Creating a resume when changing careers requires a delicate balance of history and transferable skills. Get-It-Done Guy explains how to get it right.
This is part 4 of my 3-part series on How to Write a Great Resume. Proudly delivering the world’s only 3-part series with 33% more parts than those other 3-part series. Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you continue. Go ahead - I'll wait.
My client Drew is having self-esteem issues over a career change. After 15 minutes spent pulling out results and imagery for resume bullet points, Drew called in a panic. “Help! What results and imagery do I use? I’m changing careers from arc welder to counselor at Grandma Cuddles’ daycare center. Which bullet points do I use?”
“Saw child from across the street at construction site. Yelled ‘look out for that falling hunk of molten… oh. Oh, dear. Never mind. Hey, guys, what’s the number for 911?’” Grandma Cuddles will not be impressed.
How do career-changers or new graduates come up with a resume that’s attractive?
Stop Being so Narcissistic! It’s Not About You.
First of all, remember: It’s not about you. Your prospective employer does not care about you and your background. They just want a solution. If you demonstrate the value you bring, your background is secondary. You’ve done your research. You’ve Googled, you’ve talked to your friend who works there. You’ve looked at GlassDoor.com, where you can read real employees discussing their jobs. Forget your background. Just decide what value you can bring, regardless of your background. Emphasize that in your materials and resume.
All Employers Share Certain Needs
What if you can’t find Grandma Cuddles on Google? What if she’s issued no press releases? And when you talk to her current employees, they glance around nervously, look at their watch, and suddenly remember an important appointment elsewhere? Even without information, you still need to show Grandma you’ll be valuable. Or else. Fortunately, all employers share certain needs, and you have skills that address those. These are the transferable skills.