1. Blog
  2. Resume Help
  3. How to write a career change resume: 4 rules for the inexperienced
Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

How to write a career change resume: 4 rules for the inexperienced

5 min read
How to write a career change resume: 4 rules for the inexperienced
Artwork by:Antonina Kasyanikova
Is it time to switch gears? If you’re ready to go for your dream job, read our rules for writing a compelling career change resume.

If you’re considering a career change, you’re not alone. Around a third of Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 have already changed careers since starting their first job. Yes, hopping from industry to industry is the “new normal,” but how can you create a resume to do just that? In this snappy guide, we will take a look at the following: 

  • How to write a career change resume, whatever field you're in
  • The main rules you should follow when creating your application
  • Expert tips on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd

Rule #1: Use a combination resume format 

When writing your resume for a career change, choosing the right format is everything. You need a structure that offers the flexibility to showcase your transferable skills and relevant projects. That’s where a combination resume format comes into play. 

The format combines elements from a functional resume and a reverse chronological resume. So, rather than kicking things off with your work experience below your summary, you can mix things up. Place your skills section about your work experience or slide in an experience section that details ad-hoc projects or voluntary work. 

Expert tip

Looking for some more inspiration before you get started? Check out our resume formatting guide for more information about how to nail this part of your application.

Rule #2: Write a compelling resume summary 

Your resume summary plays a major role in winning over the hiring manager. When writing this short blurb, be upfront about your desire to break into a new sector. You can explain what has drawn you to this industry. After all, what you lack in experience, you may well make up in sheer passion. Make sure this section is clear, concise, and super engaging.

Rule #3: Rethink your work experience section

One of the best resume tips for career change applications is to edit your work experience. Chances are, the professional experience you already have overlaps with your chosen sector. To boost your chance of landing an interview, focus on the common ground here. 

Take a look at job openings for some inspiration. Can you align your existing experience with the demands of the new sector? It may be a case of rewording your duties so that they better match the job requirements. That’s not to say that you should lie and make up work experience you don’t have. Instead, see how your work coincides and make that clear. 

Expert tip

Add in some additional projects! 

While you haven’t officially worked in the sector, you may have experience. Consider any voluntary work, freelance gigs, or additional projects you have done over the years. Do any of them align with the industry to which you’re applying? If so, include them now.

Rule #4: Highlight transferable skills and training

Transferable skills are the beating heart of a career change resume. Think about how your existing skill set meets the requirements of the vacancy. You should take a look at the job advert. These types of skills are applicable in a wide variety of sections. 

Additionally, if you have undertaken industry-specific training (or any qualification that suits this role), shout about it. The fact that you have invested in your career is sure to impress a prospective employer. You can include this information in your education section. 

Key takeaways 

  • The number of Americans changing careers is booming. If you’re ready to take the leap, ensure your resume wows potential employers.
  • Choosing a combination format will help you highlight your unique talents.
  • Consider how your existing skills and experience overlap with this new industry.

Take the hassle out of creating your application by using our resume templates.

Build your resume in 15 minutes
Build your resume in 15 minutes
Use professional field-tested resume templates that follow the exact ‘resume rules’ employers look for.
Create My Resume
Build your resume in 15 minutes
Build your resume in 15 minutes
Use professional field-tested resume templates that follow the exact ‘resume rules’ employers look for.
Create My Resume
Share this article
Keep reading
Career10 min read
Career vs job: understanding the differences
Career vs job: understanding the differences
Career27 min read
Complete guide to job search methods
Complete guide to job search methods
Career7 min read
The hardest working royals during lockdown
The hardest working royals during lockdown
Job Interview15 min read
How long do interviews last? The insider guide
How long do interviews last? The insider guide
Browse All
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and perform analytics and marketing. By using our website, you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.
Accept Cookies