How to Handle a Career Shift on Your Resume

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on July 12, 2021

Life has changed over the past year — at work and at home. Shutdowns, remote schooling, business closures, and stay at home orders have changed the way work and business are done. Now, returning to work is changing the way workers think about their jobs, and many are shopping around for better options.

Changing careers

As businesses and the economy begin to recover from the pandemic, many workers have become job seekers considering a career change. Moving into a different field — whether it be a new position or an entirely new industry — is daunting, but work experience is often composed of transferable skill sets. Relevant experience is likely closer than it seems.

Reuters currently reports a record 8.1 million job openings, and workers are discovering the possibilities now that linear career paths is no longer a given, and employers are more open than ever to applicants seeking a career shift. Together, these factors make 2021 an excellent year to explore fresh opportunities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies several industries experiencing key worker shortages, including:

  • Manufacturing of both durable and non-durable goods
  • Education and educational services
  • Transportation, warehousing, and utilities
  • Mining and logging
  • Professional and business services
  • Construction
  • Retail
  • Healthcare

Woman using computer

How is the current job market different?

Just as job availability in 2021 has changed, so has the market adapted to accommodate the new normal. As a job seeker, it’s important to be aware of the differences — especially if it’s been a while since you last applied for a new position. Notable changes include:

  • More candidates are looking to their current employer for a different job or promotion. Employers frequently capitalize on the talent already onboard, so check for new opportunities of interest with your current employer first.
  • Digital presence is increasingly important. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, keyword optimized, and visible to potential employers.
  • Stressing strengths to fit employer needs is a successful job search strategy. Update relevant skills and keywords frequently. Gartner research shows one-third of the skills listed on 2017 résumés are irrelevant just four years later.

Retooling for a career shift

Once a candidate settles on a new field of interest, a résumé retool can help with reevaluating their work experience and presenting their skills to advantage in a new industry. Consider the following strategies:

Present a job-targeted résumé. Demonstrate a clear match between candidate skills and experience and the employer’s needs. Focus on skills that are a close fit rather than an entire work history.

Use a targeted job title. Place the desired job title immediately after contact information to increase the likelihood of appearing in database searches.

Replace career objectives with a “Performance Profile.” Rather than focus on goals, emphasize the skills the candidate can provide the employer. Use words and terms common to the employer’s industry.

Add a professional skills section. Focus on “hard skills”— specific items, including technical skills relevant to the field, design or marketing experience, and ability or experience managing a team. Keywords common to the industry will help a résumé get noticed.

Use the first page to tell a story. The first page of a résumé should present pertinent information clearly and concisely. Details or further information belong on a separate page.

Finding a job in any field can be intimidating. Shifting to a new field may seem impossible, but now is the time to pursue a new career. Employers are adapting job requirements and expressing new willingness to broaden their talent search.

Interested in hiring qualified candidates who are ready and willing to try something new? TERRA Staffing Group is here to help reevaluate job requirements and support new candidate recruiting initiatives.

Categories: Career Tips

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