Changing Careers? 7 Resume Writing Tips to Stand Out From the Pack

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By Lorna Faires

Topics: Job Search


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Changing_Careers__7_Resume_Writing_Tips_to_Stand_Out_from_the_Pack.jpgChanging careers is a big step for anyone. Whether you needed to go back to school or were able to take the leap more directly, you’ll still need to revamp your resume to reflect the big change.

You probably don’t want to start at the very bottom of the totem pole after a career change either. After all, you have valuable work experience and skills developed during your work experience prior to the change.

You need to be able to stand above the crowd. Use these tips to help you stand out.

1. Relate Your Soft Skills

Most hiring managers look for soft skills. Soft skills are important for just about any job you can think of. They’re also harder to teach. They include things like good communication and leadership skills.

The good news is soft skills are transferrable between jobs. Good communication will serve you well whether you’re working as waitstaff at a busy restaurant or writing a sales pitch to a prospective client with a large account. Leadership skills are also transferrable between roles.

Even better news: You have soft skills! You likely developed them during the course of work you decided it was time for a career change. During resume writing, give some thought to your soft skills and be sure to play them up.

2. Emphasize Experience

When you’re resume writing, you want to emphasize the fact that you’re an experienced worker. Your soft skills attest to this somewhat. While you may be new to this field, you’ve already been around the block. You know all about responsibility and workplace environments and cultures.

Not every experience is directly translatable between roles, but some of them most definitely are. Your ability to stay calm under pressure, even while you’re working on an important project, is still an asset. Think about the specific experiences you have that attest to your work ethic and your strengths as an employee.

3. Include Your References

Some hiring managers are making it mandatory to include references with your initial application rather than using the line “references available upon request.”

Even if the job you’re applying to doesn’t require references immediately, include them on your resume. Since you already have workplace experience, you should have references who can attest to your character, skills, and work ethic. Including your references with your initial application makes this clear.

4. Education and Training

If you’ve had to take some courses or take part in additional training to assist with the career change, be sure to talk about the education you’ve pursued to make this happen. Not only does this suggest to employers that you have the knowledge and skills they need, it can also speak to your dedication.

After all, it’s not a small decision to re-educate yourself to change career directions!

5. Proofread

If you haven’t searched for a job in a long time, don’t forget the cardinal rule of resume writing: proofread. A flawless resume shows you’re taking the application process seriously.

If you’re not confident you can catch all the errors yourself, have someone else look it over. If you’re working with a recruiter, they can help you both build and edit your resume.

6. Use a Standout Design

Want to really stand out from the crowd? Use a unique design for your resume. It will automatically be more eye-catching and appealing. A good design makes people want to look twice!

If your graphic design skills are lacking, grab a free template from a service like Canva. This will ensure your resume design is neat, clean, and professional.

7. Ask Your Recruiter

If you’re working with a recruiter, ask how they can help with resume writing. Chances are they have a few tricks up their sleeves too!

With these tips, you can write a truly standout resume that is sure to get you recognized.


Lorna Faires

I have over 15 years of experience in the staffing industry, in a management role. I possess a strong background in recruitment, screening, and connecting candidates with the right employment opportunities. I love all animals, but especially my 3 dogs. Hiking and canoeing are my passions, and getting out into nature and being unplugged is my favourite way to spend my vacations.

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