Maybe you’ve made the conscious decision to change careers. Or, maybe your career changed without you having a say in the matter. Either way, you are going to be heading down a different road. Before you change career lanes or turn onto a different highway all together, pause. Now’s the time to step back, reevaluate where you want to be and take stock of your talents that are apt to get you there. Below are some suggestions to help you navigate a career transition.
Updating and reworking your resume may seem the best first step. But before you embark on that task, first do some introspective thinking in terms of your career. A career inventory of sorts. One way to do this is to use your resume as a guide for reflection. Pull out your current resume, review your past positions and for each ponder these five questions:
1) Why did I choose to work in this position?
2) What did I enjoy most about this job?
3) What was I really good at while working here?
4) Why did I leave this position?
5) What did I learn from having this position?
Really think through what you desire in a career and why. Reflect on what you’ve learned so far; not just in terms of education, and skills but what you learned about yourself. Through this process you will begin to form a clear view of what you truly enjoy, innate strengths and work environments you are likely thrive in. This exercise is especially helpful if you are still stinging from being laid off or involuntarily terminated. While thinking through, you’re focused on you; your desires; your talents; your values. It helps put you in a more positive frame of mind instead of dwelling on the pain of rejection from your past employer. Once you have done your career soul searching, you are ready for the next step … the new resume. Here are some guidelines for reinventing your resume.
Just as you are revamping your career, your resume deserves a revamp too.The thoughts you collected doing the exercise, will help you to rework and rebuild your resume that is future focused and pointed toward your new career goals. Structure your new resume to target the new opportunities you are seeking. Emphasize your transferable skills, relevant achievements and key qualifications that support your new objectives. Depending on how big of a career change you are making, study up on the new field, or new kind of position you are pursuing.
One of the best ways to kickstart your resume reinvention is to understand what hiring managers want from workers in the field or role you are pursuing. Review job postings for your targeted position or industry. Take note of the experience they seek, key words in the ad, required skills and credentials. Keep these words in mind as you build your new resume. Connect with people who are in the industry or already doing what you hope to do. Network within your targeted industry and let it be known you are looking for a new opportunity. When crafting your new resume, lead with your strengths. You have experience, and this should be used to your advantage. Your resume should highlight the skills you’ve built throughout your experience. Whichever resume type you choose, remember the ultimate goal of your resume is to open the door to actually talk to someone.
Follow our MyCareer360 blog on Career and Resume tips