As a result of the pandemic, many professionals are looking at their careers in a new light. Some once-stable industries are still struggling to recover, and it isn’t clear how long it will take for things to return to anything that resembles normal.
For some, this makes the idea of a career change enticing. While certain sectors were harshly hit, others have flourished, even during these unprecedented times. As a result, the thought of making a career move may be impossible to ignore.
If you’re considering a career change in the new year, you need to start in the right place. Usually, this means revamping your resume and LinkedIn profile to showcase your abilities in a way that makes a transition possible. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips.
Focus on Transferable Skills
The trickiest part of changing careers is convincing a hiring manager that you have what it takes to thrive in the role, even if you don’t have direct experience. That’s why showcasing your transferable skill is so critical for your success.
Transferable skills are capabilities that can help you excel in a different field or industry. In many cases, soft skills steal the show here. For example, communication, organization, time management, attention-to-detail, a willingness to learn, and adaptability are vital in nearly every job, so they should be highlighted.
However, some hard skills also work in several niches. Project management skills are a big one, as well as knowledge of widely-used software. Business acumen is another capability that’s universally appreciated.
Generally, the job ad can give you clues regarding which transferable skills to showcase. If you see any referenced in the must-haves list or job description, make sure to cover them in your resume. Often, your best bet is to discuss an achievement that demonstrates your ability in that area, as that approach is more impactful.
Adjust Your Professional Summary
By having a professional summary near the top of your resume and adjusting it to target the role you want to land, you can make a quick, positive first impression. Consider the transferable skills you identified, and find ways to work them into that summary.
A professional summary is a great tool for showcasing your qualifications and generating interest from the hiring manager when used properly. Focus on your relevant strengths, and you can create an introduction that really packs a punch.
Try a Hybrid Resume Format
Most resumes are chronological. While you may lead off with a professional summary, after that, you move straight into your work history.
If you’re changing careers, that approach doesn’t always work as well. The hiring manager may note that your most recent jobs are in a different field based on the job titles and may not give your resume a second look once they do.
However, that doesn’t mean you should go with a functional (also known as skills-based) resume. Many hiring managers dislike that format, as it makes it seem like the candidate is hiding something.
Instead, try a hybrid approach. Follow your professional summary with a short skills area, allowing you to highlight relevant capabilities. Then, move into your work history, ensuring that it’s covered chronologically, as well.