Write the Perfect Resume for a Career Change

Before You Start:

Wait, Can You Afford To Change Careers?

First, make sure you can live on what your new career pays. Going from the middle of one career to all the way down to entry level can create a financial whiplash and you might end up worse than before. Take the time to research your preferred position and find the average range of pay. Look at the bottom end of the averages and ask yourself whether you’ll be able to survive on that. Being honest now will help you be prepared for the future.

What Skills Are In Demand?

Brush up on your skills and make sure your current skills are in demand. Check out the job boards and companies you’re interested in and make sure that you have the list of skills you need for your new career. Remember, it’s not just hard and fast skills like using a specific computer program. There’s plenty of transferable skills out there, such as communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and other soft skills. Organizational skills could include time management, meeting deadlines, or coordinating workloads. Check out a more complete list of transferable skills here  or here.


Resumes Changes That Get You Hired

Remember That Related Skills Section!

Congrats, you have the skills that your future job would prefer! Make sure to really highlight them on your resume. Create one section listing your skills and then underneath your job description, be sure to pin down your transferable ideas with real accomplishments. Give an example of using that skill and how it allowed you to achieve something in your career.

Don’t Just Tell- Show!

Don’t just insist you have those skills, but show them with numbers and achievements! People often say that they have “leadership skills”, but it makes a giant difference to the hiring manager if that person comes with experience and a resume saying “led a team of five and sales went up $50,000 from that department”. That’s showing a directly related example (the team of five) and connecting it to a number that benefited the company (up $50,000). This is the sort of detail that’s often overlooked by job seekers, but can make-or-break it for the hiring manager’s decision.

Customizing is Key

We don’t mean your cover letter. Customize your resume with key words that describe your skills and experience to get more traction with your job search. If you don’t think the keywords are in the job description, check the company website.  Make sure to use the exact same key words in the job description of your preferred position. Don’t try to be fancy and use synonymous words, as only the exact words will allow the person doing the search to actually find your resume. Your resume could be up against a ton of other candidates, so yours needs to be the absolute best one possible and only using exact keywords will get yours past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Exact keywords only. 

Need an example? There’s an excellent one here.

Apply Wisely

Obey the 60% Rule

As the seasoned professionals at NESC Staffing can tell you, not one hiring manager wants to see your resume if your skills don’t match at least 60% of the skills needed. Sure, some of the job descriptions are filled with every single thing on the hiring manager’s wish list, but if the idea is that if you have at least 60% of what they need, they can teach you the rest. Save yourself the agony of “why didn’t they call me?” and follow the 60% rule.


Need more help finding what you’re looking for? We can do that! Check out our opening at NESC jobs.