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Preparing for a Career Change


The key to unlocking the door to a new career is proving that you can excel in that new career.  As you strive to enter a new field, you will be competing with industry insiders with in-depth knowledge, a healthy network, and a history of accomplishments in that field.  Whether you work with a professional resume writer or write the resume on your own, identifying and illustrating your transferrable skills will make the transition easier. 


Defining your Transferrable Skills

Determine the skills that would be valuable in your target job.  In other words, these are skills that would transfer to your next job, even if that job is a change from your current job or industry.  You may have developed these skills in a prior job or through education, volunteer work, civic leadership, or personal projects. Examples of high-value transferrable soft skills may include administrative, managerial, project leadership, analytical, and interpersonal skills.


Uncovering Job-Specific Skills

Research examples of job postings for your target career.  Compile a list of job requirements.  Examine your career history. If you are working with a professional resume writer, the writer can help you by asking questions to uncover important details. The information you choose to include on your resume will support or hinder your career change. Customize your resume to match the precise needs of your target employer.  This will require analyzing your resume each time you apply for a job. These right skills will demonstrate your qualifications for your new career direction.


Filling Skill Gaps

You must get up to speed quickly by joining and actively participating in industry associations and groups, online and in the real world.  Follow discussions and news stories on industry blogs and journals.                                  


Focusing Your Resume on the Target

In a career change scenario, a targeted resume is essential.  Begin your resume with a profile statement that features the skills and knowledge that precisely communicate your ability to perform in your target job.  The profile should include highlights of your skills, knowledge, and experience that support your new goal. In the next section, the core competencies section, list nine to twelve of your most relevant skills. These skills should meet the primary needs of the target employer.  Maximize the professional experience section of your resume by capturing the scope of your responsibility and results of achievements that are most relevant to your target job.  In some career changes, this is more of a challenge.


There are four clear takeaway messages for career-changers. Everyone has transferrable skills and it is wise to capitalize on those skills.  Skills gaps are not game-enders, if you have a plan to quickly fill those gaps. Strong soft skills can often bridge the way to a new career.  If you are planning a career change, follow the above strategy and take the steps to your new career.

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