A résumé is a powerful tool that can open the door to an interview and ultimately to the job of your dreams. When seeking a career transition, it’s especially important to take a close look at your résumé and how it appears to prospective employers. How can you leverage your current education and experience in a new field or industry? What components are missing that would help you develop the well-rounded skill set that matches the position you are seeking? Here are some helpful action items to consider.
- Research the job market. What skills, certifications, and experience are employers seeking? How can you reasonably add to your experience to meet these requirements? Are there conferences that you can attend? Are there certifications that you can earn?
- Pinpoint your definition of career success. Is it in dollars? A flexible schedule? Making social contributions to the world? Be sure that your résumé reflects who you are as a person and that you are targeting positions that meet your goals.
- Get feedback on your résumé. Share your résumé with coworkers, classmates, and friends. Don’t avoid those with a critical eye. Let them ask questions. Don’t forget to consider these unconventional résumé mistakes.
- Leverage your personal network. Do you have contacts that are currently working in your field of interest? If so, schedule informal interviews. Attend industry networking events. Be upfront about your goals. There are many industry professionals that believe in giving back and enjoy helping others advance their careers.
- Leverage your college or university. Your institution of higher education is filled with faculty and administrators that want to help you achieve success. Take advantage of the resources that are available to students. Many career centers offer résumé assistance and career advising. Also, be sure to take advantage of the unofficial resources. Ask for meetings with your faculty members. Tell them your goals and seek advice.
- Gain additional experience while you continue to pursue your education. There are several ways you can do so, even if you already have a full-time job.
Have you tried any of these strategies? What has worked best for you?