While it may be a daunting task to write a new resume and cover letter when you make a career change, there are things you can do to make the process easier. Career changes are more common than you might think. Research has shown that the average worker switches jobs 10 to 15 times over the course of a career. So, you’re not alone.
In fact, many workers choose to spend about five years at each job, which requires a lot of time and energy getting used to each new role. In January 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average job tenure was 4.2 years compared to 4.6 years two years earlier.
How can you make your career change cover letter and resume stand out in an increasingly sophisticated talent pool?
6 Career Change Cover Letter & Resume Tips
- Include transferable skills on your resume. Transferable skills are skills you’ve acquired during your life in activities, volunteer work, jobs, classes, and hobbies. The key is to identify skills you have that will help you succeed in your career change.
- Customize your resume for each job. This will allow you to place special emphasis on the transferable skills that are most applicable to the job you want. In career change resumes and cover letters, this means personalizing your documents for each position. If you want a job that is entirely different from your past roles, it can be tricky to convince potential hiring managers that you are a good fit for the job. Get creative when you think about your transferable skills
- Ditch the chronological resume format. While chronological resumes are the preferred format or recruiters, they may not show off your transferrable skills as well. Going with another format can be risky, but it could be the best way to present your transferable skills for the new job you seek.
- Consider a functional or hybrid resume. As you learn how to write a resume for a career change, consider a new format. These resume formats may be more effective than a chronological one for jobseekers looking to make a career change. A functional resume showcases skills and strengths you can apply to the new position. Information is grouped into sections of transferable skills and achievements. These become talking points to woo your potential employer and strengthen your position by highlighting skills that will prepare you for the new job responsibilities that come with a career change.
- Get a second opinion. If you know someone who has recently switched jobs or started working in a new field, ask their advice and see if they are willing to look over your cover letter and resume. They may have a tip that worked well for them or may be able to give advice about how you can better highlight a specific skill set.
- Be patient. It’s easy to get frustrated when you are working in an unfulfilling career or at a job that no longer stimulates or challenges you. However, by focusing on presenting your abilities in the best light, you gain confidence in yourself, which goes a long way in the interview process.
In January 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average job tenure was 4.2 years compared to 4.6 years two years earlier.
Putting It All Together
For additional resources on identifying and utilizing transferable skills in your documents and career change cover letter, LiveCareer features transferable skill set examples into and examples of how to use transferable skills in a career change resume.
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