Changing industries mid-career can seem daunting. But don’t let a career change slow you down. So many skills and experiences are completely transferable across industry lines, but you need to position yourself correctly to make sure you are coming across as knowledgeable and prepared to make the change rather than starting from zero.
Here are three things you can do to make sure your resume tells interviewers why this job is right for you.
Keep it short
Resumes need to be clear and to the point, even when you have been an expert in your field for many years. If you are new to your industry, you need to trim all the fat off your resume and focus in on what skills and experiences are directly relevant to the new position you are applying for. Highlight your greatest successes. Mention your strong work history and commitment to previous employers in passing. But make sure that you don’t overburden your resume with content that is not actively serving your new career.
Focus on what you’ve learned
Think about the skills you learned while on the job at previous employers. Learning how to work with a team is critical no matter what role you are in. Balancing multiple projects and sticking to deadlines and budgets is also an experience-based lesson. Showing hiring managers how you have used those skills in previous experiences will help make your non-industrial work that much more relevant to the job you are currently applying for. The key is to remember to describe your achievements in a way that makes it clear to your interviewer how you can bring those capabilities to your next role.
Don’t assume you’re not a good fit
Your number one priority when switching industries should be to market your experiences well. Each industry has its own technical niches and demands that employers are desperate to hire people with experience in dealing with. But diversity and a broad experience base are equally important. Knowing what those unique issues may be and marketing your experience in a way that will assure employers that your past work will translate well to their industry and their projects is key. Assess your skillset. Describe your past successes in a way that is free of industry jargon so that future employers can understand how that experience would relate to future work.
The bottom line is not to sell yourself, or your resume short, even when switching industries. Your past experiences can still be very relevant to a new job, so long as you are able to frame your experience and accomplishments in the right light. Employers are looking for the value that you can provide on the job. Showing them how your past experiences transfer easily to the job you are applying for will help make all the difference in an interview. And the first place they’ll look for that information is in your resume.
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