How to write a CV when changing careers

SHARE

The amazing thing about careers is you can always reinvent yourself as you grow, and your priorities and aspirations change. If you feel stagnant or unfulfilled in your career, then you may want to consider changing careers.
changing careers

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and start evaluating your life. You start thinking about your career and if you are happy. You maybe question if your current job gives you a sense of purpose and fulfils your dreams. Maybe during this entire re-evaluation process, you realise you are no longer happy and need to change your career. When considering changing careers, the first step is writing a compelling CV.

Changing careers needs you to invest enough time and maybe money to give you a push in the right direction. You might have to enrol for a short course but most importantly, you need to make sure you have a professionally written CV that justifies why you are the perfect candidate for the role, considering that you are moving into a whole new different world.

But before everything, you need to be sure that you are changing your career and going into something you will really enjoy. You are not a cat with 9 lives, you do not get to do it repeatedly like you have all the time in the world. I am not you cannot do it more than once, but I am saying knowing exactly what you want will save you a lot of time and money.

Now, let me help you show your next potential employer that you are great. You want to have a professionally written CV that represents you as the ideal candidate for the role although you are changing careers. Here is what you need to focus on:

Research ahead of changing careers

It goes without saying that you cannot just jump careers without researching the industry and sector and deciding if it is something you really want to do. You need to find out what the best employers in the sector value in an employee and see if you have attributes to match. Job descriptions also help give an understanding of the kind of responsibilities you will have should you be successful and will help you decide if you really want to manage accounts, implement strategies, monitor people, or spearhead marketing.

Draft your CV

Once you are certain that you are changing careers and what you love to do for the next 5 – 10 years, it is time to draft your CV. I would advise that you start from scratch and not allow your old CV to potentially hurt your chances of passing through ATS because it was tailored for your previous career path. You need to make sure that the content and format are impeccable. When it gets to the hands of the hiring manager, it better land you that interview.

Highlight your expertise

Recruitment managers decide in less than 30 seconds if they want to continue reading the rest of your CV. Therefore, it is important to strategically highlight your skills and expertise in a way that ensures that the hiring manager will be able to understand what you are great at in just a few seconds.

Be sure to include any impressive qualifications, experience, and achievements to convince the recruitment team that you are perfect for the role regardless of being on a completely different career path. Change is good, show them through your CV. They probably are looking for someone who will provide a fresh perspective. Let them know it is you!

Remove redundant information

It will make sense if you want to add all the decorated stuff on your CV just to prove that you are worthy of this career change. Truth is if you want to be head of communications, we do not really care that you are an expert in formulating codes and programmes that allows the automation of certain activities. In this case, the CV would rather be short and relevant than 5 pages long with zero information that relates to the job you are applying for. Do not set yourself up for failure like that.

Professional summary

The whole point of a CV is to get the hiring manager to call you in for an interview. With a professional summary on top of the page, you have the opportunity to tell us what this career change means for both you and the organisation. Make a great first impression by showing your skills, competencies, and achievements to prove that you are capable of taking on the role.

Drafting a CV can be time-consuming. Especially when you are changing careers and must start drafting your whole CV from scratch. The aim however is to ensure that you showcase your experience and how it ties to the new role and sector you would love to move into. There are a lot of reasons why you would consider changing your career.

It could be because of your long-term career objectives, the constantly changing job market or it could be money. Whatever it is, use it as a motivation to push yourself a step closer to achieving your goals. Remember, it will not happen overnight, put in the work and be patient with yourself.

Once your CV is ready, all that’s left is for you to put it out there and update your profile of LinkedIn and other career platforms. Also check out The Best Job Search Sites and Recruiters in South Africa.

Share