Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2014 Contents B28
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 27, 2014
When going through a career
change (change in job function,
change in industry, or both), one of
the biggest challenges, after figuring
out what you want to do, is how to
present and market yourself for this
1. Perception drives resume reality.
Prior to writing and branding a resume
for a career change (change in job func-
tion, change in industry, or both a change
in function and industry) a career changer
needs to think about and answer the fol-
lowing questions before writing their
• What position(s) are you seeking?
• Do you have any industry prefer-
• Do you have any geographic limita-
• How do you want to be perceived
by prospective employers?
Firstly, before you begin writing your
career change resume, you must know
the position/industry you are going after.
This gives your resume a focus and theme
around which you can create the entre
document. This theme will dictate what
you include in the document and how
and where you include it.
Secondly, writing a career change
resume is all about creating a picture of
how you want to be perceived by a
prospective employer. For example, if you
are currently a corporate lawyer and seek-
ing another role as a corporate lawyer,
your resume is going to look very dif-
ferently than if you are a lawyer wanting
to switch to a role in legal publishing
sales (career reinvention). These are two
different career targets and for each one,
the brand perception you are trying to
create is different.
More specifically, when reinventing
your career (lawyer to legal publishing
sales), you must "reweight" the infor-
mation you include on your resume to
be more relevant to your new objective.
You have to translate what you have
done in your past roles in such a way
that a potential hiring manager imme-
diately understands its relevancy to the
position for which you are applying.
2. Do your homework
prior to writing.
Continuing on with the above example,
if you are a lawyer seeking to reinvent
yourself and transition into the legal pub-
lishing field do your homework - your
due diligence - before you write your
What do I mean by doing your "due
diligence"? I mean that you need to do
your research, both in the online and
offline worlds, to know what your target
industry and potential hiring manager
might be seekeing for skills and compe-
tencies. In addition, you need to know
the "lingo" of your new field.
Here are some examples of how you
can do your homework:
• During your informational meetings,
ask the individuals with whom you
are meeting what are the key skills
and competencies they consider to
be the most important for the
• Find several job descriptions online
for roles in your new industry or job
function. Review them and make a
list of what the companies and/or
hiring managers are seeking.
• Read industry publications and/or
blogs to get a better feel for the
industry, understand industry jargon,
and become familiar with some of
the challenges faced by the indus-
3. Include the right keywords.
Keywords are very important in resume
writing since they are the foundation for
how hiring managers search for and iden-
tify candidates in resume databases.
When writing a resume for a career
reinvention, you want to be sure that
your resume is sprinkled with the key-
words that are relevant to your new career
goals and how you want to be perceived
in the employment market. These key-
words can be identified in the same
resources as outlined in tip # 2 above.
Include these keywords in the Sum-
mary or Profile section at the top of the
resume. You also can include them in a
bulleted format in a separate section titled
"Core Competencies," "Core Strengths
and Capabilities," or "Professional Qual-
Possible keywords for this job seeker
• Client Relationship Management
• Public Speaking and Presentations
• Listening and Negotiation Skills
• Rapport and Relationship Building
• Customer Needs Assessment
• Cross-Functional Team Collabora-
• Effective Time Management
• Rapid Learning of New Products and
[Read Picking the Best Keyword for
Your Resume for more details on the
words to choose and where to put them.]
4. Showcase achievements that brand
you effectively to the new target.
The key to resume writing, whether
for a career reinvention or not, is to be
sure that your resume is populated with
strong achievements and success stories
that demonstrate the skills and attributes
you can bring to a prospective employer
for a new job or industry. This can be
easier when doing a straightforward
resume, moving from one position into
another that is very similar.
When writing a resume for a career reinven-
tion, you have twice as much work to do. Your
Coming up with career achievements or career
success stories, in general,
5. Include all relevant information to
demonstrate skills and experience.
When writing a resume for a career reinven-
tion, do not discount previous or older expe-
rience, community service, or volunteer roles.
Look at everything in your life and profes-
sional experience to demonstrate the skills and
experience that you want to showcase to create
the perception of yourself that you want a
prospective employer to see.
For example, let's say our corporate lawyer
is on the board of a nonprofit and is doing
fundraising and development work. I would
definitely recommend including this information
on his resume. Fundraising is sales and by
including this experience, you could demonstrate
that the lawyer has good client relationship and
The write-up on the resume might look
something like this:
Demonstrated outstanding sales, negotiations,
and client relationship management skills while
orchestrating annual fundraising and corporate
giving campaigns. Increased volume each year
for five consecutive years.
In addition, let's assume this lawyer has just
taken a sales training class to supplement his
legal background with more concrete skills to
support his career reinvention. That information
should be highlighted in the Summary or Profile
at the beginning of the resume and then again
showcased in the Education section.
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