In a perfect world, your resume would already contain relevant experience in the field that you’re interested in pursuing. But what if you’ve had a career transition, or were in an unrelated field early on? These types of instances may require that you spend some additional time tailoring your resume. Here are some quick tips to make your resume resonate with hiring professionals in your dream field.
- Reorganize your accomplishments. When creating a resume for a new sector, you don’t need to start from scratch. Instead, review your current resume to identify the bullets and experience that feel most relevant to your desired role. To maximize the impact of these bullets, place them near the top of under each role, where they are most likely to be reviewed. For instance, if you’re working in a sales role but you’ve contributed to training and recruitment processes, you can leverage this experience to apply for a human resources position by shifting these related skills and accomplishments to the top of the list of bullets.
- Don’t underestimate your value. Even if you’re entering an entirely new field, you should never downplay what you’ve already done well. Many of the skills that you’ve gained will be valuable to other roles. ‘Soft’ skills like customer service abilities, or the ability to take initiative with little direction, can be more valuable that technical aptitudes as they show solid work ethic. Rather than minimizing achievements that feel unrelated, emphasize the aspects of your accomplishments that showcase your leadership potential.
- Emphasize your professional summary. In your resume, the profile section is the most valuable real estate. This is where you want to include important details that quickly and clearly communicate your highest-level capabilities and relevant accomplishments to prospective employers. Use this section to draw out the most impressive aspects of your previous experience, and make sure to frame them in a way that resonates with prospective employers!
- Rethink your resume design. If you’re not applying to roles in a design-related field, you may want to reconsider using a resume with a lot of graphic elements. Instead, use the space on your resume to highlight and frame your measurable achievements. This article demonstrates how to optimize your resume format for recruiters and hiring managers.
- Speak the language. For professionals in jargon-heavy industries, double-check your resume for industry-specific words and terminology. If you plan on applying for roles outside of your current industry, it is best to use language that is widely understood, as HR professionals may not be well-versed in your field. If you’re too deep into your industry to recognize jargon, have a friend review it to make sure that all the information makes sense.
- Seek new perspectives. Depending on your familiarity with the field, you may want to reach out to someone who already works in the sector that you’re targeting. Perhaps you met someone at a networking event, or the parents of a friend have worked in the field for many years. Reach out and invite them for coffee! An informal, informational interview may help you to figure out what specific experience and skills would be most valued in the field. This is also a great way to hear about what a ‘day in the life’ in the industry would actually be like, to help you to make an informed decision.
By following these guidelines, you’ll greatly improve the odds that your resume will resonate with prospective employers. For more resume tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.