How to write a career change CV

When showing potential employers that you next position will be a career change, you’ll want to structure your CV differently, highlighting your skills - where you obtained them and how you’ve used them - over your education and employment history. You’ll also want to focus on what you are looking to achieve in a new position, and a theme for your previous work experience.

Here’s the structure to use when formatting your career change CV.

Contact information

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • A LinkedIn profile and any other professional social media handles

Profile

This 1-3 sentence statement highlights your key skills and experience. It’s an especially great way to show off your transferable skills or that your experiences have a common theme. 

Objective

You can then set the scene to help potential employers understand your history, where you want to be and what you can do for them. 

Skills

In a career change CV, it’s a good idea to emphasis your skills first, and this includes both transferable and technical skills. You can use examples from your work experience to show employers where you’ve gained these skills and how you’ve used them. 

Technical skills

HTML, CSS, JS:

  • Built an online personal portfolio and resume website using HTML, CSS, JS.
  • Created an online JS/jQuery quiz game that takes multiple answers and shows results to the user.

Transferable skills

Sales:

  • Boosted sales at Company X for the most underperforming product by 40% by developing helpful and instructional material for prospects. 

Work experience

The positions, responsibilities and accomplishments you’ve had in your roles so far. Remember for each role to include your title, company name, location, and dates of employment. When changing careers you can list ‘relevant experience’ first followed by ‘other work experience’, and you don’t even need to include all your work experience if you think that it’s going to distract the reader. You can also include voluntary work if you’ve had roles of responsibility and experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for. 

Education

How much education you mention depends on how long you’ve been working and the level of education you’ve received. Remember to include your institution, grades earned, the year you completed the course, and any awards you received. If specific information is particularly relevant to the job you are applying for then you can add a paragraph about this as well. You can also mention short and online courses, and professional development, but once again make sure that it is information that enhances the overall impression of you as an employee in the position you are applying for.

Other

You might also want to add (if not mentioned elsewhere in your CV) any awards you’ve won, any memberships of professional bodies you belong to or any hobbies you do, especially if it relevant to the job you are applying for. 

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