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Transitioning Career Resumes

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: July 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

In this economy, many of us will be faced with leaving our first or even second careers to move on to the next.

To successfully convey your old skill set to the hiring manager or recruiter in a new industry, it’s important to follow these key steps:

  1. Look for online job postings in your field at the various job boards (HotJobs, Dice, Monster, CareerBuilder) and highlight the requirements you meet.
  2. Dovetail all of your past experience to those requirements for the new position. For example, if you’ve moved from retail management to accounting, then some of your transferable skills may be budgeting, spreadsheets, projections, etc.
  3. Begin your resume with a strong Qualifications Summary that shows the hiring manager how your past experience can be transitioned to this new career or field. Don’t make them look for it. Don’t make them guess. Most won’t. They’ll simply move on to the next candidate.
  4. Showcase any past achievements that may be relevant to the new industry. If you were awarded for leadership in retail management that skill is also important in an accounting office.
  5. Prioritize your data according to what will most impress a hiring manager or recruiter. For example, if you’ve just been awarded a degree in accounting, your education should come first with your professional history in retail management next. The key is to match your background as closely as you can to the requirements of the job.
  6. Every line of your resume must speak to the new job and how well you can fill it. Therefore, leave any extraneous data that can’t be dovetailed off your resume.
  • Erika

    I wonder, if I am transitioning from 20 year warehouse industry over to office manager field, should I include everything in my professional resume? Do you guys help me to write a resume that can kind of “show and hide” these things?

  • I do agree with you on point #3 – a strong Qualifications Summary. As a matter of fact, I think it is the most important part of a transitioning career resume.