And now for something completely different…
If you’ve been in a particular industry for a long period of time and you’re looking for a new direction, the thought of doing something different can be exciting, and may be the perfect move. But what happens if you’re unsure how to communicate that desire for change concisely on your CV?
Luckily, we’re here to help. Approached with the right amount of enthusiasm, and if properly tailored to the role in question, your CV could be the gateway to a whole new career. And that makes it more than worthwhile spending a little time getting it right.
To help prove that your previous positions needn’t be a hindrance, we’ve put together our career change CV template.
Always start your CV with a personal statement tailored to the role in question.
In terms of structure, consciously try and answer the following questions: Who are you? What do you have to offer? What are you aiming for in your career?
Although you should also mention the reasons for your career change in your cover letter, your personal statement should be used to reaffirm your desire. Wherever possible, quantify the achievements which seem most transferable to the industry you’re looking to move into.
In terms of length, four or five lines are more than enough.
Rather than focusing on your work experience, you may choose to place precedence on your skills and/or major achievements before talking about previous positions.
Once again, try to provide examples that are applicable to the role in question, which you have picked up in other jobs. For example, adaptability, management skills, problem solving, presentation and interpersonal skills, are all desirable qualities to have, no matter what the industry.
For most roles, successfully demonstrating your experience and achievements in previous positions is essential. And, although you may not think it would be the case, this point is just as pertinent when it comes to a change of career direction.
Write in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent jobs coming at the top.
It’s not necessary to include all of your experience in your CV, especially if you’ve held a number of junior positions which don’t highlight any of the essential skills required for this role. Therefore, it’s to be expected that you’ll scale down the detail.
Finally, rather than concentrating on daily duties, try and emphasise your accomplishments, wherever possible, or any other skills you picked up which may help you in the position you’re applying for.
For those looking for a career change, these could be anything from showing how you’ve hit targets and core KPIs, through to any times you’ve implemented or learned something new, and recognition you’ve received for doing your job well.
Education should be included from GCSE (or equivalent) level on. Write in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent events coming at the top.
State the number of qualifications achieved and general grades you received (Maths and English at the very least).
Include your degree classification, A level/IB (or equivalent) results and any other higher education diplomas if you have them. Use particular course modules you’ve undertaken to demonstrate your wider knowledge of the subject which may be relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Even if your qualifications don’t seem relevant, they’re probably still worth including. At the very least you can demonstrate to a future employer your passion for learning a subject in more depth.
Hobbies & Interests
A Hobbies and Interests section is optional. However, if you lack any notable work experience in a particular field, this section can be a great way of getting your personality and suitability for the industry across.
Ask yourself: Will they help you get the job? Finally, make sure you’re happy to expand upon your interests during your interview if called upon.
Unless asked directly in the job posting, making references available on request is fine.
However, always make sure you do have credible references. Close family friends, teachers, or career councillors are all good options, and most are usually happy to help.
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