CAREER CHANGE RESUMES
I'm Changing Careers -- How Do I Format My
The best resume format to use is the
combination resume. This
format is not chronological nor functional. It
combines both! It is extremely flexible and allows you to use strategies
in a way that would normally be considered wrong.
The difference between the combination format and the chronological
format is that the chronological format resume is very easy to follow.
The hiring manager will typically start to read the chronological resume
at the bottom of the work history or professional experience section
(heading depends on your career level) and will continue reading his or
her way up towards the top to trace your career history. If there are
employment gaps, it will be obvious because it is difficult to hide
breaks in employment using this resume format. This is why most hiring
mangers prefer the chronological resume format. It is easy to read and
leaves little to the imagination. This can be a great advantage
(marketing tool) if you have been in the same type of position because
it shows continuity and progression in your industry.
But what happens when you've held different types of positions across
several industries? Reasons for gaps in employment and holding too many
or unrelated jobs include raising children, caring for a family member,
illness, returning to college, corporate downsizing or merger, joining
the military, and difficulty finding work for long stretches of time
because of a tight job market or weak resume! So, the first thing you
will need to do is toss your old resume. It will not help you to change
career. You need to make a fresh start!
Create a resume that clearly indicates at the top what type of position
you are seeking.
Include a career summary section that highlights where you've been in
your career. being careful to only mention what would be of most
interest to this particular company. Emphasize your transferable
experience and skills that match the
qualifications of the position (if there is a job ad,
study it and do your best to make a connection between the position's
requirements and what you've done. Do not use the exact wording!).
Use a keywords section to list transferable skills so the reader
can find them immediately. This is also important if the company uses
resume scanning technology. This will ensure
resume is retrieved from the company's database in
response to a keyword search.
Under your Professional Experience section or Work History (again,
depends on your background), present your experience in functional
sections such as
General Management, Sales
Management, Staff Training and Supervision, Budget
Planning and Tracking , etc.
Take ALL of the experience you've gained over the years and
categorize it into skill areas that the new position requires. If the
company is seeking someone to manage budgets, and you managed budgets
ten years ago and four years ago, but not in your last two jobs, then
list the collective experience under a Budget category.
Continue this formula until each respective category has a minimum of
four bulleted sentences or two two-lined sentences to support the name
of the heading. It is a good idea to have at least three categories to
show how well rounded you are.
Below this section, list the companies, locations,
titles, and dates. You can either create a separate
section named Work History if you've already called the above section
Professional Experience, or simply list the section without a main
heading as part of the main section. It will be understood. Or, you can
start the section off with the company names and dates followed by the
functional categories. In other words, flip it.
The most common problem with this resume format is identifying where
your experience was gained. But, that's the whole idea. If they are
interested in what you can do, they will call you in for the interview.
It is at that time you can explain the how, when, where, and why of it
all. It will make for great conversation--which by the way, a job
interview should be. A meeting between two people with a common interest
(the position) who engage in conversation in a professional manner.
About The Author:
Ann Baehr s a CPRW and
President of Best
Resumes of New York