Three million Australians are planning a post-pandemic career change, making the jump into a completely different field.
Whether spurred by job insecurity or the discovery of a new skill during isolation down time, ING’s Future Focus research found 35 per cent of surveyed Australians wanted a new job after COVID-19, and 17 per cent were rethinking their career path entirely. Presenting your experience in your resume for a successful career change is a challenge, but certainly not impossible.
You’ll need to identify a clear job target and understand how you fit into it. What kinds of jobs are you interested in? What kind of company do you want to work for? If your answer is, “anything, I just need a change” your job search is likely to be long and painful. Spend some time thinking about where you want to work, and what you want to do, and research the industry, companies, and roles.
I worked with a flight attendant who had had to pivot quickly amidst the pandemic. Being a high performer in a highly service focused industry we looked at how he could add value to current available customer care roles in industries stable or growing in demand – there were numerous call centre-based roles in banking, finance, telecommunications, and energy for example. He had some exposure at the frontline of banking at the beginning of his career, so we focused here. It’s important to highlight the most related points in the top 1/3 of your resume for the quick hook-and-grab and then continue to share targeted and value-driven results throughout the document.
Target the resume for the role you want – use in the title of your resume at the top
Earlier relevant experience may be buried in your experience. Bring it to the top of your career change resume as a highly relevant accomplishment in the summary. We want to work from the job description pulling language from the posting of the job targeted. We found job descriptions of the types of roles being listed and scanned the common keywords and themes.
Example Resume Summary / Profile
Customer Service Specialist Targeting Banking & Finance
Customer service specialist with exposure to high-volume banking (3 years) travel (6 years) and events (1 year). Experience has proven expertise in managing high-volume inbound enquiries, relationship management, sales, and creative problem-solving to connect customers with solutions and products. Goes above and beyond to create exceptional experiences positively impacting brand reputation.
- Proven track record of building and nurturing quality working relationships and customer base, developed from vast experience in customer care roles
- Accomplishes customer centric outcomes through a mix of strong communication skills, expert negotiations and in-depth product knowledge
You can call out the match between the requirements of the target position and your own experience in a section of core competencies / skills offered after the summary.
Even if you don’t have direct exposure to the industry, you have developed/demonstrated skills that are relevant and useful to other industries whether you realise it or not.
Additional points to consider
You may read different opinions about the way resumes should be formatted if you don’t have the direct experience. But try not to resort to a skills based/functional resume. Recruiters tend to scan resumes chronologically. Keep your career history in the order it played out (from most recent) but focus on the most relevant points which convey the skills needed.
If older experience beyond 10 years of experience displays substantial transferrable skills, place brief couple of lines under a separate ‘Additional Experience’ section.
Lastly, gaining credibility in the new career field is the paramount strategy for a career change. Professional development is seen as a strength. Determine any gaps in your skill sets and look for training opportunities to fill them. Online learning is plentiful right now. Add new courses, certifications, and industry training to your resume, regardless if they are in progress or completed.
Not only will ongoing skills development show a commitment to your career and learning, it can help your resume rank better in ATS if the system is seeking specific skills that you don’t otherwise have.
Your resume can help you pivot in your career. Designing a resume that focuses on the relevant details and addresses the employer’s needs can position you as someone who can bring additional value to a new role.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you need some professional resume assistance!
By Bec O’Connor