding your experience and skills.

Share as you learn. Document your journey by creating content on the strategies you tested, mistakes you made, results you achieved with your tests, and of course, your big wins.

Not only will the writing help you cement what you learned, but it will also act as a “resume” where employers can see how you operate.

Take the example of  Taylor Hatfield , an Education Technology Specialist, who is doing an awesome job documenting and sharing her knowledge on LinkedIn. She recently posted a great guide on interactive panel purchasing:

As you grow into your new field, you’ll probably run into tasks you can’t solve.

So, keep learning – even if you have to step out of your ideal scope of work to get things done.

Take a new course, read a book, connect with people in the industry, and ask them for advice.

Action refines education!

Take all of that experience you created for yourself and pack it up into your resume and LinkedIn profile. You can also talk about your experience during your interviews!

Final Thoughts On Carrer Change

Changing careers can seem like an unrealistic approach at first – especially if you already have years of traditional experience in another field.

And I know you might wonder: “It will take me X amount of time to make the shift, so should I even bother?”

Well, think about it: this time will go by either way, won’t it?

A few months later, you can either be where you are now or have gone through all of the 9 steps above, with a job you love waiting for you at the end of the road.

how to write a resume for a career change

Paula Martins

Paula is Cultivated Culture's amazing Editor and Content Manager. Her background is in journalism and she's transitioned from roles in education, to tech, to finance, and more. She blends her journalism background with her job search experience to share advice aimed at helping people like you land jobs they love without applying online.

LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most Popular Posts

How To Write LinkedIn Headline With Examples

YOU’VE SEEN AUSTIN IN

how to write a resume for a career change

WHAT CAN I HELP WITH?

Cultivated Culture

Welcome Back To Cultivated Culture!

Log into your Cultivated Culture account using one of the options below:

Forgot your password? Click here to reset.

Need a free acount? Click Here To Sign Up

By logging in, you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Use , Privacy Policy , and agree to receive email updates.

One Free Account, Four Job-Winning Tools

Sign up for a free Cultivated Culture account and get access to all of our job search tools:

Your Bullet Score is:

Sign up for a free Cultivated Culture account to get the full breakdown of your bullet along with suggestions for improving it:

Sign Up To Save & Export Your Resume

Sign up to create, save, and export your resume and get access to our suite of job search tools!

Sign Up To Get More Free Email Searches

Create a free account to unlock more email searches and get access to all four of our job-winning tools:

Your Headline Score is:

Sign up for a free Cultivated Culture account to get the full breakdown of your headline along with suggestions for improving it:

Already have an acount? Click Here To Log In

We Just Need You To Verify Your Email.

We just emailed you a 6-digit code. Please check your email and enter it below.

Note: Your progress will not be saved until your email is verified. Closing this pop up or window might cause you to lose your progress.

Invalid Code

Choose one of the options below to get the verification code we sent you!

We'll need you to verify your email address before you're able to unlock free scans.

We'll need you to verify your email address before you're able to unlock free templates, saves, and exports.

We'll need you to verify your email address before you're able to unlock free email searches.

We sent a verification code to your email, all you have to do is paste that code here and submit to get full access!

Looks Like You Still Need To Verify Your Email Address!

Whoops! Looks like you still haven't verified your email address. We'll need you to do that before granting free, unlimited access to our tools.

If you can't find the original verification email, click the link below and we'll send a new one:

Sent! Please check your email.

Oops you've hit your credit limit..

Looks like you've used all 10 of your free credits for the month. Your credit limit will refresh in days. You can learn more about your credit limit here.

Want to stop worrying about credits?

Sign up for our Unlimited plan to get instance unlimited access to all of our jon search tools for one low price. Click below to learn more:

Go Unlimited!

Change plan.

Upgrade your plan to get unlimited access to all 5 of our offer-winning job search tools and 200 email searches / week:

Go Unlimited (& Save 10%)!

Upgrade to get unlimited access to our resume tools, 200 email searches / week, and 10% off our regular pricing thanks to your friend :

Your Unlimited plan comes with...

Unlimited access to all 5 of our resume tools

200 Mailscoop searches per week

No obligations - cancel any time

By clicking "Upgrade My Plan," you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

By clicking "Change Plan," you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Confirm Your Plan Change

Here is a summary of your plan change:

Current Plan:

Please note the following for plan changes:

Your new plan and rebill date will be effective immediately

The number above depict retail plan pricing, any adjustments or credits will be available in the Invoices section of your Billing tab

If you're moving to a lower cost plan, the difference will be credited to your account and applied towards your next payment

By clicking "Confirm Plan Change," you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Unlimited Plan Upgrade

Change payment method.

Promo code has been applied to your purchase!

Note: This is a monthly subscription, your card will be automatically charged every month until you cancel your plan.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

(C) 2024 Cultivated Culture

Note: You will not be charged for updating your credit card using this form. After your new card is added, you will be billed on the date of your next billing cycle.

Upgrade Complete!

You are officially a

Unlimited Member

Invoice Details

Paid Today:

Start Date:

Subscription:

Next Bill Date (Est.):

Note: This receipt and future invoices will be available in the Billing Tab of your Account Dashboard .

Do You Want To Secure Your Account?

Increase your account security with one of our multi-factor authentication options:

Choose An Authentication Method

Awesome! Let's make your account more secure.

Choose your preferred authentication method:

Text Message Authentication

Enter the phone number that you want to use to set up text-based authentication for your account:

Text Message Verification Code Sent!

Please check your phone for verification code and enter below:

Email Verification Code Sent!

Please check your email for verification code and enter below:

No problem, we'll skip this for now. Do you want us to remind you to secure your account?

It's great to have you. We just have a few questions so we can personalize your experience with our tools:

  • I haven't applied to any jobs yet and I am not sure where to start
  • I know what types of jobs I am looking for and I have started applying or I plan to start soon
  • I have been applying to jobs for 3 months or longer, but haven't gotten the results I'd hoped for
  • Get a job in the same industry I currently work in
  • Switch careers and get a job in a new industry
  • Get promoted at my current company
  • Improve my resume
  • Improve my cover letter
  • Enhance my LinkedIn presence
  • Find jobs that I am compatible with

how to write a resume for a career change

Exploring the 6 Different Types of Resumes

N avigating through the job market requires an impressive resume, one that highlights your skills, experience and achievements effectively. It's the initial step towards getting noticed by recruiters, and it often determines whether you'll move to the next stage of the hiring process.

