We’re a recruitment agency. As a result, we talk a lot about jobs, interviews, job markets, CVs, CV writing and more. However, people often come to us looking for a change in pace, a full career change.
This can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been in the same career for a long time. All of your work and skills and experience are all in one career, how do you break into another?
You don’t always have to start from scratch or from the bottom. You can use what you have to best suit your needs.
To rewrite your CV for a career change what you’re going to need are the job descriptions for the kind of work you are looking for, some pen and paper and a computer to write out your brand new CV.
Whether you’ve recently lost your job, or you’ve simply decided it’s time for a change; changing careers can offer you new opportunities.
This can feel like quite a daunting process, particularly if you’ve been in the same job or industry for a long time now.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to rewrite your CV step by step for a new career; so you can begin your job search and land your next exciting role.
Step 1 – Research
You need to research the job you want to apply for. Look at companies you would love to join and look at their job descriptions.
What you want to do is collect as many as you can. Then go through them highlighting their skills, software, and words that keep appearing.
These are the fundamental skills that will benefit you the best. Write these down separately into a nice list.
Then go through the job descriptions looking for skills or experience that you already have or that seem really important to particular companies.
These are what will make you stand out in writing your CV. Again, list thee points out.
This research is the best way of setting yourself and your CV up for success.
Step 2 – Look at your current CV
What you need to do next is look at your CV. What skills and experience do you have? What amazing achievements have you got?
You’re going to want to list these out.
Just because you’re moving into a new industry, doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch with absolutely no skills.
Everyone has skills they can transfer to another job.
Having a strong set of transferable skills under your belt will help you greatly.
In fact, these are going to be one of your biggest selling points.
They show what you can bring to the role; and how you can help drive the business forwards.
Remember that list of skills and experience the jobs needed? Now match them to what skills and experience you have.
This should only include those that are going to be relevant to your new industry. Remember, your CV should only be one or two A4 pages long, so you don’t have room to list lots of irrelevant skills.
Step 3 – Write the CV from scratch
This is a new career, a new industry, a new sector, a new life. For that, you need a new CV.
So write your new CV from scratch, using the lists you’ve created to add in the keywords, skills and experience that will make your career change smooth.
You need to tailor every CV you write to the specific role and company you’re applying to; no matter what industry you’re in.
Even if you don’t have experience in that industry, you’ll be better set by writing from scratch than trying to reword your current work.
Trying to re-organise or re-write an existing CV can actually be more difficult; especially if you’re changing to a very different sector.
In these cases, it’s best to start over from scratch. This also allows you to tailor your CV to your chosen sector and role.
Also as a result of this approach, the hybrid style CV is the best template to use. This highlights not only your skills but also your experience.
In the past, you may have placed a great deal of focus on your employment history and achievements section.
When you rewrite your CV for a new career, it’s important to place more focus on your personal profile and (transferable) skills section.
Your profile will be the last thing you write but for the moment it’s time to focus on the details.
Step 4 – Focus on the details
Now that you’ve got your first rough draft of your CV sorted, now it’s time to go through it again.
This time you need to make sure you’ve got all of your details sorted.
Check your lists again to make sure you’re matching your skills with what the job descriptions are looking for.
These details are what will catch the recruiter’s eyes when they scan over your CV. So where you can, be specific in what you write matching it as closely as possible to the job description.
A great tip is to make sure you have these key points and keywords in the first 1/3 to ½ of the first page.
When people open up your CV on a computer this is what will appear first. As a result you’re going to want to make sure your keywords or phrases stand out in this area.
This is particularly important in your profile.
Step 5 – The profile is most important
As mentioned above, you need to put emphasis on your personal profile.
This is the first thing an employer will read and it needs to grab their attention and encourage them to keep reading.
While it can be tempting to talk about why you want to change industries, you can do this in your cover letter and/or interview.
Your personal statement needs to be short and sweet (around 50-200 words); so, while you might want to address that it’s a career change, don’t get hung up on this. What’s more important that you explain what you can bring to the role.
Talk about your passions and why you are interested in the role. You should also include some of your key transferable skills and impressive past achievements, as long as they’re relevant to the role/industry.
Extra Step – Upskill Yourself
Whenever it comes to changing career you’re going to want to develop new skills. As a result if you feel like your skills aren’t matching up to your job description list, then don’t be afraid to go upskill yourself.
Whether it’s an online course, or an evening class; taking relevant courses can help improve your skills, give you new skills, and prepare you for a role in a new industry.
Not only this but taking on a course or two can give you new qualifications to shout about when you rewrite your CV.
Even if you’re currently studying, listing these courses on your CV can demonstrate that you’re willing to learn and you’re always growing your skillset. This is a very desirable trait to employers and can be a huge selling point when you don’t already have experience in the industry.