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Changing Careers Resumes by nza31084


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                  By Carol Stanton, M.Ed., M.A.

    Whether you’re a non-traditional student or a mid- life adult changing careers, your
resume will have some differences from the traditional student’s resume. You may have
had several careers or you may have a scattered work history. In any case, you want to
make the most of your experience and present yourself in the best possible light. Here
are some tips for the more experienced job candidate:

Write a Clear Job Objective: A concise, well-stated job objective gives your resume a
focus and lets employers know what kind of position you are seeking. Hopefully, at this
point in your life, you have a better sense of what you want to do and have clearer goals.
If not, make an appointment with the CGS Career Counselor.

Develop a Career Summary or Summary of Qualifications. This can be the attention
grabber that makes employers want to continue to read your resume. In this section, you
can summarize your strengths, state your experience, and call attention to the transferable
skills that you most want to emphasize. This is where the seasoned, non-traditional
student’s resume can shine and stand out from the crowd.

Think in terms of transferable skills, especially if you are changing fields.
Employers will be interested in skills that are universal and can be used in their
organization. Look back over your career history and analyze which skills can be
transferred from one position to another. (ie. supervising, writing, organizing, etc.)

Use a functional resume if you are changing fields. This is a way to highlight your
main transferable skills and get away from being “type cast” by your former position.
Group your skills by category first and then follow with your work history.

List skills as action ve rbs, not responsibilities. The employer is wondering what you
have to offer in terms of skills and accomplishments. Use action verbs to highlight your
skills and show what you accomplished in your jobs, rather tha n “responsibilities.”

It is not necessary to list every job you’ve ever had. This is especially applicable if
you’ve had many different kinds of jobs. It is only necessary to list the most recent work
and those jobs that are relevant to your job objective.

Use all relevant experience. List volunteer work, not just paid work experience,
especially if it demonstrates key skills and strengths. Volunteer work includes church,
community events, education, sports, non-profits, political and military experience.

Do not limit yourself to a one page resume. Many people suggest limiting your resume
to one page, and for younger job-seekers, this is fine. But if you have many years of
experience, do not sell yourself short by cutting out relevant jobs and skills . Do list the
most important skills and qualifications on the first page to make sure they’re noticed.
List jobs of the past ten years only. It is not necessary to go back longer unless there
were jobs that contained specific skills that you want to use again.

Use the names of relevant courses that support your job objective. This is especially
helpful if you are changing jobs or do not have a degree or experience in the field that
you want to work.

Use your education to your advantage. Depending on how relevant your education is
to your job objective, and how recent it is, you may list it before or after your skills and
experiences. If your GPA is a 3.0 or better, include it.

Specify relevant courses, seminars, conferences, on-the-job training. These are
especially pertinent if you do not have a college degree yet or do not have a degree in the
field you are pursuing.

Include organizations or activities related to your job objective. Omit hobbies or
personal interests unless they are related to the job objective.

Do not refer to your age or marital status. If you are older, omit references to your
age, such as years of attending schools. Also, your marital status is not relevant.

List all computer skills. Most jobs these days require computer skills and the employer
wants to know that you have some of these skills.

Get feedback. Ask career counselors or professionals in your field to review your
resume and make suggestions for improvement.

    The non-traditional student or mid-life adult has much to offer an employer, especially
in terms of maturity, years of experience, and practical skills. Also, remember that it is
not unusual to change jobs. The average person will change jobs at least four or five
times in a lifetime. Take the time to revise and polish your resume so that it will present
the best of who you are and what you have to offer.

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