The right resume format doesn't just present your qualifications but does so in a manner that aligns with your career goals and the specific job you're targeting.

This guide explores the different types of resumes and their unique features, helping you choose the format that best suits your professional profile.

Do I need a resume?

In the realm of job hunting, a resume is more than just a document — it's a marketing tool, a bridge that connects job seekers to potential employers. Its role is pivotal as it provides a concise and compelling snapshot of your professional journey. It encapsulates your work history, skills, accomplishments and unique qualities that make you an ideal candidate for the job.

Moreover, the importance of a well-structured resume is heightened due to the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in the recruitment process. These automated software applications streamline the hiring process for employers by filtering out resumes that don't meet specific criteria.

A poorly formatted resume, or one that doesn't include key terms relevant to the job description, may fail to make it past these systems. Hence, understanding different types of resumes and the strategic use of keywords are vital steps toward crafting an ATS-friendly resume that gets you closer to your dream job.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Writing the Perfect Resume

What different types of resumes exist?

While every resume shares the common goal of selling your professional abilities, not all resumes are the same. Each type has its unique structure, purpose and benefits.

Here are the different types of resumes:

1. Chronological resume

The chronological resume, or reverse chronological resume, is a time-tested format favored by many hiring managers. This format presents your work history in reverse chronological order, with the most recent job listed first and the rest following in descending order.

In a chronological resume, each job listing typically includes the job title, the company's name, the company's location and the dates of employment. Following this information, a list of job responsibilities and accomplishments is given in bullet points. This allows hiring managers to see at a glance not only where you've worked but also what you've achieved in those roles.

This format works particularly well for job seekers with a clear career progression in a single field without significant gaps in employment. It allows recruiters to quickly see the career trajectory and understand how the applicant's experience fits with the new role.

2. Functional resume

A functional resume, also known as a skills-based resume, places the focus on skills and competencies rather than work history. This type of resume usually begins with a summary of qualifications, followed by a list of skills and examples of their use in work or other settings.

The employment history is typically listed towards the end of the resume, often providing only a basic list of positions without detailed descriptions of each role.

This format can be particularly useful for job seekers with gaps in their employment history, those who are changing careers and have skills transferable to a new industry or recent graduates with limited work experience but possess relevant skills acquired through coursework, internships or extracurricular activities.

Related: How to Build a Better Resume in 4 Easy Steps

3. Combination resume

The combination resume, or hybrid resume, merges elements from both chronological and functional resumes. It typically begins with a section highlighting your skills and achievements. This is followed by a detailed chronological work history.

This format allows you to showcase your relevant skills and accomplishments at the top of the document, helping to catch the hiring manager's eye. Following this with a chronological listing of your employment history allows the recruiter to see your work trajectory and understand the context in which you've applied your skills.

The combination resume can be effective for job seekers with a solid employment history who want to change fields or those with a robust set of transferable skills and experiences across multiple sectors.

4. Targeted resume

A targeted resume is tailored specifically to a particular job posting. Instead of a generic resume sent to multiple employers, a targeted resume aligns your skills, experience and qualifications precisely with the job description. Each section of your resume, from the objective statement to the employment history, is customized to highlight why you are the perfect fit for the specific role.

This format can be more time-consuming to create as it requires tweaking your resume for every job application. However, it can pay off, especially when applying for jobs in highly competitive industries. A well-tailored resume can stand out among a sea of generic resumes and increase your chances of securing an interview.

5. Infographic resume

An infographic resume visually presents your career history and skills using charts, graphs, images and other graphic design elements. This format can make your resume stand out and show your creativity and innovative thinking.

Infographic resumes can be particularly effective in fields such as graphic design, marketing and other creative industries. However, it's essential to remember that some applicant tracking systems (ATS) may struggle to read and process these types of resumes, so if you're applying through an ATS, it's better to stick with a more traditional format.

6. Non-traditional resumes

Non-traditional resumes break away from the standard formats and allow for more creativity. These may include video resumes, LinkedIn resumes, digital portfolios, personal websites or social resumes.

Non-traditional resumes can demonstrate your skills in a way that traditional resumes may not, such as showcasing your video editing skills through a video resume or your web design skills through a personal website.

Just as with the infographic resume, if you're applying through an ATS, a more traditional resume format would be better. Non-traditional resumes are typically best when sent directly to a hiring manager or when you're working in a creative industry that values innovative presentation.

Each of these resume formats has its strengths and is best suited to specific situations. Carefully consider your career goals, work history and the needs of the job you're applying for when choosing your resume format.

What circumstances should you consider in resume writing?

Crafting a resume can sometimes present unique challenges based on personal circumstances. Here are a few special scenarios and how to handle them:

Writing a resume for a career change

If you're making a career change, your resume should highlight transferable skills and any relevant certifications. Although your work history might not be directly related to the new field, showcasing your adaptable skills can convince hiring managers of your suitability for the role.

Handling employment gaps

Employment gaps can often be a concern for job seekers. However, these can be managed strategically on a resume. Use the space to highlight any productive activities during the gap, such as volunteer work , courses or freelance projects.

What is a mini resume?

A mini resume is a brief summary of your top skills and career highlights. It's often used for networking purposes, perhaps on a business card or LinkedIn summary. It offers an at-a-glance overview of your professional qualifications.

Related: 7 Tips for Networking

What are some additional components of a job application?

Apart from a well-structured resume, a few more elements add to the strength of your job application:

Cover letter

A cover letter serves as an introduction and provides context to your resume. It allows you to elaborate on certain points in your resume and express your enthusiasm for the job.

Just like your resume, your cover letter should be tailored to the specific job you're applying for, focusing on how your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate.

The job title on your resume can significantly influence its appeal to hiring managers. It should accurately reflect your role and responsibilities while aligning with the industry norms. Misrepresenting a job title can be detrimental to your application and professional reputation.

