Are you rethinking your career? You may find a looming gap between current career goals and your current resume. Many college graduates find themselves considering careers that do not align with their degree. People returning to the workforce after a break may find the skills that they acquired in the past are no longer relevant. Other job seekers may be deliberately seeking a new career path for any number of reasons; they might want to explore new interests, have better chances for advancement, or move to a place with fewer openings in their field.
Whatever your reason, there are several ways to handle that career/resume discrepancy on your resume and to prepare yourself for bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
Handling the Discrepancy on Your Resume
Hiring managers and recruiters do insist on a certain level of skill for most positions, but they are also interested in how skills are used. Review your past career to find transferable skills. These skills may be soft skills (such as leadership or communication) or hard skills (such as data analysis or sales). Then show how you used those skills to benefit employers. Within certain boundaries, it doesn’t matter if you sell shoes or cosmetics; great sales skills are always appreciated.
You should also consider organizing your resume so that you show your most relevant experience first, regardless of date. You could, for example, begin with a section titled “Relevant Experience” or “Career Highlights” before you offer a chronology. You could divide your career into two parts, listing non-relevant jobs under “Other Experience.”
Bridging the Gap to Where You Want to Be
If you see a career transition in your future, start preparing now to make yourself more marketable. Compare advertisements and job postings to see what top three or four qualifications appear over and over again; concentrate on meeting those specific qualifications. Read carefully, without regard to the job title. You may find that your ideal job (or one close to it) is available but not under the title you expected.
Take courses in your chosen field, volunteer those rusty skills to sharpen them, and work freelance, contract, or part-time jobs in the industry you are targeting to acquire current and relevant experience.
Attend networking events and gatherings where you will meet people who already work in your goal career. Even if they do not know about current openings, they can help you gain insight into what will make you more appealing to hiring managers and recruiters. When you are transitioning your career, you may want to talk to a career and transition specialist or a professional resume writer. I am qualified in both fields. Please contact me today.