Experience Repackaging: How to Write a Resume when Changing Areas of Activity?

Nowadays the change of profession in adulthood is not news. The plethora of reasons are widely diverse: the desire to go into the sphere with higher earnings, burnout, the change of interests, the implementation of the childhood dream, a change in the marital status, and, as a result, new expectations concerning the work.

The first step towards a new stage of your career will be a good resume. You can create it either with the help of professional resume writing services or by yourself following the guide below!

5-steps plan towards your dream job

So, how on Earth can one facilitate professional transformation? You just should smartly “repackage” your previous experience in the resume revealing to the potential employer only what will be high-priority in your new occupation.

Find common points – switch your creativity on and try to make job titles of your new desirable position and the previous sound as similar as possible, one so that they correspond well in the resume. Of course, it is not always possible, but this tiny nuance can play in your favor. Suppose you are a sales manager, but you want to go into marketing.

These are close spheres. You can rename the latest position in the Development Manager and Sales Support. A sales manager who dreams of making a career as a project manager under the right circumstances and a certain set of competencies can call his latest position a project manager.

For instance, this manager was engaged in long-cycle sales and his scope of work included managing implemented partners.

Perfect key competencies – the vast majority of applicants are incapable of seeing their wealthy experience from the outside and underestimate the value of previous work functions for the future. As an illustration, here’s a real case. A specialist with a high level of commerce was willing to promote to quite high positions in the field of internal (corporate) training.

The sales director has a good base (management experience, strong communicative skills, strategic vision), which are essential to organize personnel training. Such skills should be at the forefront in the description of your experience and explain how you could apply them in the new sphere. Another example could be a lawyer who wants to try his hand in marketing.

In this case, he’d better accentuate his analytical skills, his ability to process and structure a great deal of information, and advocate for his point of view. Lawyers have all of the above-mentioned assets that are equally useful in the marketing sphere. Experience in court appearances could pass for skills in public speaking etc.

Exclude irrelevant competencies – it is important not only placing emphasis on the core skills for the new sphere but also to remove extra irrelevant competencies acquired in the previous profession. For instance, if in the former field you took up a leadership position and worked with big projects, and in the new field you are going to start as line personnel, there’s no need to list your considerable merits in project management.

Otherwise, you will seem like an overqualified candidate. As a rule, subordinated bosses due to the competition don’t enjoy popularity among the employees. So, just create a less grandiose image in the resume for that purpose. A better path might be to demonstrate your openness to new experiences, the strong desire to adopt them from colleagues, and the ability to catch new knowledge on the fly.

The large blocks of work control could be split into smaller ones to specify those of them that will be useful in a new profession. For example, instead of the general experience on “business optimization”, give more specific examples of reducing key parts of the spending and write what tools you applied to achieve such a result.

To set an example, there’s a real case of a top manager, who has been administering organizational multi-million dollar budgets for a long time. However, as she reached a great height in her career she burned out and decided to try fortune in the sphere of event management.

She removed loud names of the partner companies, market leaders from her resume, neither did she mention the size of the budget (cause this is of no importance for event organizing) she was dealing with. Instead, she left project management, multitasking, and great organization skills.

Besides, she highlighted her passion for music and participation in the music band back when she was a teenager. Event managers often interact with media figures and artists, so personal passion is a plus. Eventually, the brand-new resume of a non-core specialist turned out to be in abundance of proper skills and uncluttered from the irrelevant ones.

Polish up on the image presented in the resume – if you apply for a junior position in a new professional field, try to bring the style of writing closer to the text of the young specialist. By eliminating excessively solid tone, you make your resume less sharply different from other applicants. It is always better to use simple and up-to-date formulations.

For example, instead of “managing financial flows’ ‘ you can change it to “financial planning”, “recruitment administration” can easily become “manage the team”. Ponder for a while what style of resume information delivery is most preferable in the professional sphere you have chosen. It may differ from what you are accustomed to.

For example, a purely formal style that is normally perceived in resumes of the financial or legal specialists is unlikely to be appropriate in a resume for journalists, PR managers, and other creative professions. Pay attention to the photograph you attach: for those striving to hold a position in the creative sphere, a strict office suit image won’t be the best option.

Composing a top-notch cover letter – for a candidate who is longing to change the career path cover letter is a mandatory tool. This is a chance to explain to the recruiter, why do you respond to a vacancy, when your resume does not fully match the requirements of the position, and why you are sure to handle it better than ordinary rookies.

You obviously should bring crucial information for a new role to the forefront – additional education on a new profile, a strong theoretical base, mention at least an episodic experience if you have had one, e.g. an internship or implementation of individual projects on the freelance.

Don’t skimp on the explanations about what was it that attracted you in the sphere, specifically in this position, and of course in the company you are writing to. Treat it not as a mere formality, because the vast majority of employers are rather to have truly motivated employees with big bright eyes in their team.

Newbies who are determined to embark on a new professional path usually are full of enthusiasm – this is their competitive advantage. There is an important nuance though – it’s better if your enthusiasm is built on realistic expectations from a new career path, but not on illusory ideas.

Flies in the ointment

Like it or not, but a person who is resolved on the professional sphere changing in adulthood should be prepared for challenges at the beginning of the way. The situation is similar to the recently-graduated student, who, being in full naivety, struggles to make way for himself. To refresh your memory, it means that:

  • You will have to do your best to convince potential employers to choose you. Recruiters are more interested in applicants with profile experience in the desired sphere.
  • That being said, you have high chances for success thanks to your soft skills as they’ll make you an overqualified specialist in the eyes of an employer (especially when coming from a senior position in the previous sphere).
  • There’s a high probability that at first you’re going to be a bit strapped for cash compared to the previous earnings.

That’s it! Now you are half closer to a dream job, just remember that dreams come true when a strong desire turns them into actions. So, pull yourself together, pour heart and soul on your resume and the result will not belong in coming.


Author’s Bio

Carmella Andersson works as a resume writer for Resumes OnTime company. It allows her to improve her critical and creative thinking skills.