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You've finally decided to make the big move. You've have decided to switch career paths to follow the vocation of your dreams. Congratulations on your decision! Now that you've decided to follow your dream, you may be asking, how do I get there? How do I create a resume that will lead to an interview with the experience that I have? One of the biggest mistakes people make when switching careers is using the same old resume that they used from their previous career. What they need to do is rewrite their resume to reflect and highlight their qualifications and experience that pertains to their new sought-after career, by including their transferable skills.
It's especially important when creating this type of resume to keep your mind focused on the goal, and that goal is to show the person reading your resume that although you may not have the on-the-job experience that some other applicants have, you do possess the skills, capabilities, and personal qualities needed to make you the best fit. Try to look through the eyes of the employer. Look at your resume and then ask yourself a question: Why would you hire you? Of course, before you can answer this question, you must know what the employer needs and wants.
You need to do some homework and know what's important to the employer before you can convince the employer that you have what it takes to meet those needs. First, get on the Internet and start looking at as many job openings and job descriptions as you can that are specific to your goal that are listed on resume banks. From your findings, create a spreadsheet listing the employer's wants and needs based on your particular target career. Then create a second column listing your matching qualifications and experience.
Try to match as many items as possible by using the skills and experience that you've developed over the years that may be relevant to your new career. Be sure to include classes you've taken, seminars you've attended, even volunteer work as long as it pertains to your goal, and your goal is to convince the employer that your background and skills give you exactly what it takes to get the job done. Be sure to cross-reference as many job requirements as possible with the career you're presently in.
If you need more information on transferable skills, see the movies on targeting your resume and entering the workforce. As far as the best format to choose, when switching careers, either choose a Combination Chrono-Functional resume format or the Functional resume format. Be sure to watch both of these movies to make the best decision for your particular circumstances. The Reverse Chronological format will most probably not will be a good format for you to use. Since you're switching careers, the headline will be very important for you.
Your headline needs to not only include your job target, but also the main benefit of hiring you for that position. Remember, your headline is not an objective. An objective tells the employer what you want. It's especially important for someone switching careers to spell out clearly and concisely what you can offer the employer. What transferable skills do you possess that will make you perfect for this position and meet the objective of the employer? Use your headline to convey this information.
For example, if you are a teacher seeking to transition into corporate training, your headline might read, 'highly effective teacher with a proven ability to motivate and mentor students seeking to utilize 12 years of experience to transition into corporate training. Keep in mind when writing your resume that your old job title is not what's important. What is important is the experience you can take with you, the skills you've learned, education, training, degrees, courses, and certificates that pertain to the career you are seeking.
If your degree was in this field or if you returned to school and just completed your education, include the Education section before your Professional Experience. You may consider adding a section called Related Experience, which would include any volunteer work, courses, seminars, or any type of experience you've gained that may pertain to your new sought-after career. How you gain related experience in transferable skills? Take a proactive approach. Volunteer to gain experience to be added to your resume. Join networking groups and job associations. Industry conferences and trade shows.
Keep a list or database of all of the contacts you meet while doing this, and also keep up to date with industry and technological developments. Join chat rooms, blogging web sites, and be sure to learn the industry jargon. Go back to school or take courses on lynda.com.
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