I don’t know about you, but I’m not psychic.
So it’s not exactly reasonable to think that at the age of 18, when we’re graduating high school that we’re going to have our careers all figured out, and commit to and stick with one thing.
Career Change enters the chat.
So it’s perfectly reasonable, normal, and natural that you will change your career multiple times throughout your career.
But how do you write a resume to change from one thing to the next, successfully? That’s what we’ll be covering here.
What To Do First When Changing Careers
So what should happen first when you know you’re ready to change careers.
If you watch my videos regularly, I’m going to beat that same old drum – you need to be clear on what your target job is. What job are you changing to?
If you’ve identified what you’re going after next, this video is for you.
If you haven’t, come back to this later after you’ve had a chance to nail down what your new target job is. I’ve linked some resources to help in the description below.
In addition to knowing where you want to head, you need to know where you’ve already been.
Take stock of all of the great things you’ve done in your career and note them down in a Work Wins file – which is a running document of your awesomeness.
How To Write A Resume To Change Careers – The Basics
So now that you know where you’re headed and we’re you’ve been, you’re ready to start rewriting your resume.
Yes, I said rewrite.
New beginnings require a fresh start. Your resume is no different.
But this is why it’s important to first have your target role identified, as well as the accomplishments you’ve accumulated across your career. This will make the rewriting process much easier.
I also have some good news for you.
When we’re thinking about changing careers, often we’re worried about our transferable skills.
I’m here to tell you:
ALL skills are transferable.
No skill exists purely for one employer to benefit from.
You’ve got customer service skills? Transferable!
Software development? Transferable!
Rocket Thrust Equation and Analysis skills? Transferable!
What’s important to know about transferable skills is which ones you want to use to market yourself to your new career.
This is where job postings for your target role become very important. You need to comb through them, study them, and make sure you’re highlighting the skills and qualifications that YOU have that THEY want.
How To Write A Resume To Change Careers – Rebranding Yourself
When we’re rebranding ourselves to new directions, the most important thing we need to keep in mind is making our resumes make sense to our new direction.
Does what I’ve written in my resume make sense to the reader, as in, your new future employer?
The most important part of our resume that we need to work on making sense to your new target job and new future employer are your work experience, in particular, your accomplishments.
You need to show you how you are qualified for a role that you may not have held yet.
And yes, it’s possible, because all skills are transferable.
And all accomplishments and work experience can be translated.
So how do we make sure we’re rebranding ourselves properly?
This is where the 5R framework comes in.
I’ve mentioned teh 5R framework a number of times in previous videos, but it bears repeating because it is essential to making your experience make sense to your new direction.
So what are the 5Rs?
What the 5Rs allows us to do is spin our previous work experience into something that works to show we’re qualified and equipped with our transferable skills, for the job to which we’re changing.
How To Write A Resume To Change Careers – Translating Your Accomplishments
So let’s take a look at a bunch of examples of career changes, inspired by our favorite characters on The Office, and let’s see how they might go about translating accomplishments in their current jobs, to make sense for new jobs.
First up, Michael Scott, of course.
Michael is transitioning from Regional Manager to Improv Teacher.
So we know as an Improv Teacher, he’ll need to, teach.
He’s already done a lot of that at Dunder Mifflin, where he:
Continuously trained a 20+ person team on sales strategies and customer service
But let’s reframe this to make it make more sense to an Improv Teacher role, where we need to show that we are creative and bring a lot of fun to our teaching and training, and using the 5Rs we could change this accomplishment to:
Engaged and trained 20+ person team on sales and customer service concepts leveraging creative tactics such as skits, magic, motivational dance, murder mystery, magic, beach games, and film production
Next, let’s take a look at Dwight Schrute, and his application to become a Volunteer Sheriff
Dwight was kind of the self-proclaimed, enforcer of the office.
While his job very much was sales, he could really reposition or reframe his de facto law enforcement work with accomplishments like:
Proactively launched investigation into perpetrator of indecent exposure on office property
Discovered and investigated presence of illicit drugs; designated as Honorary Security Advisor as a result of initiative
Now let’s take a look at Pam.
Pam will likely be pursuing a role as a graphic designer.
Luckily for Pam, she’s done some special projects in graphic design, so she can emphasize those.
Where she might have said on her resume:
Assisted with the production of Dunder Mifflin commercial
She might instead reframe this to emphasize her work on the animation and design with:
Designed and animated graphics for paid-media television advertising
How about Darryl Philbin.
He was applying for VP Athlete Relations at Athlead, transitioning over from managing the warehouse.
This seems like a pretty major change going from an operations and logistics role to an account management type of role.
So where Darrell may have spoken about his work in the warehouse, where he might have said:
Oversee entire logistics and warehouse operations for Dunder Mifflin’s most profitable branch.
He could reframe this to make it more about relations and account management. In fulfillment, he wasn’t necessarily working with clients directly. But I can bet he was working with vendors directly.
So he could reframe his work by saying something like:
Oversaw entire logistics, warehouse operations, and vendor management for Dunder Mifflin’s most profitable branch; managed a portfolio of 45 vendors
Or he could say something about negotiating with vendors
Negotiated cost savings of 25% with key vendors, increasing volume discounts for largest clients
Darryl might also want to talk about how he recruited staff for the warehouse because as VP Athlete Relations, he was also recruiting athletes to join Athlead.
So he might include a bullet like:
Recruited and built warehouse team of 10+ staff
And finally, let’s take a look at Andy Bernard with his plans to move from an unemployed Regional Sales Manager to his “dream job” at Cornell as an Admissions Officer.
With sales, you’re asking people to buy your product. With admissions, people are asking you to let them pay you – as in let me into your university! But also, you might be involved in recruiting high-potential students.
Aside from emphasizing all of his continued involvement in Cornell alumni initiatives, Andy would do best by repositioning in particular his work where he developed different programs to attract clients to Dunder Mifflin, or build relationships.
One of his best examples of this is the business seminar that he developed, where he could say something like:
Prospected and secured several new clients by planning and hosting a first-of-its-kind business seminar that welcomed attendees from diverse sectors
As you can see, when we’re changing jobs, we don’t throw out what we’ve done in the past, we translate it to make it fit our new direction.
Are you pursuing a career change now? What are you struggling with when translating previous work experience to new target directions? Tell me in the comments below.