How to reflect a career change in a professional CV. Change is rarely easy, and when it comes to switching to a different field, industry or profession, this can be particularly daunting. The task to conform to the required skills and expected competencies for a new job may seem monumental, and the shift from the old field to the new may be one of the biggest mental hurdles that professional must conquer.
However, professionals tend to underestimate just how transferable their skills are. Skills and competencies from a specific industry may also relevant to other industries. Your chances of success greatly depend on how you package yourself and how your CV presents your strengths and capabilities.
Despite the conventional notion that you should follow a singular career path throughout your fault life, circumstances arise and interests change. For some, better opportunities, higher salaries or greater development opportunities may be the driving forces for their decision to change their career paths. For others, uncontrollable situations such as the lockdown of the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in staggering job losses and the subsequent need for change.
Pivoting to another field may seem like a huge leap and individuals often find it difficult to phrase their strengths so as to make them a suitable candidate when applying to a new vacancy. How you tell your story, your career history and your achievements in a way that will compel hiring managers is half the battle. You must be able to articulate and express your values, skills, competencies and qualifications in a way that will make you stand out from other applicants.
Here are some of the important considerations when reflecting a career change in your CV.
- Read the job description
This first step is crucial because the moment you read a job description, you automatically picture how your strengths and previous experiences will qualify you for this job. Going through the company’s list of required competencies and qualifications will be like ticking off boxes in your mental checklist. Take the time to ask yourself “Do I have this skills? Am I equipped with this training, certification or qualification?” Certain jobs may require specific experience, and by going through the job profile thoroughly and honestly, you will get a sense of the adjustments you will need to make in order to be a good fit for the job.
- Focus on your education and training
When you are finished self-screening and applying the qualification and criteria items to yourself you should advance with a clear focus on your previous education and training. Note that even if you did not study or engage in a training course that is directly related to the job that you are applying for, certain subject areas often have overarching concepts that will help you regardless of the industry that you are in.
Certain concepts and thought systems such as management, organisational development, group dynamics and sales can be applied across various disciplines and industries. Be aware of how you can use thee skills and training opportunities to your advantage given that they will present you with various tools and capabilities that you can tailor around your prospective role.
- Find common ground
As mentioned earlier, there will always be certain skills that you should be able to bring from your old role to the next. For example, a design engineer who wants to venture out of the office may find that their understanding of materials and leadership skills will be a perfect fit for any site-based project engineering role. Supervisors or managers may find themselves comfortable with a Human-Resource focused job since they are exposed to hiring and staffing issues on a daily basis. Rarely are two jobs or disciplines too disparate to bridge so long as you can justify and articulate how you can translate and apply developed skills to bring value to your new workplace.
- Don’t forget the day-to-day competencies
Professionals who desire a career shift tend to focus only on the role title itself. However, the day-to-day conduct of work projects and tasks often entail the same set of skills and responsibilities. Daily professional routines often include the same set of tools such as communication and interpersonal skills, management acumen, multi-tasking, teamwork and the ability to delegate and follow orders.
Highly impactful tasks may be at the helm of your old career, but in the daily conduct of work duties, the same behaviours and capabilities are at play, including negotiation skills, documentation, record keeping and administration duties. Focus on these attributes and outline important examples where you can demonstrate how you conform to these criteria.
- Nail that CV and Cover Letter!
When you have made up your mind on how you can bridge your skills so that you can transition to a new field or industry, be sure to write an effective and compelling CV that focuses on your highly transferable skills. Both your CV and your Cover Letter should centre on your new goals and objectives moving forward in your career, and it is best to conceptualise your career change documents in a way that will highlight how you can successfully translate your well-developed skills to help you contribute positively to your new workplace.
If you’re working within or looking to transition into the engineering or IT sectors, whether that be in a technical or commercial capacity, and are in need of professional help, please contact ABCV Solutions today: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit abcvsolutions.com.
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