6 Resume Tips for Career Changers

Are you changing careers? Or considering it? Before you start applying, you’re going to need to do some work on your resume. The point of a resume is to land you an interview, so how do you make that happen, when you’re an “outsider,” up against people who have already been working in or training for your new field? It’s hard, but not impossible.

Your resume is going to have to convince others that you can play the part. So stop thinking about your resume in terms of a historical record of your achievements, and instead approach it as a document that supports your new objectives. Let me show you some key strategies.

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Use an Annual Career Statement to Assess Your Career

Do you remember back when you were applying to grad school and you had to write a personal statement? In a personal statement, you have to explain why you want to pursue a graduate degree, what you want to specialize in (or in my case, what you pretended to want to specialize in because WHO REALLY KNOWS!), and how a graduate degree will get you on your career path.

Well, some graduate schools have started requiring their students to revisit and revise this statement at the end of each year. In the annual update, you revisit the original (or most recent version), and then revise to more accurately reflect your area of specialty, what you’ve accomplished in the year, and better align with your career aims, as all of those things may have changed.

Have you ever thought about writing an annual personal statement for your career?

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What is the goal of career planning?

I am, of course, all about career planning. You need to at least have a plan. You need your own plan (as opposed to the plans that your employer has drawn up for you).

But a lot of us struggle with the process of career planning. For good reasons. It can be overwhelming! Let’s look at why that is, and the one thing you can do to make career planning much simpler. (Hint: know the real goal or purpose for career planning, which I’ll share with you here).

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When Careers Go….Sideways

Sometimes I have a client who is stuck. Stuck in a rut, stuck in a dead-end job, or stuck at the top of a ladder by themselves, with (literally) no backup supporting the ladder.

Today I met with a woman who has what on paper is a highly successful career in her industry. She has been with a company she loves for a long time, and she has had many promotions over time and climbed higher and higher within the organization.

Sometimes, that sounds like what we all want, but my point is that it’s not always what *everyone* wants. She doesn’t want the level of responsibility and pressure she finds herself at now.

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Flipping the Script: An Appreciative Inquiry-Based Approach to Career Planning

There are some interesting intersections in my (day job) as a Professional Development Manager and my career coaching. At work today, I was talking about appreciative inquiry theory. This is an approach to organizational and personal development in which we focus on strengths, possibilities, and a future-oriented vision. As you can imagine, it’s far more inspirational and motivating than focusing on problems, weaknesses, and gaps. And it made me think about how powerful that kind of approach could be for career planning, too.

If you think about where you want to get to, rather than how stuck – or miserable – you may currently be, then career planning can become more powerful. Thinking this way helps you think of and build a vision for your own future. And sometimes is what we all need – especially when they are mired in a job or career that stinks. What if you used your happy hour to think about where you could get to, rather than commiserate about how broken it is now?

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