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I do hope this goes without saying – but if you’re changing careers, you really need to think about changing your resume as well.

While you may know the work you’ve done has given you experience in managing small groups, writing reports or keeping track of expenses, that may not be obvious to an employer in a different career, with different assumptions and expectations. You can’t expect them to be familiar enough with your old career track to know the skills and experience it provided.

When rewriting your resume for a career change, make sure that you first cut out all the background clutter that isn’t explicitly relevant to your new career.

Of course, the correlation to that is to state, very explicitly, what makes your relevant experience . . . well, relevant!

Remember every step of the way – don’t assume the employers knows anything about your prior career. Explain in your objective why the career change is a good move for you, and how their company is a good one for you to move to. Explain in your experience how what you have done is relevant to your new career. Explain, explain, explain.

And don’t forget: Explain! 😉

Continuing our theme for the week . . .

So you’ve decided it’s time for a change – now what?

Deciding it’s time to do something different is relatively easy. Deciding what to do can be another matter entirely.

Here are a few thoughts that can help:

Career tests – Career tests can be either skills tests or personality tests. A good career test, like the Myers-Briggs personality test, can provide not only suggested career paths, but an explanation of why those careers would work for you.

What’s right?/What’s wrong? – It’s also a good idea to take a few minutes and think through what you have liked or disliked about previous jobs or classes. Don’t worry too much about field or subject – clerking it clerking no matter what the paperwork says. Instead think about what projects you enjoyed – organizing? writing? working with your hands? Whether you preferred to work alone or in a group, etc. What didn’t you enjoy? Did you hate being put in charge of a project, or auditing last years paperwork? Figuring out what you liked and didn’t like can help you figure out what career you’ll enjoy in the future.

How do you know when it’s time for a career change?

In yesterday’s blog I listed a few of the reasons why people choose to change career paths. But how do you know when it’s time for you to make such a massive change? Sure, your boss is annoying this week, but does that mean you should give up ten years of seniority to take a chance on something new?

If you currently have a job the best answer to this question is that if you constantly find your self thinking that you need to make a change – well then you probably need to make a change.

If you are currently out of work, it can be easier to make a change, but it’s harder to know if it’s the right time. However, being unemployed offers some flexibility. You can look for jobs in your current field, and other fields your interested in moving to at the same time, or you can go back to school while you’re looking for a job.

No matter what else is going on, being unemployed is a great incentive to rethinking your career path.

Welcome to New Career Week – this week is going to be a themed week focusing on everything involved in taking the step to start over in a new line of work.

Starting over in a fresh career isn’t easy. In fact, it can be fairly terrifying to take the step and say ‘it’s time for something new’. There are a number of good reasons to take that step though. A few of the more common are:

  • Dead end job: If your current career is just a dead-end, you may want to find a new path.
  • Out of Work: Many people start a new career after loosing a job, and having trouble finding a similar position.
  • Work Stress: Whether you just don’t like the job you have, or are under high level pressure day in and day out, work stress can take a serious toll on your health – and has a lot to do with many people seeking new career paths.
  • A Dream: Some of us have always had a dream job we just didn’t go after. Maybe it’s time to pursue that dream.

Over the next week, we’ll review how to know when it’s time to change careers, finding a new career path training and education, and finding how old experience can help in pursuing a new career.

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