Writing a ‘Change of Career’ CV

At one time, you began in a professional and you stayed in it until you retired. Most people never considered retraining or changing career unless it was enforced on them. But today, people change careers all the time and it is much easier than before.  However, one area that requires special attention when changing career is your CV – how do you know what to use from your old career to help improve your chances in your new one?

Look at transferable skills

Every job has transferable skills – skills that are relevant to another job. Say you were a taxi driver and you want to work in marketing – well you have a great sense of customer service, how to talk to people and also excellent time management. These are all skills that can transfer to your new role. While you might not be doing any driving in a marketing job (of the car variety anyway), you have still learned things that can help you in your new role.

Be confident in your abilities

You learned how to do your old job and that determination will help you learn what to do to your new one. Don’t be afraid to be confident in your abilities, even if they don’t seem relevant to your new role. Sell your strengths and the abilities that you have picked up in your old job that can benefit the new role and use these when discussing your previous roles.

Don’t worry about documenting everything

Think of a CV as a highlight show rather than watching the entire match – you want to include the most important stuff but you don’t need to document everything you have ever done or jobs you have held. Look at the roles that have those transferable skills and highlight them while referring to other roles with less important skills involved. And don’t worry about the irrelevant ones.

Tailor your CV

This one goes for every type of CV you will encounter – make sure you personalise it for every job. Look at the keywords that describe the role and make sure you use these naturally in your CV. Look at the kind of skills you have developed that are relevant to the new job and focus attention on these.

Use your opening paragraph wisely

Many people include an opening statement or paragraph on their CV and this is a good opportunity to highlight why you want to make a change. Look at what you offer the new company and the positives for making the change – don’t be tempted to trash your old employer or criticise them as this never looks good.

Don’t be afraid to get help

Writing a change of career CV can be quite challenging so don’t be afraid to get some help with the task. There are professional CV writers such as Purple CV who can offer their services to help you get the perfect change of career CV, highlighting the important stuff and downplaying any irrelevant stuff. And because your CV is such an important part of getting the new role, it is definitely worth investing in.