Career Advice >> Browse Articles >> Finding a Job


Essential Resume Tips for the Career Changer

Essential Resume Tips for the Career Changer

Kim Isaacs | Monster Resume Expert

‘Combination’ Chronological

This one is best for career changers with transferable skills from a previous career.

Many career changers do well with a combination resume format, which is a chronological-style resume that leads with a qualifications summary. The summary emphasizes your most related credentials so hiring managers easily see you are qualified for your new goal. It is important for you to mention your new career objective, so employers don’t assume you’re staying in your old field. Your work history should focus on the skills, tasks and accomplishments most relevant to your new career.

Functional Resume

If you’re pursuing a career that is very different than your former career, a functional resume is a good choice. This style allows you to draw out your related skills and downplay your work history.

Lead your resume with a career goal and qualifications summary, and then create functional categories that highlight your related skills and experience. Your work chronology is a simple listing at the end of the resume (include company name, city, state, job title and dates), with no job description for unrelated positions.

Resume Letter

Another strategy for career changers with minimal related experience is a resume letter, which is a cover letter that substitutes for a resume. A resume letter emphasizes your passion for the industry and any related experience/training, but its narrative format allows you complete control over the information you provide. Keep your letter focused on how your motivation, enthusiasm and passion for your new career would benefit the employer’s operation. You will still need to have a more traditional resume format on hand in case it’s requested, but the letter will serve as a good introduction and pique the hiring manager’s interest in interviewing you.