Changing Careers?

Where will your career path lead to now?

Changing careers involves more than simply adjusting your perspective or your focus. Changing careers requires work, determination and time. Is making a change like this for you?

Life is not static - nor are your needs.

Evaluate your current employment and determine if altering your career path is the right answer. There are times when you reach a plateau and need to alter your career path if you are to achieve your dreams. In other cases, you might want to scale back your workload in order to spend more time with your family.

Whatever reasons are involved, make sure the timing of such a change right and your plan to move forward is carefully designed and implemented.

Changing Careers?
Be sure you know what all is involved.

If it's truly time to switch career tracks, the ideas below offer some excellent advice for revamping your resume to reflect the new direction your future employment will be taking.

As you know, your resume has to be top notch. When changing careers, your skills and achievements may not be a perfect fit into your new position, so you have to pay particularly close attention to the format you use and the way you present yourself on paper. Remember that there are candidates whose skills may be a better match for the position you are seeking, so you have to make the best impression you possibly can with your credentials.

First, choose a format that best highlights your skills, accomplishments and qualifications. Why? Because that is what is going to attract an employer's attention the most.

Most likely, this will either be a functional format or a combination format. The reason that these two formats are better for career-changers, is that they place more of an emphasis on the work done rather than on the employers, education and dates the work was done. If you are changing careers, you need to ensure you use the right resume format.

Choosing the right format does make a difference.

In either format, be sure to list your skills and achievements near the top of the page. Let the hiring manager see what you have to offer instead of what your job title was or where you worked. While important on some level, who you worked for may detract from what you did while you were an employee there. Why?

Look at this example. Perhaps you worked for Magnum Marketing as a graphics designer and now you want to re-focus your career in a new direction. Now, you want to be an artist for greeting cards. While the two involve artistic abilities, many of the tasks and responsibilities will not be the same. Placing those skills and aptitudes where the prospective employer can see them first, is critical, especially when you remember that your resume gets scanned, not read. You only have a limited amount of time to make a great first impression.

When considering the skills you should put in your resume, remember that there are a whole host of transferable skills that employers seek regardless of where you work. They transfer from position to position.

Consider this list and how each one might apply to you:

  • communication skills (written and oral)
  • team player
  • negotiation skills
  • leadership abilities
  • solving problems
  • motivating others
Of course there are many more possibilities, but you should be able to understand the concept by those presented here. Make it easy for the employer to want to invite you for an interview.

In your cover letter, you can specify the reasons for your decision to change career paths so that the resume is given a good "pitch" first. Just be careful to write your cover letter in a positive light, emphasizing your excitement and desire to succeed rather than any negatives related to your previous work.

Back to your resume. If you have won any awards, received any honors, had any material published or anything similar, list them on your resume – IF – they relate to your new career path. Telling a prospective employer that you were real estate agent of the month in your office would be fine if you were going into a related career or a sales position in a new field, but if you are going to be a school teacher now, no one is really going to care about a sales award.

Everything you put on your resume
has to be focused on the new career path.

Changing careers isn't for everyone. It does require patience, creativity and more work than it would take finding a position in an identical field. Read: It's harder. It can be done, though, and should be, if it is the right thing for you, your happiness and your future. Best wishes!

If you're Changing Careers, you may want to click here to learn how to Avoid Job Search Stress.

Or, follow this link to read about Career Strengths 

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