Most of us will go through a career change at some point in our lives; the change may be as a result of a long-held desire, some change in the world of work, financial obligations, etc. Whatever your reasons for changing your career, you’re going to need a good CV. A CV that will not only market your transferable skills but equally take the same work experience and make it sound relevant to the new industry or role.
The 5 CV tips below will help you write a new CV for that career change you have in mind.
- Research the new industry / new role: What do you know about the new industry you are looking to enter into? What do you know about the role? Is there a relevant education or professional certification that you need to require? What skills do you need to do the job well? Are there any knowledge gaps? What competencies do you require to perform your job function on the role? Do you thoroughly comprehend what the job entails? To write a CV that fits the new role, you need to understand what the role is about. So start researching.
- Highlight the transferable skills: The skillset you have acquired over the years may not be directly relevant to the new role but you can prove your value by highlighting your transferable skills. What are transferable skills? Transferable skills are relevant and helpful abilities and skills that are useful across different areas of life, and that can be applied across several jobs and industries. Examples of transferable skills are critical thinking, creativity, people skills, communication, writing, negotiation, etc. For example, if you are looking to work as a Brand Communication Associate and you have some experience in copywriting. You should take a look at the duties/skills that overlap. Copywriting is focused on crafting content that promotes an idea, product or service while Brand Communication is focused on building a strong brand identity, creating a connection with the intended audience and ultimately converting this into leads and sales. Communications is the canopy of both functions, so you can leverage your communications skills from copywriting. As long as you can take time to identify the areas of crossover between the 2 roles, you can write a CV that will stand you out.
- Acquire some education: When you’re looking to change careers, you must invest in the new career path. You should endeavour to show the Recruiter or Potential Employer that you are making an effort to enter into the new industry or role. Therefore do whatever it takes to prove that you are invested. Register for an online course, join a professional body, intern with an organisation, or volunteer. Find a way to gain a skill or knowledge that will improve your candidacy, it shows that you mean business and it may also help you get past the applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- Draft a compelling summary statement: The summary statement makes the first impression. This part of the CV is significant for career changers. Don’t assume that the reader can establish the connection between your previous experience and your fit for a new role. Write about it, signify it. You’ll be up against candidates with relevant and more evident job experience, so do your best to express how your background in a previous role makes you a fantastic fit for this new role/company/industry. After your name and contact details, this paragraph is the first thing any reader sees, so focus on it!
- Rewrite your CV: Highlight the past and most relevant experiences and skills. Tone down irrelevant experiences. Rephrase your job functions and achievements to fit the new role. Use the right CV format for your new role. Whatever format you choose, your new CV should zero in on the relevant experience, knowledge, education, volunteer work, or skill that would be most fascinating to the reader.
If you’d like to schedule a session with a career coach to discuss your career change or you want a Professional CV Writer to help with writing your CV. Do not hesitate to get in touch here.