Resume Tips For A Career Change

By Zach Seybert
In March 1, 2018

As we progress along our career path there comes a time when we question if our current job is what we really want to be doing for the rest of our lives. We’ve grown up hearing stories about how our family members have been with the same company for 20-30 years and expected our careers to be the same. Once we enter the job force ourselves, however, it becomes clear how rare this actually is.

These days, the average employee changes jobs 10-15 times throughout his or her entire career. Gone are the days where someone spends an entire career with the same company. This means that at some point or another, you’re going to be looking for a new job (for whatever reason), potentially in a completely different industry.

If you’ve decided that you are ready to make a career change, one of the most important things you need to do before applying to jobs is to update your resume. You have likely gained valuable experience since your initial job-seeking days, so your resume should reflect that! Our friends over at TopResume recommend including seven key elements to refresh your resume during a career change. In this article, we’ll highlight a few of these elements. To read the full article, click here.

Achievements are quantified where possible.

A common piece of advice heard in writing classes is “show, don’t tell.” When you’re listing your achievements on your resume, remember this phrase. For example, if you helped increase the number of followers of the company’s Twitter account, you should definitely include this on your resume – especially if it is applicable to the job to which you’re applying. There are a few ways you could list this on your resume:

  • “Increased the amount of followers for ‘Company X’s’ Twitter account.” Good
  • “Increased the number of followers for ‘Company X’s’ Twitter account by 15 percent since coming aboard.” Better
  • “Increased the number of followers for ‘Company X’s’ Twitter account by 15 percent (1000 to 1150) in two months.” Best

Whatever the case may be, quantifying your achievements allows the employer to see tangible results of your work.

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The emphasis is placed on the job seeker’s most recent work experience.

As mentioned before, it is common to hold 10-15 jobs throughout one’s career, so because of this you likely have multiple jobs on your resume. You can probably list everything you’ve done under each role, but for the sake of brevity (and for the hiring manager’s sanity) you can limit the various descriptions to a few bullets. The exception is your most recent or current role, as this is the one that should have the longest description.

The “Education” section is at the end of the resume.

When looking for your first job, the common advice is to have your education at the top of your resume, to signify that you are a recent graduate. When searching for entry-level jobs, your educational experience can be a selling point and open the door to opportunities. However, after securing your first “real job” the common practice is to move your educational information to the bottom of your resume. This is due to the fact that your work experience and skills gained are usually a bigger selling point when searching for mid-level opportunities.

Wrap Up

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will hold 10 different jobs before the age of 40, with that number increasing to about 12-15 in the next few years. This means that assuming you enter the workforce upon graduating from college (usually around 22 years old) you are switching jobs every 1.8 years. Because of this, it is important to keep your resume updated with relevant information. While it has been said that “it is easier to get a job when you have a job,” the job search is nonetheless still a time-consuming process. By utilizing these tips from TopResume, it will be easier for you to decide your next career move.

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.