When you are trying
to change careers a
standard resume ("my past duties were... blah, blah, blah")
really hold you back.
With a window of
opportunity often as little as 10
seconds for the resume to spark the readers attention, a dynamic career
change resume that portrays your relevant natural strengths,
achievements and experience is essential.
Gone are the days
of a tasked-based resume with an
inventory of a position’s responsibilities, coupled with a
standard (and boring) list of personal aptitudes.
This has been
replaced with an achievement
/accomplishment driven document that depicts you as a pro-active
candidate that demands results and demonstrates the significant value
on offer to the organization.
Here are two
examples of modern resumes presented in different formats:
Citizen Sample Resume
- a simple direct resume suitable for a skilled worker such as a trades
person seeking work directly related to their job experience. This is
the minimum level your resume should achieve. Could be improved a lot
if it had achievement statements (see below).
Brown Sample Resume
- a career change resume placing the focus on her knowledge
worker skills and recent qualifications, NOT her work experience which
is lower level.
resume is not a catalogue
A resume is not a catalogue of everything you’ve ever done.
is marketing literature focused on convincing the reader that it is
worth their time to meet
with you. Think of your resume as your personal advertising brochure on
customise your resume to address each employer’s needs. These
can be identified from position advertisements, position descriptions,
online and library research, direct contact with the organization and
your networking. This means developing a base resume and then
customising it to suit specific positions and organizations. Emphasise
relevant achievements, abilities, skills and knowledge and delete
the basic principles
is no one
perfect format for a resume. You need to choose formats and headings
which best fit your purpose and the content you wish to display. There
will always be some disagreement about what is an ideal resume, even
amongst resume experts. This section of the Toolkit outlines principles
to be applied but how they are applied is not an exact science and
requires some personal judgement.
first page of your resume is crucial. Most resumes only get about 30
seconds of attention so what they read in that time must include many
of your strongest selling points.
industry-related key words as well as
action words that will grab the reader’s attention. For
devised, instructed, spearheaded, maximized, led, directed,
streamlined, oversaw, managed, motivated, controlled, delegated,
consolidated, generated, implemented, proposed, specified
and the list goes on.
Turn challenges into
powerful achievement statements
you overcame; the action or
solution you undertook to alleviate the challenge; and the
(quantifiable) result, and script into a powerfully written statement.
turnover high, performance levels
extremely poor, with overall costs to recruit and train new staff high.
staff monitoring and incentive
programs; implemented staff training programs.
staff knowledge base; decreased
staff turnover by 66.7%; increased
staff morale and collaboration; increased productivity levels by 77%.
don’t write it in your resume
like the above. Instead use action words to write it as:
staff morale; optimized productivity levels by 77%; and reduced staff
turnover by 66.7% through implementation of strategic monitoring and
deliberate detailing of the
quantifiable results at the forefront, followed by the method in which
this accomplishment was obtained.
For a variety
of resume samples and cover letters (Word document templates) plus more
resume and letter writing guidance we suggest you consider The Complete Career
or the Job
on the Career
In the Job
Search Program we will review
your resume and advise you of specific changes you need to make on your
resume for it to be suitable for your job search targets. Even more
importantly we will ensure you are using the most effective job search
strategies suited to the type of work you are pursuing.
It is important to invest in career change services. Don't miss out on
a great job, worth many $1000's over a few years, just to save a few
dollars on something essential like a resume.
can give you the confidence you need to create a whole new career-life
Letters, emails and
other written communications
play a key role in your job search at times.
Done right they
will help you get job interviews
that you wouldn't otherwise get a chance at.
Done wrong and you
are wasting your time and
destroying your opportunities.
Your resume may not even get read if the cover letter doesn't create
enough interest. And often it is better to send a carefully developed
letter without a resume!
Here are some key
letter writing tips:
letters. Never address a
letter to “Dear
Sir/Madam.” If necessary, call the organization to learn the
name of the appropriate individual and verify the correct spelling.
relevant. Get in their shoes.
Put yourself in the position
of the recipient of the letter. What will get their positive attention?
Where possible, translate your achievements, abilities, skills and
knowledge into potential benefits for them.
clichés and jargon. Use language
that reflects your style and personality. Be yourself - unique and
original without being gimmicky.
appropriate. Consider what is
appropriate for the type of
position and the expected background of the reader.
specific and direct. Know
what you want to say and get to
the point. Don’t give irrelevant detail.
positive. Avoid apologizing
for strengths you lack.
Rather, focus on the strengths and qualities you have.
honest. Your can leave out
negative details but you
should not lie. It will detract from the power of your authenticity
when you meet the employer and can be very damaging when detected.
confident, not arrogant. Use
examples to demonstrate your
qualities rather than merely bragging about yourself.
concise. Make every sentence
count toward selling them on
value of meeting with you.
available. Be sure to tell
the employer how you can be
reached. Provide a phone number or e-mail address that you check at
least once a day.
Remember that your computer's spell check cannot identify many
mistakes. Have someone (other than you) proofread your letter. If you
are word processing multiple letters, be sure to change customized
statements to avoid the embarrassment of using organization or
individual names from a previous version.
the letter and package it professionally. Your letter should look as
polished as your resume. Full size letter envelopes will present your
application in better condition and get more attention.
up. Particularly with
Enquiry letters it is important to
indicate towards the close of the letter that you will be calling them
within a certain period. Then make a note in your diary and be sure to
make the call.
Your documents should reflect yourself, the position you are applying
for, the information content you have to convey, and your perception of
the intended recipient of your correspondence.
There are different
types of job search letters -
standard enquiry letters, creative enquiry letters, cover letters for
advertised jobs etc. There are also many more marketing strategies that
can be applied in a job search letter.