Career Change Resume for 2020 [9+ Examples]
Are you considering changing your career?
It can feel like a leap of faith.
You step into the unknown – it alone takes great courage and determination.
You may even feel like a fresh graduate again.
You have 0 experience, you are entering a completely new field, competing with people who have done it forever!
It sounds pretty scary.
But here’s the thing:
As long as you have the right CV, the transition can be a breeze.
And fortunately, we’re here to help and guide you through the process.
So, if you are thinking of entering a new career sector, be sure to keep reading.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Choosing the best resume format for a career change
- How to create a skill summary and surprise the recruiter
- How is transferable work experience shown?
- 3+ other ways to influence the employer (even if you have 0 relevant work experience)
Choosing the Best Career Change Resume Format
A big part of creating an effective resume is choosing the right resume format to tell your story.
You need to structure your CV in a way that best represents your transferable skills and experience.
And when it comes to changing jobs, the combination resume format does it best.
Here is the reason:
This format places equal emphasis on skills and significant work experience.
This way, even if you don’t have the actual job title, you can demonstrate that you have the right industry transferable skills.
The format is ideal for people:
- Making career changes with transferable skills or work experience.
- With some employment gaps.
- With a wide variety of skills and experiences.
- Applying to both creative and traditional roles.
And here’s what you add to this format:
- Contact information
- Continue the goal or summary
- Skills summary
- Work experience
Now, we’ll take a look at each of these sections and explain step by step how to write them.
Here’s what you need to know:
How to Add Your Contact Information the Right Way
Your contact information is probably the most important part of your resume.
Even if you are the most qualified person in the world, it will not be very important if you misspell your e-mail and the HR manager cannot contact you.
Here’s what you need to add to this section:
- Name surname
- Phone number – If you are applying outside of your country, be sure to include your country code.
- Email address – A professional address such as [FirstName.LastName@gmail.com].
- Location – The company needs to know if you are located in the area or if it needs to sponsor your move.
- Title – Your current professional title or the new title you want. We recommend that you include the job title you are applying for, word by word.
When you’re done, we recommend that you double-check everything, or even triple-check. You don’t want to miss your chance to get a job because of a typo, do you?
- Do you have an online portfolio? You can also mention the links here. For example, if you’re a developer, you can add a link to your GitHub profile. Author, Medium link etc. If you are …
Now let’s consider how to write a successful career change resume goal or summary.
Impress the Recruiter With a Career Change Resume Objective or Summary
So you took note of your contact information.
Now you need a reason for the HR manager to keep reading the rest of your resume.
So how do you get the recruiter to stop and read your career change resume while looking at it for only an average of 6 seconds?
Answer: using a CV goal or summary.
Both of these sections explain why you are the best person for the job and act as a preview of the rest of your resume.
The difference between the two is as follows:
Your resume summary shows your best achievements for the job you are applying for.
Your CV goal highlights how relevant your current skills are and how they will be transferred to your new position.
As someone undergoing a career change, you can include either of them.
But as a general rule, if you work in a related field and have some transferable skills, go for a resume summary.
On the other hand, if you’re working in a completely unrelated field, go for a resume goal.
To get a better idea of what both might look like, check out these examples: How do you write a resume when changing careers?,#What should I put on my resume for 2020?,#How do you write an objective for a career change on a resume?,#How do you write a resume for 2020?,#What is the best layout for a resume?,#How long should my resume be 2020?,#What is your career objective best answer?,#How do I switch careers without experience?,#What can I put on my resume instead of objective?,#How can I make my CV stand out 2020?,#What kind of resume do employers prefer?,#How can I update my resume in 2020?,#What is a downside of including a career objective in your résumé?
,#How do you answer a career change question?,#What is a good career objective?,#How do you justify a career change?,#Why do you want to leave your current job in 6 months?,#What is your expected salary?,#Do you need an objective on your resume 2020?,#Which of the following should not be included in your resume?,#Should you put retired on a resume?,#How do I get my resume noticed?,#How do I list my skills on a resume 2020?,#What resume template is most successful?
Career Change Resume Summary Example
Resume Summary Example: Changing Careers
- “Customer support specialist with more than 4 years of experience in telephone technical support who wants to take advantage of his communication skills as a Sales Representative at XYZ Company. It has an excellent track record of providing quality support with an average score of 4.6 / 5 over the last 2 years. “
The career change resume summary helps HR understand how your skills can evolve from your previous job to a new one.
In this case, it is best to talk about:
- Your current relevant skills or experience.
- How your background can help you succeed in the current job.
Career Change Resume Objective Example
Resume Objective Example: Changing Careers
- “An organized and hardworking employee who wants to join XYZ as a marketing assistant. I would like to take advantage of my Photoshop, graphic design and creative copywriting skills to assist XYZ in their marketing efforts. “
Do you see the difference here?
Although the person does not have any relevant work experience, resume goals show how relevant the skill set is to the new job.
Show Off Your Know-How With a Skills Summary Section
Your resume summary / goal is only an introduction. Now you need to show HR what you have.
