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Your Career Change Resume. The 5 Minute Career Coach April 2010
April 01, 2010

Helping Career Changers Around The World

April 2010


Welcome to the April 2010 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach!

What's in this Issue

This month I am getting practical again and looking at resumes and CVs. Many people struggle to get these right, especially when making a career change. If this includes you, then take a look at this month's article on career change resumes.

With best wishes

Quote of the Day

"This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

Is your current job letting you be who you really are or does it leave you hemmed in or with a sense that you are playing a role to someone else's script? If the answer is yes, then what will you do to start being more true to yourself? When will you begin to be who you want to be?

Your 5 Minute Coaching Session

Challenging questions are one of the key tools coaches use in helping clients to create change.

Each month I offer you a mini coaching session by asking you a challenging question to think about. The questions I ask are designed to get you thinking in new ways and hopefully gain insights that may open your mind to new possibilities for you career and for your life.

Try this one for size.

When did you or do you feel really motivated?

Start by looking at all the various jobs you have done and reflect on the particular aspects of your work (not the whole job) that have made you feel enthusiastic in the past. If you find it hard to identify things from your work, then spread the net wider. What activities make you want to get stuck in and keep you absorbed for hours?

What does this tell you about what is important to you? What do you need to do to bring more of this motivation into your working life? Do you need a change of career or just a change of focus in your work?

Writing a Career Change Resume or CV

Have you identified a new career you would like to pursue but do you keep getting stuck when it comes to actually applying for a job? Are you wondering how on earth you are going to 'sell' yourself to a new employer in a totally different field?

The doubts start to creep in and you ask yourself questions like 'How do I convince them that after 10 years in finance, I now want to work in health care?' You may be convinced that this is what you want, but will they see it the same way?

There is no magic wand that will guarantee success, but there is much that you can do with your resume to help make the transition you are aspiring to.

Here are my top five tips for writing a career change cv.

Focus on the transferability of your skills
You will have gained many skills through your work and life, but when you are changing career direction, it is important to present them in a way that shows they are applicable in many different contexts, not just in your current work situation.

Use a skills based or functional format
This allows you to present your relevant and transferrable skills on page one for most impact. If you leave your work history two page two, the reader will already be impressed with your skills before they have a chance to question the relevance of your previous employment.

Highlight what you have done to prepare for the new area of work
If you have done some additional training, gained relevant work experience or done voluntary work as part of your preparation for the new career you want to enter, make that stand out on your CV. It helps demonstrate your commitment.

Review what the new role requires very carefully and focus on this
Your job is to show how well you match their requirements so look at the job description and person specification very carefully. Use their keywords when you are talking about your skills and experience and make sure you show how good a match you are for their needs.

Brief your referees
Make sure you prepare your referees in advance. Show them the details of the job you are now applying for and point out the key skills that you are trying to build on in your new role. This will help them to write a targeted reference for you that will help convince your future employer.

Above all, it is important that you approach your new career with a strong sense of self belief. If you have done your homework in planning your career change, you should be clear about the relevance of your strengths and skills. Make sure you present yourself confidently – if you don't believe in your ability to do the job, you can't expect them to!

Clearly there is more to perfecting your CV or resume than I have mentioned here. If you'd like more detailed help, then take a look at my new ebook, The CV & Resume Workbook. It is on Special Offer at just £6.99 to my 5 Minute Career Coach subscribers for the month of April.

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