With the UK unemployment rate currently at its lowest level since November 1974, it seems that every day brings new articles demonstrating how employers are enticing the best talent money can buy to join and stay with their organisation. However, research from first direct shows that 47 per cent of Britons are unsatisfied with their careers and describe their work life as “unfulfilling”. Not only are almost half of UK staff people unhappy with their jobs but they are hoping to change careers completely.
While it can be easy to assume that money is what attracts top talent, that isn’t necessarily true. In fact, money isn’t the driving factor behind a career switch. People are keen to learn new skills, do something they find more personally satisfying or which offers greater flexibility.
If you are considering changing the path of your career, this may be an ideal moment for you to test the waters and make the switch.
As you contemplate a career change, one of your daunting tasks may be writing a winning CV. A straight chronological history for a career change doesn’t necessarily covey your abilities to take on new challenges. It is up to you to put what you have been doing into a comprehensible context while demonstrating your transferable skills to a prospective employer.
While everything on your CV must, of course, be entirely truthful, you can employ certain strategies to creatively make your past employment and achievements work in your favour. So whether you are looking to completely change your job completely or climb the ladder in your company, breaking the process down into just 5 manageable steps can help you refocus based on your new goals.
Engage in self-reflection.
The first step is to ask yourself why you want to make this particular change, what you know about your new field, what skills and experiences your prospective employer requires for the particular role you seek and how you fit the bill. Until you are clear about all of this in your own mind, it isn’t yet time to try to convince anyone else of your abilities and potential for success in your new field.
This is why before commencing work on any CV, we ask our clients to complete the ABCV Solutions questionnaire which is geared toward what they what to do next. The clearer you are about your goals, the better we can author a CV tailored to your exact needs. Once you’ve come to a solid understanding of these questions, you are set to go!
Accommodate the employer’s wish list.
Once you’ve worked out your ideal role, locate several similar job descriptions for what you want to be doing side by side. Look for the desired skills that you possess. For example, if you see general skill words like “identify,” “prioritise,” “accurately,” “contribute to improvement,” “guiding” or “collaborating,” use them as bullet point leads to describing what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved.
As you identify transferable skills and experiences, present them in your CV using the vocabulary and jargon of the industry you seek to join. If you see other job-specific skills called for that you possess, use them in both your bullet points and in your CV’s skills section.
Carefully choose what accomplishments to feature.
If you’ve been in your current role for quite some time, it’s likely that many of your challenges and accomplishments are industry-specific. Remember that what your current and former employers might think of as significant won’t necessarily resonate well with a future employer. Think twice about including everything.
Present yourself as the professional you want to be.
Join professional organisations related to the roles and industry that interest you. Highlight them on your CV. Be sure to note prominently courses you’ve taken and certificates or degrees you’ve earned that relate to your new career, perhaps even in your profile statement at the top of the CV. If you have done volunteer work in the area that you want to transition to, make it prominent by moving it into your professional experience section.
Remember that you may have to take a step backwards to move ahead.
Depending on how far you are in your career, you may have progressed to a mid- to high-level management level. In a new field, you may have to take a step back to an individual contributor level. This can have significant implications for how much detail you put into your CV.
Making a successful career change can have a very positive effect on your life so choose to begin exploring your options today and, who knows, by this time next year you could be in a very different place.
ABCV Solutions have worked with hundreds of candidates across the engineering spectrum over the last five years and genuinely understand how to position clients who are seeking a new role in engineering and technology sectors – it is fiercely competitive, but we know how to get it right.