To do this, you need a good skill summary section.
The skills summary is a must-have section for almost any career change resume.
Unlike your work experience, it places more emphasis on your skills. This allows you to show how qualified you are, even if you haven’t finished the job before.
A sample skill summary section for a front-end developer might look like this.
Career Change Resume Skills Summary Example
HTML, CSS, JS:
- She built an online personal portfolio and resume website using HTML, CSS, JS.
- He created an online JS / jQuery quiz game that gets multiple answers and displays the results to the user.
- Created a beautiful weather app from scratch with Angular 8, UI designed with Sketch.
- Responsive website templates (also mobile friendly) were created using modern CSS techniques and JS libraries.
- He worked with design and development groups to create applications from models in Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
- Familiar with Git, XDebug, and Chrome Developer Tools.
- Debugged over 10 JS web apps for a SaaS project.
Simple enough, right?
Lists each of your core skills and then back them up based on how you used them in the past.
Now, “What about the work experience section?” You may be thinking. Should I skip this and use a skill summary instead?
No – you still need to list your work experience.
In this case, you want to use it to show off your transferable skills. Here’s how to do this:
Use Your Work Experience to Show Off Transferable Skills
Let’s take a different example and let’s say you switched from a job in sales to copywriting.
Compared to a more creative field like copywriting, a resume you’ll use for sales will probably be slightly different.
So what do both roles have in common?
First, both require you to have excellent communication skills. You should also be good at understanding your target market and communicating complex information in simple language.
And this is the common topic you’ll want to focus on in the work experience section.
So when listing your previous jobs, consider some transferable skills you bring to the table that will be relevant.
Even unrelated jobs have some universal skills that help everywhere.
Let’s look at some examples to give you a better idea of what we mean:
Good Work Experience Example:
Company X – 11/2016 – 04/2019
- He prepared and presented a sales pitch that secured a $ 500,000 deal – for Company X, the largest to date.
- Increased sales of the lowest performing product by 40% by developing helpful and educational materials for potential customers.
- Sales materials, scripts and technical documentation have been created and organized for accuracy and consistency.
Here’s what’s done right:
- Demonstrates transferable skills and achievements.
- It emphasizes only those parts of the experience that relate to the new role.
While the above example does not mention product descriptions or advertisements, communication materials and sales scenarios show that the candidate can write.
It would therefore be relevant and worth mentioning for a copywriting position.
Now, compare this to the following career change work experience:
Bad Work Experience Example:
Company X – 11/2016 – 04/2019
- Cold-emailed 100+ prospects daily.
- Closed 14+ deals in 2019 so far.
- Hit and exceeded company KPIs for the past 2 years in a row.
Of course, this example is good. But only if the candidate is applying for a sales job.
For copywriting, none of the mentioned skills will work.
Therefore, when listing previous job positions, you should focus only on those that are relevant.
Now that you know how to properly list work experience, let’s move on to the next section: Education.
Here’s what you need to know:
Make Your Education Section Shine
Your education department will be an essential requirement for just about any position above the entry level.
It is quite simple to list the training on your resume.
All you have to do is list your most recent education entry (for example, university degree) and then add all the important things under it.
For example, you can add things like:
- Name of degree (Minor – optional): e.g. B.A. International Business Administration.
- Name of educational institution: e.g. University of Groningen.
- Years attended: e.g. 2015 – 2019.
- Location of the program (optional): e.g. Groningen, Netherlands.
- GPA (optional): 3.84 (only include if you excelled).
- Courses that are relevant to the job (optional): e.g. Advanced Business Finances.
- Exchange programs (optional): e.g. exchange program in Florida, U.S.
The complete list of this tutorial entry might look like this:
You may be wondering, what if I don’t get the right training for the job? Maybe you have a Master’s degree in Philosophy, but you are applying for a job in marketing. Are you still listing?
The answer is definitely yes.
Even if your degree is not relevant at all, it still shows that you are passionate about learning and education.
In some cases, you can even show some transferable skills with your degree.
Let’s say you have a B.A. You are applying for jobs in English Literature and marketing.
You can highlight how your degree gives you great writing skills (must-have for most marketing roles), for example:
Education Section Done Right:
B.A. in English Literature.
University XYZ – 2014-2018
- Excelled in creative writing courses
- Part-time as a reporter for the university website
Note – Still have questions about how to list your education section? Maybe you are wondering what else you can add? Check out our complete guide on how to list training on a resume with over 13 real-life examples.how to list education on a resume with 13+ real-life examples.
Are you done with your education department? Great!
This brings us to the next section of your career change resume. How do you write a resume when changing careers?,#What should I put on my resume for 2020?,#How do you write an objective for a career change on a resume?,#How do you write a resume for 2020?,#What is the best layout for a resume?,#How long should my resume be 2020?,#What is your career objective best answer?,#How do I switch careers without experience?,#What can I put on my resume instead of objective?,#How can I make my CV stand out 2020?,#What kind of resume do employers prefer?,#How can I update my resume in 2020?,#What is a downside of including a career objective in your résumé?,#How do you answer a career change question?,#What is a good career objective?,#How do you justify a career change?,#Why do you want to leave your current job in 6 months?,#What is your expected salary?,#Do you need an objective on your resume 2020?,#Which of the following should not be included in your resume?,#Should you put retired on a resume?,#How do I get my resume noticed?,#How do I list my skills on a resume 2020?,#What resume template is most successful?
