In light of recent technology development and cultural changes, more and more people decide to give up what they’re doing, professionally, and make a U-turn in their career path.
However, it is much easier said than done, with competition as high as ever. Many get stuck at the very beginning – when working on a resume. It’s clear that chances to get employed with a weak resume and cover letter are minimal, and yet what are you supposed to write in there to make it work for an entirely different industry?
The commonly accepted truth is to include so-called transferable skills, i.e. those that are valuable no matter what industry you are working in.
Let’s take a closer look at them.
1. Research Skills
Research is an indispensable part of the majority of jobs, from companies providing academic essay samples on demand to recruiters in Silicon Valley giants. The ability to dig for and extract valuable information from tons of fluff will always be in demand. That’s why you definitely should include this skill on your resume, no matter where you are going to work next. Research is taught in universities, for god’s sake, it could be a full-fledged profession!
2. Computer Skills
You would be surprised to know how many valuable computer skills you actually have, and it’s not about using office equipment or creating folders on a desktop.
Any programs or applications that take at least a little time to master are worth mentioning – Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel (formulas, not just pretty tables), Jira, Confluence, etc. If there are applications relevant to your new field of work, be sure to mention them, even if you only have a general idea of how they work.
3. Communication Skills
Alas, even those who are quiet workers and prefer to be left alone need at least some communication skills, or they will cut their employment chances by three times. Those so-called soft skills are important in every aspect.
Hence they will look good on your career change resume. But don’t get tempted to include ambiguous and overused clichés and call yourself a “natural communicator” or a person with “excellent oral and written communication skills”. These words sound hollow and no longer bring the meaning they were supposed to bring.
Instead, you can describe how many members of the team you were working with closely, how much information you had to communicate, and what results have been achieved with your communicational efforts. Come to think of it, maybe this set of skills will work better in the cover letter.
4. The Ability to Take on Different Roles
It might not matter what kind of work you were doing before changing the landscape, but it does matter if you could adapt fast to new work roles. Feel free to illustrate your flexibility (don’t use this cliché though!) enumerating how many positions you have changed within the company and how different they were in terms of responsibilities.
5. Leadership Qualities
It’s not by chance that recruiters are getting nervous whenever they are asked to find a team leader for a group of developers. A person responsible for leading the team and taking on blows whenever it fails is not so easy to find and keep. Quite often candidates that are perfect for leadership and management positions lack technical skills and wouldn’t be good in a technical role.
The point is – if you were good at leadership positions in the past, you will be of value for future employers no matter the field.
6. Last but not Least – Effective Time Management
Needless to say how important it is to be able to plan and schedule tasks in line with priorities. Be sure to mention it.
The rule of thumb is – don’t be abstract. Illustrate the skills you mention with real life examples or they will go unnoticed and leave no aftertaste in the recruiter’s head.
And one more thing – always, ALWAYS write a cover letter to accompany your career change resume. In it, you can explain in more detail what forced you to make the decision and why you will be able to fit in the new work role without difficulties.