ATS-friendly resumes

Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases from the job description into your resume can enhance its visibility in an applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS-friendly resumes are concise, straightforward and void of complex formatting, ensuring they can be read and understood by the system.

Related: 3 Ways an ATS Can Help Your Business Source the Top Hires

What are resume builders and resume templates?

With a plethora of resources available, creating an attractive and professional resume has never been easier. Resume builders are online tools that provide step-by-step guidance to generate a well-structured resume. They offer various templates, customization options and pre-written phrases to assist you in the process.

On the other hand, resume templates serve as a predesigned framework for your resume. They come in numerous styles and formats, allowing you to choose one that aligns with your personal taste and the industry's standards.

While these tools simplify the resume creation process, remember to personalize your resume and reflect your unique professional journey accurately. A tailored resume stands out more to hiring managers than a generic, cookie-cutter one.

What are some tips for effective resume writing?

No matter which resume format you choose, following certain writing tips can optimize your resume:

Highlight relevant experience

The most effective resume isn't necessarily the one that includes all your experiences but the one that strategically highlights the most relevant ones. Avoid detailing every job you've had and focus on the ones that matter to the job you're applying for.

Include a skills section

A well-crafted skills section can be a game-changer, particularly for functional or combination resumes. Here, include hard (technical) and soft skills relevant to the job. Be specific; instead of saying "good communicator," consider "experienced in public speaking and client presentations."

Use bullet points

Use bullet points for easy readability. They help break down information into digestible pieces, ensuring that key points don't get lost in dense paragraphs. Remember to write bullet points as complete sentences with periods at the end, following our client's style preference.

Include a resume summary or objective

The top of your resume should contain a summary or an objective, a brief snapshot of your qualifications. This section should be concise yet impactful, as it's likely the first thing a hiring manager will read.

Looking forward

Crafting the perfect resume is an evolving process that may require several drafts and iterations. While these different types of resumes and their corresponding tips provide a general guideline, remember that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. The most effective resume will be the one that best showcases your unique skills, experiences and career goals.

Always revisit and revise your resume for each job application, ensuring it aligns with the specific job requirements and expectations. With a well-structured, compelling resume, you're one step closer to securing that dream job.

Explore Entrepreneur.com for more insights and resources to guide your professional journey.

Exploring the 6 Different Types of Resumes

What should I consider when weighing a new career? Career change tips. Ask HR

Transitioning to a new field can be both exciting and challenging.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. tackles your human resources questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest HR professional society and author of "Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.”

Have a question? Submit it here .

Question: After 13 years in engineering, I’ve discovered a new passion in computer programming. I want to turn this hobby into my next career. However, my mechanical engineering degree is not necessarily relevant to computer programming. Should I invest the time to earn a new degree to get into the field I'm truly passionate about? – Freeman

Answer: After a successful career in engineering, finding a new passion in computer programming is commendable. Transitioning to a new field can be both exciting and challenging. Here are the key steps to consider when deciding if you should invest in earning a new degree to pursue your passion:

◾ Evaluate your skills. Assess the skills and knowledge you already have from your engineering background that might be transferable to computer programming. Analytical skills, problem-solving abilities and experience with technical projects can be invaluable in programming, for example.

◾ Research educational opportunities. Explore various educational programs tailored for career changers. Look for accelerated programs or boot camps offering intensive training over a shorter time frame. These programs often build on students' degrees and experience, potentially reducing the time required to earn a new qualification. Consider part-time, evening, weekend, or online courses that fit into your work schedule. This flexibility can help you transition without leaving your current job immediately.

◾ Assess financial and time investment. Review your financial situation to determine how much you can invest in further education. Look into scholarships, grants and other financial aid options. Your employer might also offer tuition reimbursement for continuing education, even if it’s in a different field. Check with your human resources department to see what opportunities are available.

◾ Practical experience and networking. Gain practical experience by working on personal projects, contributing to open-source projects, or taking on freelance work. This hands-on experience can be instrumental and sometimes even more valuable than formal education. Join programming communities, attend meetups and network with professionals in the field. Networking can open job opportunities and provide insights into what employers are looking for.

◾ Consider certification programs. Find certification programs specific to programming languages or technologies you’re interested in. Certifications can sometimes offer a quicker, more focused path to demonstrating your competence in programming.

◾ Understand the job market. Research the job market for computer programmers in your geographic area or the areas you’re willing to relocate to. Look at job postings to understand what qualifications employers are seeking and what the average salaries are. This can help you gauge whether investing in a new degree or other educational programs is worth it.

◾ Plan for transition. Be prepared for the possibility of starting at a lower level in your new field. This might mean a temporary pay cut, but with a strong background and the corresponding educational credentials, you can work your way up relatively quickly.

By carefully evaluating your situation, researching your options and planning your transition, you can determine whether to invest in a new degree or pursue other educational pathways. Your passion for computer programming, combined with a strategic approach to gaining the necessary skills and credentials, can lead you to a fulfilling new career.

I wish you great success in your transition!

Looking for a new job: Should I tell my current employer? Ask HR

I work as a logistics specialist and interact with various people. Unfortunately, I’m pretty introverted and find much of my work uncomfortable and draining. How can I reconcile my introversion with the interactive nature of my role? – Ping

Balancing your introversion with the interactive nature of your job is definitely possible with some strategic adjustments to how you work and live. Taking an intentional approach to your workday can turn your introversion from a hindrance into a superpower. Here are a few tips to help you reconcile your personality with your job’s demands:

