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Making a mid-career change? (fourth step)

Published on 08 September 18

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Prepare a career change CV

One of the most important tools in any career changer’s bag is the CV.

Preparing a good career change CV is absolutely essential if you want to get the attention of potential employers.

When changing career it’s best to start completely afresh. You’re embarking on an entirely new career, so you should have an entirely new CV.

An opening summary is crucial on a career change CV. It needs to acknowledge the change of direction. Having an advice from a coach or subject matter expert or industry expert is very useful, to know all possible options you have for career change. For example, recently when I was coaching an unemployed professional with good skills in embedded systems programming, I realised that he had not explored any career opportunities in Internet of Things (IoT) area. He positioned his CV for IoT career opportunities and received a job offer within 3 weeks.

You must highlight key overlaps between your experience and the job description. Include your most ‘relevant’ experience, and highlight any accomplishments and responsibilities that could be desirable in your new career.

To succeed, most of the attributes needed are common across the various fields e.g. disciplined approach, hard-work, positive mind-set, result-orientation, adaptability, learning-agility etc. Therefore, it is very important for you to show-case your significant achievements in your CV. These could be in any field, including in the field of your hobbies.

If you’ve done any training or freelancing or certification to prepare for your new career, make this prominent. This shall demonstrate your keenness for the new role.

Once you’ve got a template for your new CV, make sure you customise it specifically to each job you apply for. To test the CV, ask yourself a few questions like,

"Does it mention required skills/capabilities which are asked in job description?",

"Does it bring out your ability to perform the responsibilities which are stated in the job description?",

"Does it bring out the rationale of you applying & being enthusiastic for the said role?",

"Does it have your significant achievements in the past?".

If possible, align the language in CV as per the job description and elaborate the relevant experience. For example, when one is applying for business analyst role, the relevant experience in requirement gathering, analysis, process documentation etc. could be elaborated. Make it a focused CV for BA role. Avoid stuffing keywords which you can not substantiate with supporting experience as it could make you lose the credibility and you shall have tough time managing the expectations of interviewer during the interview.

Last but not the least, ensure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, dates/duration mentioned are correct and be honest in sharing the information in CV about educational details, any career gaps, past employments etc.

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