Changing Careers? Here Are Some Tips for Writing Resumes and Cover Letters to Suit
This post is featured on behalf of Jackie Roberson.
If you’re planning to change careers soon and want to spend your time and effort on a job that’s more interesting to you, it’s important to put together a resume and cover letter that gives you the best chance of success. Since you’ll be moving from one role to something potentially very different, your application documents must be able to bridge the gap between your prior experience and the new job, so employers or recruiters can see you’re right for the position.
As you embark on a new career, reduce your stress levels and increase your chance of getting a job quickly by making it clear to hiring managers that you’re a perfect fit for their open positions. Read on for some key tips you can follow to put together the strongest application documents possible.
Preempt Questions About Your Career Change
When career changers create their CV and cover letter, they must do something other candidates don’t have to do: preempt questions about why they want to do something new. In your documents, it’s necessary to indicate why the positions you’re applying for are at the top of your list, too.
Because you’re joining a new field and thereby won’t yet have much experience, you must find ways to show readers you’re honestly committed to the area. People don’t want to hire someone they think is jumping from one whim to another, so demonstrate you’re willing to work your way up, can obtain extra qualifications if needed, and have really done your research on the industry.
In your cover letter, and in your resume (likely in the Profile or Objective section up the top), include two or three sentences that explain your interest in the new career. Mention how you have educated yourself in the field so far, and include details of any training, qualifications or work experience you have gotten in the area.
Try to expect questions people might have when seeing you’re only just moving to the arena. Compile a list of questions you think HR managers or business owners might have as they read your documents, and try to answer as many of these as possible throughout your application.
Demonstrate How You’ll be Suited to the Role
The next step is to populate your CV and cover letter with information about your career history, accomplishments, etc. to clearly demonstrate how you’re suited to the role at hand, even though you’re new to it. Showcase how the skills you’ve built up over the years are transferable to the field and how you will be able to deliver results ASAP.
While to you some of these skills may be obvious, they might not be obvious to readers. This means you need to make it simple and straightforward for recruiters to see how you can hit the ground running if you get the job. Highlight how your past roles and results have perfectly prepared you.
Wherever possible, add in specific details. For example, use percentages, numbers and other demonstrable and quantifiable examples that show how you excelled in the past and therefore can do so again now. Mention what you have picked up in your education over the years, whether through online certificate programs, post-graduate degrees, computer training or other options and exactly how this knowledge can now be used in a new way.
Always avoid vague information in your application documents, too. This kind of language can make it seem like you don’t understand what’s involved in the job you’re applying for.
Get Your Documents Looked Over by Others for a Fresh Perspective
Another way to give yourself the best possible chance of success is to get your resume and cover letter looked over by someone else, who can come at them with a fresh perspective. You will no doubt read over your documents many times to try to spot errors, but it’s easy to miss issues because you know what should be there and what you’re trying to say.
It’s important, therefore, to have someone who hasn’t already read your application to look for typos, spelling and grammatical errors, changes to formatting, missing words, repetition and so on. If possible, get a specialist resume writer or someone who works in the field you want to join to read your documents.
By Jackie Roberson
Jackie is a content coordinator and contributor that creates quality articles for topics like technology, home life, and education. She studied business management and is continually building positive relationships with other publishers and the internet community.