Changing Careers? Change Your Resume.

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The job market is brutal. After months of trying to land a job in your field, you may decide it's time to switch careers where jobs are more plentiful. This calls for some resume modification. You can't simply use your old resume and hope for the best. You need to improvise, adapt overcome.

That means reworking your resume to emphasize the key skill sets that apply directly to your new career objective. Do some research on the field you're trying to break into, network with people in the industry, learn about any credentials you'll need to pursue that new career. You may already have some transferable skills from your former career—things like making presentations, heading up group discussion, or writing reports.

The best type of resume for those seeking to segue into a new career is the "combo-chrono" resume. This chronological-style starts with a qualifications summary, which emphasizes your most related accomplishments and skill sets. Above all, be sure to indicate your new career objective.

If your new career objective is dramatically different than your past career, consider using a functional resume. It lets you emphasize the skills needed for your new career and de-emphasize your past work history. Here, you'll start off with your new career goal and a summary of qualifications. Next, you'll list the functional categories that showcase your related skills and experience. Finally, you'll briefly list your work history, which should include company name, city, state, job title and dates—leaving off the job description for any positions that don't relate to your new career path.


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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.


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