  • Assess and adjust your schedule. Evaluate your calendar and see if you can replace some meetings with emails. While phone calls and face-to-face meetings are essential for relationship-building, some interactions are more efficiently addressed via written communication. Even eliminating one meeting per week can make a difference. Try to schedule 15-minute breaks between meetings to give yourself time to decompress and prepare for the next interaction. If you don’t control your schedule, discuss this preference with your manager. Emphasize how these breaks will help you perform better by avoiding burnout and increasing productivity.
  • Communicate your intentions. Have a respectful conversation with your manager about your need for more focused, uninterrupted work time. Suggest specific changes, such as batching administrative tasks together or setting aside certain hours for focused work. Frame these suggestions in terms of how they will help you be more effective in your role.
  • Create personal space. Use physical or visual cues to signal when you need uninterrupted work time. If you have a private office, close the door. If you work in an open space, use earbuds to indicate you’re focusing on work. If possible, establish certain hours of the day as “quiet hours,” where you can concentrate on individual tasks without interruptions.
  • Recharge during breaks. Use your lunch break as a time to recharge. Go for a walk, read a book, or listen to music – anything that helps you unwind and recharge. Throughout the day, take short breaks to step away from your desk. Even a five-minute walk or a few moments of deep breathing can help you reset.
  • Prioritize self-care. Dedicate time after work to activities that help you relax and recharge. Whether reading, exercising, or spending quiet time alone, ensure you have downtime to recover from the day's interactions. Be mindful not to overcommit yourself socially after work. Allow yourself plenty of downtime to recharge.
  • Leverage your strengths. Recognize how your introversion can be a strength. Introverts are often good listeners and thoughtful communicators, qualities that can be highly valuable in your role. Use these strengths to build deeper, more meaningful connections with colleagues and clients.

Ultimately, setting boundaries, communicating your needs and prioritizing self-care can help create a work environment that respects your introversion while accommodating the interactive demands of your job and allowing you to thrive personally and professionally.

Job hunting: How do I approach a former boss or co-worker for a job reference? Ask HR

Cart

  • SUGGESTED TOPICS
  • The Magazine
  • Newsletters
  • Managing Yourself
  • Managing Teams
  • Work-life Balance
  • The Big Idea
  • Data & Visuals
  • Reading Lists
  • Case Selections
  • HBR Learning
  • Topic Feeds
  • Account Settings
  • Email Preferences

Share Podcast

HBR IdeaCast podcast series

How to Navigate Change at Any Career Stage

A conversation with media industry veteran Bonnie Hammer on adapting to industry disruption.

  • Apple Podcasts

Disruption and transformation are the new normal in nearly every industry. So how do you stay ahead of the curve?  Over the past four decades, Bonnie Hammer  successfully adapted to massive changes in the media industry, rising from production assistant to leadership roles in broadcast, cable, and streaming. Now vice chair of NBCUniversal, she has advice on how to get noticed, acquire the right skillsets, make smart decisions, and adjust to shifting corporate and market dynamics. She’s the author of the book  15 Lies Women Are Told at Work: …and the Truth We Need to Succeed .

ALISON BEARD: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Alison Beard.

It’s hard to find an industry today that isn’t facing rapid transformation. The pace of technological change means that we have to constantly update our business models, shift strategies, and revamp our skill sets. And no matter where you are in your career, that can feel challenging, even overwhelming.

One field that’s seen enormous disruption is media, and today’s guest has spent four decades successfully navigating it. Through the transition to cable and then streaming, the rise of the internet giants competing for advertisers and many mergers and corporate reorgs, she worked her way up from a production assistant role on a local TV show to become one of the entertainment industry’s most powerful players.

Even if you don’t know her name, you know her work. She discovered Bob Vila and helped to create This Old House, gave Dakota Fanning her first big starring role, led the cable networks, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and more to 14 straight years of growth, and oversaw the creation of the Peacock Streaming channel.

Bonnie Hammer is now vice chair of NBCUniversal and author of the book, 15 Lies Women are Told About Work and the Truth We Need to Succeed. Bonnie, thanks so much for joining me.

BONNIE HAMMER: I’m delighted to be here. It’s always fun talking with you.

ALISON BEARD: So at the start of your career, were you looking for a job that would come with a lot of change in dynamism, or was it just something you had to figure out to survive in the industry?

BONNIE HAMMER: Let’s just put it this way, at the start of my career, I was looking for anything to do that gave me a paycheck. I had a passion that I started with, which was photography, and I figured that somehow I’d make a living that way. So my first jobs out of college were working in a dark room at a commercial photography studio, and it led me to a photo editing job, that was kind of boring too. I really worked at finding something with my passion until I tripped into a position that led me to a job, which led me to a career.

So I think the first one was giving up a dream that wasn’t leading me anywhere, and kind of what then became my philosophy in life, following the opportunities, and my first opportunity wasn’t exactly shining. I was the lowest grade production assistant on a kid’s math TV show, on public broadcasting in Boston, literally following a dog around the set and cleaning up his poop. I knew it was an opportunity. I was in a television studio and who knew what it could lead to, and I cleaned up the poop with a smile and realized from then on it was about attitude and following opportunities.

ALISON BEARD: So how did you identify those opportunities that you knew were going to lead you in the direction that the industry was also going?

BONNIE HAMMER: I didn’t look at it towards leaning me to the opportunities that would help me grow, and I think that is one of the obstacles in the way with I think a lot of young people trying to navigate the workplace. What I did was follow opportunities where I would learn, learn almost anything, new skills, how to do something I haven’t done before, meeting new people that I hadn’t met before, with the hope that one of those opportunities would lead me to the next step, as opposed to seeing it as a ladder where you climb rung by rung by rung to get up to the top.

I think if you do that, especially these days when industries are changing so quickly, that the likelihood that, that job, that position or even that industry would still be there in 10 or 20 years, is not realistic. So for me, it was taking on different things that at least sounded interesting or had a new skillset that I could learn, so I could broaden myself. And part of it was sometimes it was the only thing available. So do I not take it and do nothing and complain, or do I take it and just see where it leads me?

ALISON BEARD: And when you could see changes looming, whether it was the rise of cable or the digitization of the industry, I think you went through seven mergers to become what is now NBCUniversal. What did you do to figure out those learning opportunities but also places where you would be safe? How did you try to stay ahead of the change?

BONNIE HAMMER: Well, I think first and foremost, what people have to do is not fear change. Change is going to come. Whether you want it or not, whether you try to control it or not, your boat is going to be rocked, whether you do it or the waves do it, you’re going to get wet.

