Keep your letter focused on how your passion for your new career, combined with your transferable skills and experience, would benefit your potential employer. This format works well for networking scenarios in which you are referred by a mutual contact who vouches for you. Whatever format you choose, your new resume or resumes should be comprehensive, but not overwhelming.
Zero in on those skills that would be most interesting to the person looking to fill the position. Your time at a PR firm may be impressive, but not so much to a hiring manager looking for a tech assistant.
This is where transferable skills come in. Each job teaches us something, and those things can be widely used elsewhere. For instance, your time management skills or knowledge of certain computer programs would be useful in most any position. Your job here is to demonstrate the ease with which you will move into this new career.
Stay focused on relevance as opposed to volume. This is particularly important if you are a relatively experienced candidate who is willing to take on a more junior role in exchange for the opportunity to switch fields. Play down your overall years of experience and emphasize your commitment to the career change and your willingness and ability to roll up your sleeves and do the work needed.
Think about projects in your past that allowed you to develop transferable skills — including related education, training, and volunteer work. If your past professional experience has little application this career switch, you may be able to make up for it by emphasizing work done outside of office hours.
List design classes and training in design software. Show that you have a passion for the new field and have been taking every opportunity to develop your skills. For candidates from unrelated professional backgrounds, there will be qualification gaps.
Focus on showing your strengths and abilities in the most compelling way possible. Your enthusiasm and bravery in switching fields will come through in your cover and resume , and lead you straight to the interview.
Pamela Skillings is co-founder of Big Interview. As one of the country's top interview coaches, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase.
She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York. Need Answers to the Top 10 Interview Questions? Get our free eBook guide of sample answers and expert interview advice emailed to you now. See Package Here Do I need professional resume writing? People regularly ask us if their resume needs rewriting.
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Many career changers do well with a combination resume format, which is a chronological-style resume that leads with a qualifications summary. The summary emphasizes your most related credentials so hiring managers easily see you are qualified for your new goal.
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