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8 Resume Tips for a Career Switch


Writing a powerful and convincing resume is a difficult task that requires a lot of time and energy. When you make a career switch, the challenge is many times greater.

You make a career switch with an eye to the future, while in a resume the emphasis is on the past. So there is a good chance that other applicants will have more relevant work experience than you.

As a newcomer, it's your job to compensate for this lack of work experience on your resume. You can read how to do this this week on the basis of 8 tips.

Eight Resume Tips for a Career Switch

# 1 Do research

To increase your chances of finding a job, it's important that you seize every opportunity to make up the gap with your competition. This means that your resume must be perfect, so that you can profit from any sloppiness and mistakes of other applicants.

The content of your resume must fit seamlessly with the vacancy / position that you have in mind. If you don't yet know exactly for which vacancy you want to apply, it's therefore necessary to first find out what you want and which profession fits with it .

Once you have this clear for yourself, it's advisable to thoroughly investigate vacancy (s) that you like. Address or expand your network so that you can ask people from the relevant sector questions about the necessary competencies.

In addition, view a large number of comparable resumes to get an idea of ​​the demand from the labor market. What are employers currently looking for? What is the ideal profile? Which skills and competences keep coming back?

You ultimately use the results of your research when writing your resume. You will also get a better picture of the feasibility of your career switch. On the basis of the results, you can determine whether your competencies are relevant and whether there is high competition (many applicants).

# 2 Use the skills resume

Depending on your work experience you have to choose a resume with which you can best sell yourself. If you have relatively much relevant work experience, you can opt for a chronological resume. This expresses your education and work experience.

The problem with a career switch is that you generally don't have enough work experience to show off. In addition, there is a good chance that your study programs don't fit in well with the position because you are taking a different path. In this case it's wise to opt for a skills resume (also called competence resume or functional resume).

Skills and competences are more easily transferable to other functions (and branches) than work experience. Consider, for example, leadership qualities, negotiation skills, knowledge of IT and conflict management .

As a newcomer, such competencies are the ideal means to compensate for the lack of work experience. When writing a skills resume, keep the following order:

Personal details

- Summary (tip 3)
- Competences and skills (tip 4)
- Performance (tip 5)
- Rolls (tip 6)
- Training (tip 7)

Due to the increased demand for relevant content and the lack of experience at a career switch, it may happen that your resume is ultimately no longer than one page. That's okay. Unnecessary irrelevant text only distracts and can cause a recruiter to stop reading halfway.

# 3 Write a summary

The less work experience you have, the more important it's to state your passion for the position or the industry. The only way to properly articulate this in a resume is by using a personal summary.

Try to attract the attention of the recruiter in 2 to 4 sentences and let your enthusiasm shine through. You don't make a career switch without a reason. You want to do something else, you want to do something for other people and / or you want to do something with your talent. State your reason for making the career switch and do this with conviction!

In your summary, emphasize the intrinsic motivation to make the career switch (passion and personal motivation). For retaining staff in the long term, it's important for employers that employees are involved with the company and are intrinsically motivated to work there. So don't say that you make the switch because you want to earn more money.

# 4 Name relevant competencies and skills

In this section, discuss the competencies and skills that you have that match the vacancy (see tip 1). Although you also have to do this with a normal application, you now face an extra challenge.

Describing relevant competencies and skills is difficult because you have to remove them from the old context and translate them into the new context. The more extreme the career switch, the harder it is.

Try to include all relevant competencies and skills in your resume and to substantiate them with examples. Look back on your social and professional life and look for all useful information that you can use for this.

# 5 Show off relevant performance

In this section you will discuss a number of remarkable achievements. You don't have to immediately think of your greatest achievements. Perhaps during your studies, hobbies or previous employment, you may have achieved a performance that was not particularly special at the time, but that suddenly became very relevant in the context of the intended position.

Strengthen your performance by reporting concrete results that are also verifiable. This includes turnover figures, prizes won, number of products sold or number of articles published.

# 6 Describe your experience based on roles

In a chronological resume you describe your work experience based on job titles. The problem with a career switch is that these job titles often seem to be irrelevant. Yet, while holding these positions, you have often fulfilled a number of roles that are certainly important for the position you are applying for. You can think of roles as a planner, supervisor, manager, project leader or organizer.

You state these roles in a skills resume and you omit less relevant parts, such as a job title. This way your skills and competences come to the fore better and you retain the attention of the recruiter.

# 7 Specify training courses

Even with a skills resume, your education is not unimportant. They serve as an indicator for the work and thinking level that you have. In this section, therefore, list a number of relevant and / or recent courses that increase your chance of a job.

# 8 Use the correct terms

Recruiters and employers who have been working in a certain sector for a while speak with subject-related words and terms.

By doing extensive research (tip 1) you can use such terms in communication with your potential employer. You show that you are somewhat familiar with the industry and the position. This in turn contributes positively to your credibility.

There is a chance that an employer or recruiter will not notice the use of the terms, because he / she will experience it as a matter of course. However, if you use the terms incorrectly, you can throw away your chances of finding a job in one fell swoop. So be careful!

Dare to take the plunge

You make a career switch with an eye to the future, while a resume focuses on the past. Yet as a newcomer it's not impossible to make an impression with your resume.

Research the labor market, adjust your resume for the vacancy, omit irrelevant information, use the correct terms and increase your chance of success!

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