In our world, change is inevitable. So rather than waste time fearing it and complaining about it and being a naysayer, my gut has always been embrace change. Because you have no control doing anything else. Yes, there’s always a moment of “I can’t believe this is happening again.” And as you said, I’ve gone through seven corporate changes, eight different bosses, and somehow still navigated my way through.

So the first thing was embrace it, meaning, “It’s here, what I have to do is figure out a way that I can fit into this new world.” Which means figuring out what their culture is, doing your homework, talking to people, are they more creative than financial-based? Are they more interested in the bottom line than a great hit? Do they give good feedback and criticism or are they quiet and just watch you? So understand what the culture is and try to accept that.

Then basically try to figure out where the door’s going to be open, meaning, what are your skill sets? What have you done before? What do they need, and how can you fit into their world? And then try to talk to people, get advice on where and how you can fit into this new culture. The minute you become negative, the naysayer, they’re not going to want you around. The minute you seem positive, optimistic, “I want to learn. This is what I’ve done before. I’d love to fit into your world. Show me how.” It empowers the new powers that be to take you under their wing and want to help you grow you, and have you be part of their new regime. That was my way. It was finding a door rather than walls and obstacles.

ALISON BEARD: Yeah, and I think what’s so impressive is that you’ve done that, not just when you were a lowly production assistant, but you’ve done that when you were a really senior executive, trying to figure out what a new regime would feel like and work like.

BONNIE HAMMER: Yes, it happens at every level, and in some ways it’s easier when you’re younger because you can fit in a lot of new areas, but once you have a style of management and you are in a much more senior position, embracing it can be more difficult because you’ve developed your own style. And will that style fit the new regime? Nine out of 10 times, it can, and it will. And I kind of joke that the reason I can be in a room is because I’ve been in so many rooms that I’ve figured out a way where the door is, where a window is, where a crack is, to figure out a way to fit in and join that new culture.

It doesn’t mean I’m not going to have a voice or I’m going to give up my voice, or not be authentic to me or my style of management. It’s just being open to figure out how my style can integrate with the new style, the new tone. I’ve still always remained Bonnie. I’ve still led my team, my people in the same way, but I had to figure out how to translate their values, their bottom line, their definition of success to all of my people so we could still have fun and do what we do, but have it translate in a way that they understand and get it.

ALISON BEARD: Was there ever a time, during the industry ups and downs and the mergers, when you were really worried about the future? And if so, how did you stay focused?

BONNIE HAMMER: You always worry about the future. People keep saying what’s happening now in the business is the biggest change that’s ever happened. AI is going to come in, companies are restructuring, getting smaller and smaller. The truth is that’s happened from the get go. What happened with cable over the decades, that I was lucky enough to be in it, we basically out did broadcast in terms of revenue because we had two sources of revenue coming in, so we were making a lot more money than broadcast was making.

Then everybody said, Peacock or streamers at large, were going to completely blow away linear TV. Guess what? We’re all going to still survive it, but differently. And because I’ve been around so long, each decade, something else was surely going to kill something else. There’ll always be something new, always be something threatening it. See what it is, learn about it, understand it, and then try to figure out how the two can co survive while you’re navigating your way to see where it really ends up.

ALISON BEARD: Yeah. So I do want to talk about NBC’s entrance to streaming with Peacock. It’s always difficult with new technology. You don’t want to enter if it’s not going to pan out. You don’t want to be too early, but then you also don’t want to be too late. NBCUniversal did start a bit behind. So how did you approach that challenge as the person who was tasked with creating Peacock?

BONNIE HAMMER: Well, in hindsight, Steve Burke, Brian Roberts were right to wait. However, for the five years leading up to when we started, I and several other senior people, within the NBC family, were pushing them to jump into streaming. “We’re late, we’re late, we have to do it. Look what’s going on in the world.” And they kind of listened, but not really, until one day Steve said, “Okay, we’re going to do this, and I want you to lead the charges to at least launch it.” And my reaction to him, other than me being one of several who were pushing it was, “Why me?” I am so not a technological buff. I’m a content creator and yes, I’m a leader, but I was very honest saying, “This isn’t my world.” But I think the honesty was what led him to put me in the position.

Because he knew I knew how to lead, he knew I knew content, and he also knew that I didn’t need to be the smartest one in the room, that I will surround myself with people who knew a lot more than I did, and let them teach me and help me grow a team that can launch it.

ALISON BEARD: Talk me through your process for making important decisions, whether it goes back to green lighting a show or hiring a key producer or making your own career move, like saying, “Sure, I will take on launching the streaming channel.” How do you weigh the pros and cons or consider information versus instinct?

BONNIE HAMMER: This has grown over time, and the easiest way for me to describe it is the ABCs all the way to G, of gut. I’ll start with A. Analyze. What are you trying to do, where are you trying to get to, whether it’s a show or a career decision or anything else. And really take the time to figure out what it is you want and why. B is brainstorming, which is my favorite thing because it’s collaborative. Get a bunch of people together and talk about it. What we always did with every single show before we greenlit it, I had every one of my senior people, even people who had nothing to do with creative, sit in a room, read the script before they came in, and we would brainstorm the good, the bad, what we liked, what we didn’t like, et cetera, to just see where people are coming out.

Then C, compare. What are you trying to do versus what has happened before, either in your life or other shows that were on other networks or other streamers before? Did it work? Why did it work? If it didn’t work, why did it fail? D, which I love as well, find a devil’s advocate. It is what most people do not do, because most people don’t want to hear negative stuff. Find somebody who is going to pick apart whatever you are choosing to do, just to see where the holes are. It’s not so they can talk you out of it, it’s so at least they’re going to give you a side of whatever you’re deciding that might not be in your language at that point or might not be in your mind. E, it’s just the effort that you put into what it is and finding the experts that are in that world.

So you know what the red lights, green lights are in that decision. Someone who already has a job, someone who’s already produced a show, somebody who is an expert in directing visual effects that you haven’t done.

F, simple, the facts. You actually have to know the facts of what you’re doing, compared to what has come before. And then G is gut. Trust your gut, especially when you’ve been in that world before, done what you’ve done before. So for me it’s using the two brains, the brain in your head and the brain in your stomach. And when together, you may not be guaranteed success, but you’re definitely going to limit failure.

