What to Consider When Writing a CV for a Career Change

A career change can be a daunting process. How can you write a CV that allows you to change your career more easily?

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Table of Contents

  1. Career change CV
  2. What is a career change CV?
  3. The best format for a career change CV
  4. Writing a career objective for a career change CV
  5. Connecting your work experience to the job you want
  6. FAQ: Career change CV

Career change CV

A career change CV is any CV you use to switch to a new field. For example, if you were previously working in project management, but you now want to move into the field of graphic design, then that’s a career transition. When you’re writing a CV as a career changer, you need to know how to display your certifications, relevant skills and other information so that it works well in your job search.

What is a career change CV?

A career change CV is any CV that you use to switch to a new field. For example, if you were previously working in project management, but you now want to move into the field of graphic design, then that’s a career transition. When you’re writing a CV as a career changer, you need to know how to display your certifications, relevant skills and other information so that it works well in your job search.


The best format for a career change CV

The CV format you choose for a career change CV is important. When looking for a new job, you typically have three CV formats to choose from: the chronological CV, which emphasises work history, the functional CV, which emphasises skills, and the combination CV, which gives equal weight to both.
 
Generally, job seekers with prior experience in a different field should opt for the combination CV format. This CV allows you to highlight your skills section while indicating things you’ve learnt from your professional experience. Putting those prior years of experience to work can be extremely beneficial, even in a different career.
 
The functional CV format may also be beneficial for career changers. This helps put your skills front and centre, allowing you to avoid discussing previous jobs.
 
Even though it’s the most common CV format, it’s typically not suggested to use the chronological CV when switching careers. The chronological CV relies heavily on relevant experience; if you’re moving into a new role, you probably won’t have a work history in the new industry.

Writing a career objective for a career change CV

Another key element of a career change CV is your career objective statement, where you can connect your past achievements with your new career and show how the abilities you’ve used can make a positive impact. If you’re struggling with your objective statement, then cheque out CVHelp’s CV examples. You will find plenty of career change CV examples that will show you how to catch a recruiter’s eye.

Connecting your work experience to the job you want

Just because you don’t have work experience in the specific industry you’re moving into, that doesn’t mean all of your work experience is suddenly useless. Instead, you need to learn how to make a hiring manager connect your prior job experience with the job role that you are applying for.
 
Focus on your transferable skills and achievements. Many of the skills and achievements you excelled in through your other job can be utilised in your new job. Communication skills, for example, are useful in a variety of jobs. You can also list information in your education section regarding your skills and knowledge.
 
Also, be sure to write a cover letter. A cover letter allows you to actively highlight the areas you excel at and mention how your skills can help in the new job role. Plus, it lets you ask for an interview.


FAQ: Career change CV

Q: Is a career change resume the same as not having any work experience?

Writing a CV with no experience differs from writing a CV without the “right type” of industry experience. If you’re looking to write a CV with less work experience, look at the entry-level CV example page on the CVHelp website. You will get the necessary tools to write an effective CV with less general work experience.

Q: Can I list volunteer work on a career change CV?

Yes! Volunteer work is a great addition to your work experience section. Even if the work wasn’t paid, it’s still an effective way to establish yourself in a new field. You can also include volunteer work in the career objective section of your career change CV. Your experience, regardless of whether it was paid or not, is something you can highlight on your CV.

Q: Should I use more soft skills or hard skills on a career change CV?

You need to include both hard skills and soft skills on your CV. Both skills are important, and the ratio of hard skills to soft skills will depend largely on what field you’re going into. Cheque the job description to find out what skills the hiring manager is actually looking for, then list skills that match your own in your CV, whether they’re hard or soft skills.

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