People put a lot of thought into changing careers. After all, it is one of the more important decisions one can make. We have to consider our families, our living and financial situations, our competitive advantage in the new field, etc. Making a career change typically means starting with a blank canvas; while you have the freedom to paint that canvas any which way you wish, you have to invest time, energy, make sacrifices and prove yourself as a credible professional in your new field. You have to be competitive, and motivated, and sustain the drive that is necessary to be successful. After you convince yourself that changing careers is the right thing to do, you will have to convince your potential employers to give you the job you are seeking.

To do so, you have to do your research. Demonstrate to your employer that you have an extensive knowledge of the industry, even if you don’t have the accompanying experience. Before you begin your new career, make sure that you understand what professional paths are available for you, and determine what your ultimate goal is. This will help you form the career objective for your resume. Additional, make sure to do your research on the company you are interested in, as well as their competition (if you are interested in non-profit organizations, make sure to brush up on other organizations with similar missions); if invited for an interview, you will want to appear very knowledgeable not only about their company, but about the industry as a whole. You will have to convince your potential employer that you the best person for the job, better than the candidates with experience – to do that, you have to showcase not only your enthusiasm for the opportunity, but your eagerness to learn and your knowledge about the field.

Transferable skills, those skills that can be utilized in numerous fields, are also a key to a successful career change. Consider your qualifications to date. What experience have you acquired that can be transferred across industries? Transferable skills include verbal and written communication, people management, customer relations, organization and project management, development of new processes, generation of new ideas or concepts, etc. Such skills can be adapted to all organizations, and you should utilize them to showcase your qualifications for the job you are seeking. For example, if you would like to ditch the 9-to-5 desk job for a hectic, unpredictable life of a high school teacher, let your potential employer know that your previous experience in leading by motivation makes you a perfect candidate for the job (even if that marketing project you managed has nothing to do with teaching English composition). Making a list of all your professional experiences and the qualifications needed for the job you are seeking will help you in determining which skills are transferable to your new career. Once you define your transferable skills, use a functional resume to assure most (if not all) of the qualifications needed for the new job are met in your resume.

In addition to your resume, use your cover letter or email to let your potential employer know why you are changing careers, and that your new interest is not a passing one. Make sure that your resume reflects your newfound interest in a genuine and professional manner, and you are sure to have a successful career change.

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Tips on listing publications in your resume

by Karen Watson on October 9, 2014

There are many industries where publication of your own work is a critical part of your career development. As professionals in industries that require us to actively publish research studies, essays, articles, textbooks, etc. we have to find ways to account for such publications on our resumes. There are a number of things to consider in respect to publications as you develop your resume.

First, ask yourself how relevant the publications are to your career objective. If you have recent publications that support your career objective, make sure to create a separate heading on your resume and list the publications in reverse chronological order. Follow the AP style when listing your publication, omitting your name from the listing if you were the only author of the text, as that is implied. Do not list publications that do not support your career objective on your resume; while they may be helpful to mention to your potential employer via a cover letter, it is not necessary to take up space on your resume with information that is not directly impacting to your career. If you have submission in progress, or are working on texts that you know will be published at the later time, and they support your qualifications for the job, include them on the resume under a sub-heading of “submitted to (publication name)” or “to be published in (publication name)”. However, if you decide to include works in progress, be certain that they will get published at some point in the future. This is mostly critical for freelance magazine, newspaper or creative writers; do not list every article you have submitted for publication, unless you are certain that it will get published.

If your list of publication is fairly extensive, do not dismiss it completely from your resume. You want your employer to know that you have either published or are in the process of publishing your work. You should create a section within your resume dedicated to publications. Don’t go overboard with the number of publications you list on your resume. List three to five publications, in reverse chronological order in this section. This will give your employer an idea of your work, the publications and audiences you have reached. At the end of your publication listing, include a statement that tells the employer a complete listing of publications can be provided upon request. In your professional summary, or cover letter, you can indicate the total number of publications you’ve had in your career. Create a separate document that includes a complete listing of your publications, following the ASP style. You should make sure that the list of your publication credits other authors properly, as well. You should have a print out of this list, along with your resume that you can bring to any job interview, or forward to the hiring manager at their request. In addition, if asked about your publications, offer your potential employer a copy of any of your articles for their review (although if given the appropriate reference information, your employer, if interested, will be able to locate your publications on their own).

Overall, disclose any information about publications if it supports your career objective and highlights your qualifications for the job. Review the information you list carefully and make sure that names and dates of publications are correct – even minor mistakes can raise questions about your credibility.

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Three things to make your resume unique

September 18, 2014

A resume is a one- to two-page document summarizing your career objectives, professional experiences and achievements, and educational background. To stand apart from other candidates, you should consider the information in your resume carefully and make sure that it is personal to you. Here are three tips on making your resume unique to you: 1.    […]

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Quantifying your resume

September 18, 2014

The most difficult and time consuming section of any resume is the listing of your work experience, no matter the level you have reached in your professional career. The key is to consider your career objective and prioritize your work in accordance to your goals. Your professional experience should not only showcase the activities you […]

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5 things you should never include in your resume

September 11, 2014

Composing a resume is a difficult task, as we all know. It takes time and patience to fit your whole professional history within one or two pages, and present yourself as the best candidate for the job. While we focus so much of our energy on what to include in our resumes, we forget to […]

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Resume tips for teachers

September 11, 2014

Whether you are new to teaching, are coming back to teaching after time off, or are leaving your corporate job for a teaching position, you will need to make sure that your resume and cover letter address the following four questions your employers may have: 1.    Why do you want to be a teacher? This […]

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Resume review – asking and getting help

September 4, 2014

Writing a resume is a process of self-discovery in many ways. You have to market yourself to your potential employer, which is a very difficult task because we have to walk the fine line of objectivity and self-promotion. Your resume must summarize your educational achievements, professional experience, and qualification in a way that best meets […]

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Resources for resume examples

September 4, 2014

Writing a resume is a difficult task regardless of your level of experience with the process. While the content of your resume is critical to its effectiveness, the layout and the format you utilize are equally as important. To get started, you should research various resume styles and find out which best stouts your field. […]

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Entry level resume how to highlight your education and your skills

August 28, 2014

Graduating from college is one of the proudest moments you can experience. Receiving your diploma validates all the hard work you put into your education, all the all-nighters you pulled before exams. Your graduation signifies your accomplishments as a student, and opens the door into the world of career choices, job searches, and 40-hour workweeks. […]

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Including references on your resume

August 28, 2014

Have you ever wondered what the most commonly used line on a resume is? It would have to be the all time favorite, “References available upon request.” There is an ongoing debate among professionals about the inclusion of references on your resume. Some people will strongly encourage you to include the aforementioned line at the […]

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