Career Development

How to Change Careers Without Hurting Your Resume

If you are contemplating changing careers after investing time and energy in one that does not suit you, it is normal to ask yourself if this change could affect your resume. But it’s possible to change your profession in a way that helps you look like a more experienced candidate. Selecting the right career will likely increase your productivity and help you become a valued asset to your future employer. This article will show you how to change careers without hurting your resume.

How to change to a new career

When you want to change careers, you can follow these steps: 

1. First, research new and interesting careers

Finding a career that suits you will help ensure that you feel fulfilled at work and are able to work toward your goals. Employees who enjoy their work are more valuable to companies as they can be more productive, less likely to seek other opportunities and more likely to increase sales. Selecting a career that works for you can help you become a valued asset to your employer.  

Tips for researching a new career:

  • Identify possible careers that interest you. In your planning stages, you can consider may options.
  • Use a planning tool, like a mind map, if you have not identified a new occupation yet. To make a mind map, you can draw a map placing a career you are considering in the center of your page, then draw ideas surrounding your main idea, connected to it with a line. For the surrounding ideas, you can include facts you find while researching the role as well as your thoughts about it. 
  • Brainstorm a few ideas with a friend on different careers that might suit you. 
  • Try to shorten your list to three or fewer careers that interest you. 
  • Identify your existing skills. In addition to your soft skills, you may have also gained hard skills that you can transfer to a new career.  
  • Identify any new skills that you need to acquire. You can conduct research to find out the cost and time required to learn these skills, then decide if you can realistically gain these abilities considering the time, effort and finances you will need to acquire them.
  • Research the situational factors of your job options. For example, you can find out about the current business trends that could impact whether you can find a job, such as the companies you would like to work for and where they are located.
  • Reevaluate your options by considering what you learned during your research and planning. If necessary, you can identify more career options to research and consider. 

2. Next, improve your relevant professional skills 

Once you have identified the abilities you need for your new career, you can start the process of gaining them in this stage. You can consider role-play to practice interpersonal skills like communication and workshops, evening classes or online courses to acquire technical skills like an understanding of a specific software application. 

3. Then, try to preview your new career 

Once you have a vision of what occupation you would like, you can learn more to see if it will be a good fit for you. 

Consider these ideas to research the role: 

  • Learn about the pros and cons of working in the career that interests you by asking someone who works in that field.
  • Use social networking to connect and interact with people who are employed in your preferred profession to get an idea if you would like to work with them. 
  • Consider seeking internships with the companies that interest you. Internships can be valuable networking tools and can lead to job opportunities in some cases.

4. Last, update your resume to represent your career change positively

The following tips can help update your resume:

  • Minimize gaps in your resume. By minimizing gaps in your resume, you can show future employers that you can handle a change. In some cases, it may be best to stay in your existing job while exploring other occupations, if possible. 
  • Update your resume. Use your resume to showcase your career change as a professional achievement. You may impress hiring managers with the story of how you networked, volunteered, studied and managed the responsibilities in your old career while seeking your new one.

The process of changing careers does not have to hurt your resume at all. You can plan a career change in a way that can make your resume stronger.