ALISON BEARD: So it sounds like also that gut instinct, even if you’re operating in a completely new environment, there are parts of your experience in different realms that will inform it in a really positive way.

BONNIE HAMMER: Absolutely. I have one – once we were trying to do a show called Political Animals, which everybody on the team was absolutely positive was going to be huge success. It had Sigourney Weaver and Ellen Burstyn. We had a great producer, we had a great director. We did none of the ABCs of gut checking other than check our gut. When we got the ratings, we were absolutely shocked because it did worse than any other show we had ever, ever done before.

And the first thing I had to do, I owned the failure. Wrote a note to my boss, before the ratings were public, said, “We are devastated. We have no idea how or why this happened. We’re going to figure out what went wrong, but I just want to let you know before the ratings come in officially, we blew it, just totally blew it.”

The other instance was a show where we all knew, my entire team, the script did not fit USA Network. It was a little too dark, actor wasn’t really known, but he was interesting and quirky. Nothing about it fit what we wanted to do in USA, but the director, writer, we thought, was exceptional. The character involved was fabulous.

And we made the decision consciously that nothing about this should fit on USA, but it is too good for any other network to get it. And we decided we are willing to take a calculated risk and do this. And what happened was, this is Mr. Robot, which did incredibly well, was a huge success for USA. The conscious calculated risk worked out. And we were willing to fail if we had to because we knew all the ABCs, all the way through gut, of making that decision and we were willing to fail. There were no surprises there.

ALISON BEARD: And so the contrast with Political Animals is that you didn’t do A through F, you just did G.

BONNIE HAMMER: Correct.

ALISON BEARD: You are this person who’s risen to the very top of your industry, and that meant that you went from managing small teams to huge ones, like more than 2000 people. So how did you figure out that transition? You seem like you rely very much on interpersonal connection, collaboration, team culture. How do you maintain all of that as your span of power increases, and make all of those people, who you’re managing, feel as comfortable as you are in managing change in a really difficult dynamic industry?

BONNIE HAMMER: Well, first you have to maintain the values you had when you were leading a smaller group, meaning collaboration, caring, empathy, creating a high bar for success, but having really good communication in that process. So it’s knowing what your brand or your culture is for managing your team, then teaching that to all your direct reports so they can push it down. There has to be consistency and an understanding. Some of the ways I helped do that – once I got into larger teams and multiple channels that I was managing, I would do what I called Breakfast with Bonnie. And those breakfasts would be once a month with probably about 20 in each breakfast, from executive assistants to directors. And we would sit in a room, I would do a very fun, easy open, I would talk about at the moment what was going on, what was succeeding, what was not succeeding within our own world.

And then I would open it up to questions, and I would literally say to people, “This room is Vegas. Whatever happens here stays here. Nothing is going to go up to your direct boss or up to anybody higher in my room. I need to understand what’s working and what’s not working in our division. And I know you guys are truth tellers, so tell me what’s happening, what’s working, what’s not. What messages are you getting? Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like you’re growing?” I wanted to hear the truth. And eventually somebody would raise their hand and open up and tell me the truth of a problem that existed or an attitude, or something that wasn’t happening that should happen. And I would learn about what’s happening at the more junior levels so I could fix it, or at least I’d be aware of it.

Because it wasn’t bubbling up to my level, I didn’t know about it. And I got to know a whole lot of people on the lower levels. And because I went through every single level getting to where I am, I appreciated everything that other people do on the lower levels that most people don’t get are so important to the product. So I did that for years and it worked incredibly well. So you have to articulate your values, people have to understand your culture, and you have to push those values down, all the way to the entry-level people as well. When you do that, people stay within that culture, and want to stay and grow within your world for a long time.

ALISON BEARD: So it sounds like you’re willing to hire people who have different leadership styles than you. What specifically do you look for to make sure that they’re going to be the people who approach challenges the way you do?

BONNIE HAMMER: Well, I think often people hire people because of skillset, or in the early stages, because of degrees or the school they went to. Yes, skillset is important, basic smarts, intelligence, but for me it’s a quality of a person. When they come in, are they willing to listen or are they just going to babble about themselves? Do they give other people credit in the conversation you have with them or do they take credit for themselves? I look for tone. I look for somebody who has some grace. I look for someone who I think can be trusted as a team member who’s willing to collaborate. So listening rather than talking, asking smart questions that shows they want to learn, all for me go way above any kind of degree or skillset experience.

ALISON BEARD: Yeah. And when you have team members that you don’t see embracing change in the way you want them to, how do you give them critical feedback? What’s the key to doing that well?

BONNIE HAMMER: Well, I think first and foremost, you have to give that feedback. And I think oftentimes, in the workplace, people watch, they judge, but don’t necessarily have real conversations with those that work with and for them. And they may wait for the end of year review, but I don’t think that’s enough. You have to have the tough conversations with people who you think have the possibility to grow. And even those you might not think can grow, but you should give them another try to see, to let them know what’s going on or not going on. Ask them how are they doing? How do you think you’re doing here and why? And then tell them, “Well me tell you how I see it, and I just want to help you learn and help you grow.” I don’t believe people can grow without a little tough love and being told the truth, but it should come in a helpful, useful, positively tonal way.

ALISON BEARD: I feel like one real struggle for managers now is working with people who are very, very good at what they currently do, but need to learn something new. For example, it’s me, I’m an excellent editor, I’m a great podcast host, hopefully, and I need to learn GenAI. I need to learn these new technologies, but it’s easy for me to rest on my laurels. So how do you push those people who are great performers, to do more and challenge themselves?

BONNIE HAMMER: Well, first and foremost, I always look for those people who will raise their hands and say, “I want to learn. I don’t know anything about AI yet, and what’s the best way to do it?” It starts with a conversation that says, “You’re doing amazingly well. Everything I ask you to do, within your skillset, your task, your title, is great, but the world is changing. And I think for you to grow, and I think for you to have a runway within this world, this company, this skillset, you’ve got to start reaching a little out of your comfort zone. And here’s several ways in which you could do it.

