You followed a career path for a while until you realized your abilities would actually be better suited in another trade. While writing a resume skills section for a career changer, focus on the competencies you acquired during your tenure in your previous field and how they relate to the new career path you are pursuing. During the interview, your potential employer may inquire why you are switching careers, but until that point is reached, draw attention to the outstanding skill set you bring to the table.
A resume skill section is not a required element, but it will allow hiring managers to acquaint themselves with the job-related, transferable and adaptive skills you’ve gained on the job and through other forms of training. Since you are entering a new industry, writing a resume skills section is your opportunity to demonstrate you can make a seamless transition.
Should You Include a Skills Section in Your Career Changer Resume
Including a skills section in a career changer resume is recommended. If you’re seeking to enter the hospitality industry after spending years in the accounting field, for example, your potential employer will want to ensure you have the ability to evolve from a more isolated position to an outgoing, service-oriented job successfully. Since you’ll be contending with candidates who have already spent time in your desired field, you need to demonstrate you, too, can be a customer service superstar.
Writing a resume skills section is to your advantage and the job-seeking benefit of career changers. Any doubts a hiring manager may have about sending your resume to the next phase of the hiring process can easily be settled here by listing the relevant job traits you retain in your career arsenal.
What to Include in a Career Changer Resume Skills Section
As a career changer, writing a resume skills section means you’re going to place a spotlight on the clout you’ve attained through your past work experience and training while tailoring this information to your future employment. List your 10 to 15 strongest skills you own, and make sure they are skills you can demonstrate if needed. A substantial resume skills section will also ensure there’s a good mix of hard, job-related and soft, transferable or adaptive skills.
Keep phrases short, omit periods at the end of each line and opt for bullet points to ensure optimum organization when writing a resume skills section. Here, you get to shine through the use of applicable keywords, so choose wisely. For maximum readability, insert your keywords and phrases into a table format, and place the table in the top third of your resume. A stellar skill section can only keep you in the running if it is read. Two important keys to landing your desired job are to keep the interest of your potential employer and ensure they don’t get lost in the information you provide.
Example of a Great Career Changer Resume Skills Section
For a career changer who is going from an accounting job to a hospitality position, a great resume skills section can include keywords such as these in a table format with the most relevant to the position at the top. Feel free to use a combination of hard and soft skills/personality traits. When using a table, arrange it with three to eight entries per column, such as in the following example:
- Quick point of sale skills
- Problem Solving
- Thorough Product Knowledge
- Memorization Ability
If you would like more resume skill section help, the tips and samples found at LiveCareer may be of further assistance to you.