What Information Should I Include in a Career-Change Resume?

A career change requires a special resume. Get information about how to emphasize your transferable skills in your resume. Find out what a functional resume is and why it's a good choice when you're switching to a new career field.

Preparing for a Career Change

People change careers for a number of reasons. Perhaps there are no positions in the field you had been working, another field offers a better salary, or you have found a place/position where you would find more fulfillment in your work. In any case, when switching careers, you should prepare a special career change resume.

Career Change Resumes

When you have to break into a new line of work, a well-prepared career change resume facilitates job-seeking across professions. Chronological resumes focusing on a timeline of work experience from a previous profession are not always the best choice for resumes for which the particular work history is not relevant. A functional career change resume should show that you have skills that can transfer to a new field, helping a potential employer determine if you have the appropriate abilities for the new job.

Transferable Skills

Use a career change resume to highlight transferable skills. A transferable skill is one that was developed, either in a previous career or from another form of training, that can apply to a new career. Compare and contrast the job description of your desired position with previous positions you have held. According to Quintessential Careers, an effective career change resume should include a list of transferrable skills and knowledge, and/or a career objective which highlights how you can apply previous experience to the new position. Listing prior jobs and volunteer work as areas of strengths gives a potential employer a clear picture of transferable skills.

Functional Resume

When changing careers, a functional resume is one potential option. A functional resume downplays former work history and focuses on related skills for a new career. If you choose to use some of the techniques of a functional resume, care should be taken to allow a potential employer to match job skills and levels of experience. An employer should see a chronological work history and be able to match prior skills to the job description.

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