The year 2020 hasn’t been an easy one. It started with a bang and has continued to make its mark in the history books with nearly half of the world’s population under strict lockdown.

COVID-19 was declared as a public health emergency. Not only did this deadly virus claim thousands of lives, it also sparked major fears of the worst global recession since the Great Depression. Apart from having a significant impact on our physical and mental well-being, this has also placed a profound impact on the world of work.

As soon as the virus hit the world, everyone was forced to work from home. While many employees are working from home, some have lost their jobs altogether. The New York Times reported that nearly 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April. According to a report, US weekly jobless claims surged to 6.6 million with companies furloughing most of their staff.

Coming to terms with this reality, many people have been looking towards shifting careers. If you are one of them, it is pertinent to remember that while planning a career shift, you also need an impressive resume at hand. You would like to get an engaging new job in the near future and you might want it in a completely new field. The key to achieve this is to update your resume accordingly.

Resume Writing Tips for Changing Careers

Regardless of what some people might tell you, you’re never trapped in the field that you started in. However, there’s one important hack to pivoting like no one has pivoted before, and that’s being able to convey your value ingeniously, in ways that you competitors can’t. How you narrate your story makes all the difference.
So, create a resume that shows you’re prepared for all the curveballs your new role might throw at you. Here are a few important points to remember while updating your resume for a career change.

1. Use Transferrable Skills

Shifting careers does not mean that you have to start over - undoing your years’ worth of education, training, experience, and credentials. The first thing that you must look at while writing your career change resume are the transferrable skills. It is a tactic which lets you take the exact same experience and then make it sound relevant to various industries.

And it is completely doable, you just have to be strategic about it. Your resume must sell you as an undeniable fit, particularly when you lack the similar experience as your competition. This means that you must explain where have you been, based on where you wish to go, all keeping in mind the relevant industry that you are applying for.

2. Keep Clear Goals

While updating your resume, define your new job goals up front and give details about why you think you are qualified for this position. Even if you have minimum experience in the field, you can still boast of your skills and qualifications from your previous job experience.
For instance, applying for a senior-level position would require management and leadership qualities. Highlighting awards and certifications portraying dedication towards staying on top of the industry on your resume can prove to be beneficial.

3. Quantify Your Achievements

Your potential employer has a hundred of resumes to go through. In such a case, numbers on your resume will be able to paint a better picture rather than using heavy terms such as ‘managed budgets’. For instance, specify that the budget was $1 million and you were able to cut costs by nearly 20%. Direct numbers will better highlight your contributions and accomplishments.

4. Optimize Your Resume for Tracking Systems

Many companies today are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes and rank them according to content. The most qualified candidates with the most updated resumes are then forwarded to the HR department for further review. You must ensure that your resume includes the keywords relevant to the position and industry that you are applying for. It will help your resume from getting ignored and ending up in the bin.

5. Place the ‘Education’ Section at the End

If you are looking for a career shift, chances are that you are not starting point blank and are beyond an entry-level resume in which the education part is mostly placed at the top. For mid-level professionals, it is better to move your education section towards the end. This is because today many big companies are looking for experience and expertise so your experience stands more important.
Your current role should also have the longest description and detail your achievements. However, in case your current role is not relevant to the industry you are applying for, it is better to highlight the areas that are more applicable.

Wrap Up

A career change is a relatively exciting time, however, you must ensure that you are well-prepared to enter a new industry by updating your resume. Once your resume becomes more reflective of your future goals in the industry that you are aiming for, it will become easier to match yourself with possible job opportunities that are at par with your career aspirations.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Flanagan is the Senior Career Advisor at MintResume, a website that provides resume samples and career advice to job search candidates. His experience spans 12 years across recruitment, HR and job search practices.