It’s basically approaching that individual in a way that, again, doesn’t sound like, “Oh my God, I’m going to lose my job if I don’t learn this skillset,” but in a way that is offering them the possibility. And if they jump at it, fabulous. If they don’t, you can still give them a little nudge, but if they really don’t take you up on it, then as a leader, as a boss, you have to realize what their limitation is.

ALISON BEARD: I just want to say for the record, I attended a large language model lunch and learn this week, and I also went to a conference where I learned about all of these AI tools. So I’m trying. What advice do you give young people who want careers in media or any other really fast-changing industry today?

BONNIE HAMMER: My advice is to understand that you have to work at your worth to get what you want. That in order to stand out, you have to be seen, which means coming in early, raising your hands for opportunities, staying late, not seeing anything beneath you, particularly in the first few years during those learning years –

ALISON BEARD: Yeah. A reminder that Bonnie Hammer picked up dog poo in her first job.

BONNIE HAMMER: Yeah. Yes. Did I complain to my friends and family? Of course I did, but when I showed up on the set, I did it with a smile, and anything they asked me, to run out for three lattes, I did it knowing that if I was optimistic, if I was positive, they would want to have me around. And if you are positive, people are going to want you continue to have you around. Then you have to perform. If you’re asked to do something, do it. Do your homework, do it well. If you’re going to miss a deadline, don’t BS about it. Basically say, “I’m not going to have it in on time. This is the reason. I’ll definitely have it for you by,” give a date.

People have to trust you, and then you have to master the skill set, whatever it is. Then raise your hand to learn as much as you can for opportunities outside of your skill set, even if you’re not going to get extra pay for it, because that too will show people you have the energy, the eagerness, the desire to learn more. Make sure that you don’t go into a situation pretending that you know what you can do if you can’t do it. Ask questions. Learn. Show people what you know and tell them what you don’t. It’s very hard to win back trust, but it’s very easy to empower others to want to help you and teach you. I think it’s important to remain humble, have humility, even along with confidence. You don’t need entitlement and arrogance. That makes a huge difference in the middle part of your career in terms of how you navigate it.

And once you get a little bit more senior, then it really is the ABCs of gut in terms of how you grow, and learning how… Winning is wonderful, but you also have to learn how to lose, learn from losing, so that you can move forward and understand all that is, is a learning experience. It was an obstacle, but it’s not a stop sign. It’s not a dead end. Use it to challenge yourself to find a way to win in a different way. And then ultimately, it’s just embracing change. Because it’s going to come for you no matter what you do. So learn how to run towards it and embrace it.

ALISON BEARD: Well, Bonnie, that’s such great advice. So many pearls of wisdom in this conversation and in the book. I really appreciate you coming on the show.

BONNIE HAMMER: Alison. Thank you for having me. I always enjoy talking with you.

ALISON BEARD: That’s Bonnie Hammer, vice chair of NBCUniversal and author of the book… That’s Bonnie Hammer, vice Chair of NBCUniversal and author of the book, 15 Lies. Women are Told About Work and the Truth We Need to Succeed.

And we have more episodes and more podcasts to help you manage your team, your organization, and your career. Find them at hbr.org/podcasts, or search HBR and Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen.

Thanks to our team, senior producer Mary Dooe, associate producer Hannah Bates, audio product manager Ian Fox, and senior production specialist Rob Eckhardt. And thanks to you for listening to the HBR IdeaCast . We’ll be back with a new episode on Tuesday. I’m Alison Beard.

  • Subscribe On:

Latest in this series

This article is about careers.

  • Digital transformation
  • Career transitions
  • Media industry
  • Media, entertainment, and professional sports

Partner Center

IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Career Change CV: Template & Guide

    how to write a resume for a career change

  2. career change resume sample free transition example

    how to write a resume for a career change

  3. Career Change Resume Example (Guide, Samples & Tips)

    how to write a resume for a career change

  4. How to Write a Resume If You’re Changing Careers in 2020 [+Example

    how to write a resume for a career change

  5. How to Write the Perfect Resume to Make a Career Change

    how to write a resume for a career change

  6. Career Changer Resume: Writing Guide & Template

    how to write a resume for a career change

VIDEO

  1. 5 Resume Mistakes You NEED to Avoid!

  2. How A Professional CV Helped Me Change Jobs

  3. Top Tips for Creating a Winning CV

  4. How to write a Resume in just **7 mins**

  5. How to Write a Resume

  6. How to Write Cover Letters

COMMENTS

  1. Switching Careers? Here's How to Write a Strong Resume

    Begin the resume with a personal statement. This is a short description about who you are, your reasons for changing your career, your new goals, how your previous experience can be transferred to ...

  2. Resume Examples for Making a Career Change (Plus Tips)

    Examples of resumes aimed at a career change. When crafting your resume, you may want to review a few examples. Here are three sample resumes for people looking to enter a new field: 1. Teaching resume for someone with experience in customer support.

  3. 11 Career Change Resume Examples Designed for 2024

    Best for senior and mid-level candidates. There's plenty of room in our elegant resume template to add your professional experience while impressing recruiters with a sleek design. Noah breathed a sigh of relief as he found a few accounting job descriptions that intrigued him. After spending years in various financial roles and racking up ...

  4. How to Write a Career Change Resume (3+ Examples)

    Anyone can write a strong resume to change careers by emphasizing these two things in their application: 1.) relevant experience, and 2.) transferable skills. To make sure you cover all the information hiring managers want to see on a career change resume, follow these five steps: Use the functional resume format.

  5. The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Career Change Resume

    Elements Of A Stand-Out Career Change Resume. The typical resume sections are still relevant: Skills, competencies, accolades, experience, volunteer work, education and training. For career ...

  6. How to Write a Career Change Resume [With Template]

    How to Write a Resume for a Career Change. In general, most best practices for writing a resume also apply to career change resumes. However, there are a few areas you'll want to be sure to emphasize when writing a resume for a new career path. While a traditional resume focuses heavily on work experience, career change resumes focus more on ...

  7. Career Change Resume Example (Guide, Samples & Tips)

    A career change resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes. How to write a career change resume that lands more interviews. Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a career changer resume. How to describe your experience on a resume for a career change to get any job you want.

