After you've been out of the job market for a few years, getting back into it can come with new challenges that you hadn't anticipated. Whether this is the technology that has been developed, new networking strategies or just the state of the economy, the job search process has evolved.
But one of the first – and most important – factors to consider when switching careers is how your resume reflects what you've already accomplished, what you hope to achieve in the near future and why you would be a great addition to any business team.
According to AOL Jobs, the most obvious reason for people to consider a career change recently has been the lingering effects of the recession. While some workers have decided to hone their skills in one particular area to hold onto their current jobs, others are preparing to explain to employers that they're well suited for a job in which they have little experience.
The best way to do this is to create a resume specifically to show a potential employer that you've got what it takes to make it in a new career, no matter your familiarity with the job.
To start, the media outlet stated, do away with the "functional" resume. Although several new trends have emerged in the world of resume writing – from Venn diagrams to colors and graphs – most hiring experts agree that it's wise to stick with a simple, chronological resume. Rather than formatting the document so certain skills and jobs are underscored, list your experience starting with the most recent. Deviating from this format could potentially throw the hiring manager for a loop.
Make it unique
This isn't to say, however, that your resume shouldn't be customized for every job you apply to. It's crucial to write your resume with a specific job description in mind, and although you should never lie or bolster your credentials beyond reason, it can be beneficial to make sure the qualifications you list are needed for the desired position.
"Everything you've done in other jobs [has] to inform why you should be considered," said one career coach told the news source.
You can also personalize your resume by including skills and passions that your competition may not have. In a career switch, it's possible you could be striving for the same position as someone who has more than 10 years of experience in the field. To convince managers you're the one for the job, you'll need to identify a few traits that mean as much or more to the employer as experience.
"You've got to know what sets you apart," the career coach added.
Make sure your resume conveys the confidence you carry and makes you believe a career switch is a good move. This means highlighting any accolades you received in previous jobs, and not being afraid to go into detail about why you deserved them.
"The resume has to be about achievements and outcomes – not tasks [or] projects," the career coach said, according to the news source.
However, don't compromise realistic opportunities for confidence. Stay grounded in your search, and understand that breaking into a new field is a difficult process, especially in the subdued hiring climate.
According to Career Path, you'll have the best chance for success if you take the time to learn about the field you hope to switch into. Before you even begin job searching, do research online, use social media to connect with people at a company in your preferred industry and even try to set up informational interviews with professionals in the field.
While it may sound daunting, a career change can be a great move, even in an economy as uncertain as today's.