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Changing Careers? Resume Tips to Ease the Transition

Part of the Resumes For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Career changers and transitioning military personnel sometimes struggle to write resumes that pack an interview-invitation punch. One such resume challenge is to turn your experience into skills that are relevant to new fields. Using understandable terminology helps you overcome that stumbling block.

Always use the language of and address the concerns of the industry where you want to go, not the industry you are leaving behind.

Make sure that you also

  • Learn the jargon of your intended industry. Use that jargon carefully in your resume. Whatever you write has to be understood by all, including administrative employees who may be the first to screen your document.

  • Analyze your interchangeable skills (also called transferable skills) to make your old experience apply to the job you want. A food server, for example, has sales experience (selling restaurant customers on extra menu items). An Army officer has management experience (overseeing soldiers). A teacher has training experience (changing student knowledge levels).

  • Consider using a functional (skills) — or hybrid — resume format. Although employers much prefer the reverse chronological format because it's more straightforward, you may need the functional approach to become a contender.

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