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How to Renew Your Resume for a Successful Career Change

A major challenge for those looking to change careers is updating your resume to make it marketable and presentable to hiring managers in your new field. 

Look at it like this, if you’ve worked 20 years in computer programming help and now would like to cross over into pharmaceutical sales, you’re going to need to demonstrate to those in your new industry that you’ve got the skills and personality to make a successful crossover.  

So with that said, here are some tips on how to shape your resume to appeal to recruiters and hiring managers in your potential new career.

Things you'll need

  • Research
  • Appropriate tools
  • Good knowledge of keywords

Focus On How You Want To Be Perceived

Perception isn’t always reality, but it’s often mistaken for it.  This is especially true if you’re reworking your resume for a career change.  It’s critical to know what hiring managers in your new industry are looking for, and from that point, alter your resume to specifically cater to what they want. 

To do this, you need to first fully understand the industry/position you’re seeking to get into.  You want to have a laser sharp vision for your resume in order to create a theme that you’ll build the document around.  Think of the theme like a story, it dictates what information you put into your resume and where and how you insert that info. 

Once you’ve got your theme down, you can now concentrate on the perception prospective recruiters and hiring managers will have of you from your resume.  Simply put, if you’re not just making a someone parallel industry move and actually looking to dive into an entirely different industry, you need to reweight and reshape the various sections of your resume so that you skills and experience come across as relevant as possible to the industry/position you’re trying to get into. 

So take a good look at your career experience, skills, and accomplishments, and shape them so that prospective recruiters or hiring managers will view what your bring to the table as relevant to what they’re looking for. 


Do a Research

In light of what I said above about understanding the industry and position you’re applying for, it’s critical that you do your homework.  Researching, not only the industry you’re entering, but also figuring out what hiring managers will want to see on your resume is essential to creating a resume that will impress. 

Some types of research you can do:

  • Go online and study a number of job descriptions for positions in the industry.  Write down what hiring managers or companies are looking for. 
  • Attending informational meetings is a great way to find out the skill sets and other qualities individuals in the industry are seeking.
  • Learn about the various challenges and jargon within the industry by reading blogs or industry publications. 

Use A Tool To Design A Well-Structured Resume

There are a number of great online tools out there to help you craft a professional looking resume.  Some of the include:

  • ResumeGenius – Offering a selection of over 50,000 phrases, ResumeGenius is a great tool to help out anyone who stumbles into writer’s block.  The tool provides a Live Chat option and HR approved templates. 
  • LinkedIn’s resume builder – Offering a resume creation app, LinkedIn allows you to create your own customized documents.  You can automatically transfer the information listed on your LinkedIn profile to your resume, and at that point go ahead and decide what info you’ll include and what you’ll take out.
  • resumes expert – If you want your resume crafted by a professional, then Resumes Expert is a great way to.  Services offered include: resume editing help, resume writing service, CV writing help, professional CV editing, cover letter writing help and more!
  • KuKookResumes – Providing you with nine modern but professional templates to select from, KuKookResumes then lets you customize the formatting style and color scheme of whatever template you go with.
  • Krop – Essentially an online portfolio for those who work in a creative industry, Krop offers a wide selection of resume templates, photos, grids and graphics to design the perfect resume.

Implement the Keyword Strategy According to Your Research

Critical to resume writing, the inclusion of the right keywords allows hiring managers to quickly identify your resume in a resume database.

A few important things about the use of keywords:

  • They must be relevant to the industry you’re applying to.
  • They should help shape the way you are perceived through your resume.
  • Use them strategically and sprinkle them throughout your resume.

Place the keywords at the start of your resume in the profile or summary section.  Additionally, you can create a section tittle “Professional Qualifications” or “Core Competencies” and insert a bullet list under the section featuring your chosen keywords.


Include Any Relevant Info That Demonstrates Your Experience and Skill Set

Even though you’re entering a new industry, don’t underestimate your previous accomplishments or experience. 

Whether it be volunteering, fundraising, or running a small on-the-side online business, if you’ve done things that demonstrate abilities or skills that relate to what’s listed in a job description, you want to include them in your resume. 


Send Your Updated Resume

Reshaping a resume for a new industry can be a bit tricky and even a little intimidating.  And while there’s not one set way to create a killer resume, if you follow the above tips, you’ll create a document that will not only be informative and presentable but will also impress any hiring manager who sees it. 

Further information

Some useful tools for you:


LinkedIn’s resume builder



Resume Writing Tips


Page last edited Jan 17, 2019 History

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