Today I am delighted to welcome a guest post from CV-Library, the UK’s fastest growing independent job site.
Deciding to change industries in your career should always feel new and exciting. However, one of the biggest challenges is ensuring your career history is now relevant to the chosen job. Fortunately, your CV is always there to help support your career. Our advice will help you to adapt your CV when moving industries.
Do your research
Before embarking on a new career, always aim to learn as much about your new chosen field as possible. This will not only benefit your CV, but ensures that you’re well-informed and making the right decision as opposed to doing anything on impulse.
Research your new role through career sites, industry publications and by speaking to people working in the industry. This will enable you to know exactly what the job entails, what skills are important and how you can progress throughout the industry.
Rather than focusing on just the positive aspects, research all areas of the job to gain an understanding of the challenges you may come across. This will give you much better knowledge of the skills needed to exhibit in your CV to land a job interview.
Tailor your personal statement
It can never hurt to have more information that emphasises why you’re the perfect candidate for the role. This is best placed in your personal statement, which sits at the top of your CV and should always be tailored towards the job you’re applying for.
Exhibit what you have to offer and highlight any achievements that are applicable to the industry. Just be wary of keeping this short and concise. Anything longer than around four or five sentences can be off-putting.
Highlight your skills
When applying for a job in a new industry, the general consensus is to adopt a skills based CV. This is because it outlines any relevant skills and achievements, overshadowing your lack of direct experience. Start by placing a ‘key skills’ section underneath your personal profile and refer to the job description to see what needs to be most prominent.
As long as you show that you have the skills and attributes needed for the role, you’ll stand a better chance of landing an interview. Consider looking for examples that demonstrate transferable skills. For example, communication, organisation, management and leadership skills – these are valued in any industry.
Finally, be ruthless when it comes to your skills, only include information that supports your goals, otherwise it will detract from the main focus of your CV. You can then follow this with a chronological employment history, giving the reader a brief overview of where you’ve worked at previously.
Include your employment history
Everyone who decides to move industry may reach this part with certain trepidation. However, highlighting your experience is crucial to landing your new role. Where possible, focus on your accomplishments or any other skills you’ve acquired which may help you in the position you’re applying for.
Don’t feel the need to reel off every job if it doesn’t emphasise any of the essential skills required. Instead, try to provide examples of when you met deadlines, hit targets and were recognised for doing a great job.
There are always alternative ways to boost your CV’s appeal to help eclipse any lack of experience. Qualifications are always a great place to start. If you can, gain some relevant certifications or show that you’re working towards them. This will prove that you are dedicated to your career change.
When contacting potential employers, you want to exhibit your natural progression and reasoning behind your interest in a new industry. Highlight how you’ve analysed your skills and experience and assessed whether it’s a feasible decision.
Avoid giving off the impression that you’re job-hopping without any clear direction and demonstrate a common theme throughout your career that has led you to where you are now. Focus on key aspects that are applicable to the position and minimise anything that isn’t relevant.
Tailoring your CV to a new industry is challenging but never impossible. If you have assessed the industry, exhibited the right skills and shown a genuine interest in the company, then you’ll be on your way to launching a new and prosperous career.