How (and Why) to List Skills On a Career Change Resume
When it comes to the skills section, what most recruiters want to know is whether you can actually do what the job posting wants.
As with other chapters so far, relevance is paramount.
You should only list the skills appropriate for the job you are applying for.
Start by scanning the job listing to find out what’s relevant.
Most job postings usually contain a list of requirements or skills they expect a good candidate to have.
So, all you have to do is mention exactly these skills in your resume.
Let’s look at an example.
Career Change Resume Skills Example
Assuming the job posting is for a young front end developer with:
- Up to 1 year of visual design experience focusing on powerful UX / UI.
- Good communication skills and team player
You’d want to list the following skills:
- UX / UI
- Communication Skills
So, all you have to do is talk about these skills and you’re good to go!
- Not sure what skills you should have for your role? Check out our complete list of all the skills you should have for any field or position!
Showing Career Certifications on a Resume
As you change your career, certificates are a great way to show that you are serious about your profession.
This indicates that you are willing to put it to work and have already taken the first steps.
When listing certificates though, make sure they are relevant to your domain.
For a marketing role, here’s what this looks like:
- HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified, 2019.
- Google Analytics Individual Qualification, 2018.
- SEMrush Content Marketing Toolkit Course, 2018.
And here’s an example done wrong:
- TechCamp Python Bootcamp, 2019.
For a marketing role, these certificates are completely irrelevant and not even in the same field.
While they’re impressive on their own, that doesn’t mean they’ll make you a better marketer.
Listing Personal Projects
Another great way to show that you are the right person for the job is to list personal projects.
This can be just about anything:
- Setting up a sports team at the university
- Your project for Business Class
- A part-time online store you created on Etsy
- Passion project for woodworking
- And whatever else you love (this applies to your new career)
Almost anything is important that can make up for your lack of experience in the field.
But of course, remember that your projects must be relevant to your new job.
Are you starting to code? Here’s what your projects section might look like …
Be sure to stick with related projects though.
The HR manager cares about your CODING experience, not the fact that you set up a basketball team in college.
Now compare this with:
Personal Projects Done Wrong:
- He has specialized in Anthropology and Archeology courses at X. University.
- Self taught knitting professional.You shouldn’t list projects just to stand out or fill space.
The more irrelevant information you mention in your resume, the more likely the recruiter will accidentally skip all the sections you should have.
- Is there still room in your resume? You can also add the hobbies and interests section. Check out our guide to learn how (and why)!
How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter
Are you done with your resume?
But wait before you get too excited – you’re still not finished.
You should back up your resume with a career change cover letter.
And no – it’s not like the regular cover letter you’re used to writing.
When changing careers, you want to use your cover letter to highlight WHY you are changing fields and WHY your skills are a good match for the new role.
To do this, be sure to come up with a ton of samples and, if possible, specify any key statistics or measurable results that you can take advantage of.
To help you create the best career change cover letter, check out the example below:
Here’s what’s done right with this cover letter:
- It appeals to the reader (eg “Dear Doris”, or if you can’t find his name, “Who May Be About”).
- It makes it clear that they want to move on to a different career (in this case, from marketing and retail to public relations).
- It shows that they have done the research and that the letter is tailored to the company’s products and brand.
- Provides specific examples and achievements (“More than $ 10,000 raised for the event.”).
- It ends with a confident note and provides a call to action (and where to contact them).
Think your cover letter game is incomplete? Check out our complete, step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter.
how to write a cover letter.
If you are considering a career change and also want to join a community of global professionals who are reimagining and reshaping their careers, consider Unsettled’s Lifestyle Incubator.
Unsettled’s Lifestyle Incubator program is a 4-week highly interactive “virtual retreat” program for professionals who want to be more conscious of redefining career trajectories and designing their next steps.
Through original workshops, weekly live sessions, practical tools, frameworks, and peer-to-peer conversations with a global and diverse community of professionals, it helps you identify the key tensions between the lifestyle you want and the career path that aligns your values, interests and skills.
To summarize, going through a mid-career transition probably sounds scary.
However, if you shape your career change resume with a focus on transferable skills and experience, you’re good to go!
Make sure you follow these main tips as you work on your CV:
Use the combination resume format to highlight your transferable skills and work experience.
Include all key career change resume sections – contact information, resume goal or summary, skills summary, work experience, soft and technical skills, certificates and personal projects.
And while doing so, only highlight those that are relevant to your new position.
Finally, be sure to include a custom cover letter on your resume and mention WHY you changed the fields and what unique skills you’ve brought with you.
At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you achieve your dream job every step of the way. Be sure to check out our career blog for industry-leading advice and more actionable tips.