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Making a Career Change: How to Create a Resume and Cover Letter That Gets You Hired
Changing careers can feel like a leap into the unknown, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to pursue something you’re passionate about. When it’s time to make the change, you’ll want to make sure your application is impactful as possible. That’s why it’s important to put some thought into your resume and cover letter. These are your tools to sell your skills and qualifications to potential employers, even if they don’t directly relate to your new career direction. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Transferable Skills Take Centre Stage: Highlight the skills and experiences you have that are easily transferable to your new career field. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, project management, and communication. When listing your skills, use keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for to increase your chances of being noticed by a hiring manager.
2. Show How You’re Prepared: Emphasise how your past experiences, even if they don’t directly relate to your new career field, have prepared you for this change. For example, if you’re transitioning from sales to marketing, you can highlight how your experience in sales has sharpened your communication and persuasion skills. This can help bridge the gap for potential employers and show how you’ll bring value to the new role.
3. Personal Projects Make a Difference: Including any personal projects or achievements above and beyond your day-to-day role can show your dedication and passion to your work. This can be a great way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, as well as your commitment to your new career path.
4. Rebrand Yourself: Consider rebranding yourself and changing your resume format to better suit your new career goals. This can involve adjusting your core competencies to better reflect the new area and industry.
5. Highlight Relevant Education and Certifications: If you’ve pursued education or certifications in your new career field, be sure to include them on your resume. This can show your commitment to developing your skills and knowledge in your new field. Studies and an understanding of the role can go a long way when you don’t have work experience in your desired field.
6. Include Any Volunteer Work, Internships or Placements: If you’ve completed any volunteer work or practical placement hours related to your new career, be sure to include them on your resume. This can demonstrate your commitment and experience in your desired field, as well as your willingness to learn and grow.
1. Discuss Why You’re Making a Career Change: Start your cover letter by briefly explaining why you’re making a career change and what interests you about the new field. Be honest and genuine, and show that you’ve done your research on the industry and the company you’re applying to. This helps the hiring manager understand your motivations and why you’re the right fit for the role.
2. Sell Your Skills and Qualifications: Your cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your relevant skills and qualifications that make you the perfect candidate for the role. This is your opportunity to re-state sections of your resume and provide an overview for the hiring manager.
3. Let Your Personality Shine: Your cover letter is also a great way to show off your enthusiasm for your new career path and why you’re a great fit for the company. Convey a positive, can-do attitude, and let your personality shine through. This can help you stand out from other candidates and show a recruiter why you’re the right person for the job.
4. Show That You’re Passionate About the Industry: Demonstrate that you’re passionate about the industry and the company by highlighting what you admire about them and what you hope to contribute. This shows that you’re invested in the role, have researched the organisation and that you’re excited about the opportunity to grow and learn.
5. End on a Strong Note: End your cover letter with a strong closing that reiterates your enthusiasm for the role and your commitment to making a successful career change. Provide your contact information and request a meeting or phone call to discuss the opportunity further.
By using your cover letter to show why you’re making a career change, highlight your relevant skills and qualifications, and let your personality shine, you can increase your chances of getting hired for your dream role. By doing your research on the industry and the company, demonstrating your passion and ending with a call to action, you can make a lasting impression on the hiring manager and set yourself up for success.
Making a career change can be a daunting process, but with a strong professional resume and cover letter you’ll be well on your way to landing a job in your dream career.