3 Tips for Writing a Resume When You are Switching Industries
After writing thousands of resumes since 2008, I have seen ALMOST everything. In fact, many clients come to me mid-life or after working at the same place for 15 or 20 years. Now—for whatever reason—the client is looking to make a significant industry change. Perhaps they previously worked in production and now want to work in marketing. Or, the client has always worked in more manufacturing based-roles and now finishing a degree in accounting and wants to start within the new industry. Writing a resume when switching industries does not have to be a daunting task. The next three steps will help to ensure your resume is on-target for your desired job opportunities.
Tip #1 – Identify transferable skills. This can be the most important step to the process. When you have worked in one area for 10+ years, you have gained a great deal of skills. Think in terms of skills that can EASILY transfer to your new industry and those that are most RELEVANT. If you have developed relationships with vendors, communicated with cross-functional team members, and established a presence within the community, these all may be areas of strength that you can use in your new role.
Tip #2 – Split your work history into two sections. I recently worked with a teacher that was moving into sales. Prior to her teaching profession, she had worked in a few sales roles. For her resume, we put work history into two sections: Sales Experience and Teaching History. This way, she can move the sections around depending upon the job she is seeking in the future. And, by doing so, it looks more cohesive; rather than jumping around date-by-date, we are categorizing according to the industries.
Tip #3 – Know WHY you are making the change. As you go on interviews, you will most likely be asked WHY you are switching industries or roles. Perhaps you have recently finished a degree in the new field, have researched the new industry, or know others that have enjoyed their roles. It is vital that you are able to clearly and concisely explain the reason behind the modification during an interview.
Finally, be sure to think about the RELEVANCE of information included. Remember that hiring managers are extremely busy and you must grab their attention quickly while also ensuring you target the job specifications.