  8. Career Change Resume Examples for 2024 (+Templates & Tips)

    It's seldom a good idea to write a functional resume for career change. It lacks the work history employers crave. Expert Hint: Save your resume as a PDF unless the job posting disallows them. Career change resume PDFs don't flake out in transit. They're also machine-readable in nowadays. 2. Write a Career Change Resume Objective or ...

  9. Career Change Resume: Examples and Tips from Experts

    When writing a resume for a career change, it's important to target your resume for the role that you want. I recommend finding a few job descriptions that interest you and scanning for keywords and themes. Use the target job title or skill set in the header to frame the resume.

  10. How to Write a Career Change Resume (Guide, Templates ...

    3. Write a resume objective or summary that frames your career change as a strength. Your resume objective or resume summary sections are a great way to convince recruiters that your past experience sets you up as the perfect candidate for the new role. These statements tie in your experience and skills with what your new career demands.

  11. Career Change Resume

    How to write a career change resume. You can follow these steps to write a career change resume: 1. First, identify transferable skills. Take time to get to know the industry you are moving into. Read industry news and job descriptions to get an idea of skills employers are looking for. Review your current resume and the skills you've gained ...

  12. How To Write a Functional Resume for a Career Change

    Here's a functional resume template you can use if you're planning to change careers: Contact information. [Name] [City, State] [Phone number] [Email] Objective statement. [In one to three sentences, briefly describe your career goals and the relevant skills you can bring to a new position.] Skills.

  13. Career Change Resume Examples & Writing Tips (2024)

    First, make a Master List of your skills and think about which ones are transferrable. Research the job market for your new career. Analyze job listings for the keywords and phrases that will get you past the ATS. Inject your Objective or Career Summary with passion and your professional personality.

  14. Career Change Resume: Examples, How to Write, and Other Tips ...

    Write an objective instead of a resume summary and mention that you are changing careers in it. While listing your work experience, reduce the focus on non-relevant job responsibilities and achievements. Increase focus on relevant responsibilities and achievements. Go as far as removing irrelevant ones.

  15. How to Write a Resume for a Career Change (with real examples)

    How to write a resume summary and headline for your career change resume. Writing resume summaries and headlines is never easy. Adding in the complexity of a career change makes it all the more complicated. Luckily, my favorite tips and tricks for headlines and summaries hold true for career change resumes! First up, your headline.

  16. Updating Your Resume for a Career Change

    Here are 6 steps to follow to write a resume that can get you hired, even without direct experience in your new target field: Use a combination resume format. Include a resume summary or objective. Add a skills section. Showcase certifications/courses. Revise your professional experience. Include projects.

  17. Career Change Resume for 2024 [9+ Examples]

    Career Change Resume Objective Example. Resume Objective Example: Changing Careers. "Organized and hard-working employee looking to join XYZ as a marketing assistant. Looking to take advantage of my skills in Photoshop, graphic design, and creative copywriting to help XYZ with their marketing efforts.".

  18. How to Update Your Resume for a Career Change

    Pick the Right Format. When updating your regular resume, the first step is deciding which format to use. As a career changer who might be lacking all of the right work experience and/or skills, the traditional reverse chronological approach isn't necessarily the only way to go. You could use a functional resume, also known as a skills-based ...

  19. How to write a great resume for a career change

    Choosing the best format for a career change resume. Steps to create a strong summary. How to list your employment history. Highlighting your education and training. Choosing the best resume format for a career change Selecting the right resume format for a career change is one of the most important steps.

  20. How to write a career change resume: 4 rules for the inexperienced

    Rule #4: Highlight transferable skills and training. Transferable skills are the beating heart of a career change resume. Think about how your existing skill set meets the requirements of the vacancy. You should take a look at the job advert. These types of skills are applicable in a wide variety of sections.

  21. Make the Perfect Resume For a Career Change

    Making the decision to switch careers is only the first step, though. You also need to figure out what type of career change you need. 1. Do some serious self-reflection. Before you make any serious change, do some serious self-reflection and assess your goals and aspirations.

  22. 15+ Tried and Tested Career Change Resume Tips (with examples)

    Examples of quantified skills for a career change resume: Organization: Organize and follow-up with 15 leads that contacted us through our website for a quote. Time management: Completed sales presentation for major client 1 week ahead of schedule. 10. Claim achievements you've helped with using the right keywords.

  23. How to Write a Resume When Changing Careers in 2024

    Place it at the bottom of your resume and describe it in less detail. Combination resume format. The combination of the previous two types. You still want to place your work experience below skills and accomplishments, but you describe it in bigger detail (as you would in the chronological resume).

  24. Best Resume Formats for 2024 [8+ Professional Examples]

    Our free-to-use resume builder can make you a resume in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you. 1. College student format. This resume format is ideal for college students because it features a detailed education section and a simple, modern design.

  25. 9 Proven Tips For A Career Change In 2024

    Step #1: Finding The Right People To Take Advice From. Step #2: Getting Foundational Knowledge. Step #3: Creating a Portfolio. Step #4: Creating A Sandbox. Step #5: Volunteering. Step #6: Consulting. Step #7: Documenting The Journey. Step #8: Action-Oriented Education. Step #9: Packaging It All Up.

  26. Resume Formats That Help Get You Job Interviews

    The 3 basic resume formats. There are three basic resume formats to choose from. They are: Chronological - Lists your work history in order, starting with your most recent job first. Functional - Focuses on your skills and accomplishments instead of your work history.

  27. Exploring the 6 Different Types of Resumes

    A well-tailored resume can stand out among a sea of generic resumes and increase your chances of securing an interview. 5. Infographic resume. An infographic resume visually presents your career ...

  28. Career change in mind? Here's how with your current and a new degree

    Here are the key steps to consider when deciding if you should invest in earning a new degree to pursue your passion: Evaluate your skills. Assess the skills and knowledge you already have from ...

  29. How to Navigate Change at Any Career Stage

    All episodes. Details. Transcript. May 21, 2024. Disruption and transformation are the new normal in nearly every industry. So how do you stay ahead of the curve? Over the past four decades ...