Career Change? How to write an interviewing winning CV to address a change in career direction
Writing a CV to secure a change in career can be a daunting prospect. How do you present your past and current experience in such a way that it appeals to hiring managers in a totally different field? Would-be career changers often get discouraged and give up at this point, while others make futile applications using their old CV and never hear back.
The good news is that there are many ways to tackle this problem. Below are some useful tips:
Try a different format…
Transform the way your career history is presented by adopting a skill based document rather than a chronological CV. This will ensure the new CV demonstrates your transferable skills without the distraction of seeing that your job titles are in another sector.
Understand the employer’s needs and concerns and show how you can address them.
Every employer has specific needs in mind when they look for a new employee. In part they’ll usually want experience and, if you’re changing careers, you may not have this. But they’ll also have specific requirements about personality, ethics, work style, level of commitment, and soft skills such as communication or team building.
To understand what these might be, study your target profession to understand that drivers of success. And when you’re applying to a specific company, get to know that company inside and out, so you know what personality traits and soft skills matter most. This will help you write a CV that appeal to hiring managers and recruiters, even when your experience is less than ideal.
Present freelance and unpaid work as if it were a full-time position. If you want to be a web designer but the only design work you’ve done has been for friends and family, it still counts as experience. It doesn’t matter whether they paid you or not. The point is you did the work and you need to show that on your CV just as if you had been paid. (If you don’t have any unpaid experience in your chosen field, now is the time to get some!)
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Communicate your passion and dedication
Your CV needs to show employers why they should take a chance on you.
Your CV needs to show employers why they should take a chance on you. Too often, people want to change careers without having thought it through fully. Employers will worry you might be doing the same.
Emphasising any and all experience will help, but also it’s important to make sure that your CV clearly communicates your passion for, and commitment to, this career change. That will go a long way towards convincing employers that you will stick with it over the long haul.