You know you want to change careers, but what do you want to do and how do you get your resume from one field to reflect your ability to pursue a career in another field? We have all heard the biggest resume tips like “make sure you spell check”, “highlight your experience”, and “change your resume to reflect each position that you are applying for”, but how do you highlight your strengths for a completely different career field? We asked our team of recruiters and sales managers what they look for when considering an applicant who doesn’t have experience in financial services and compiled a few tips.
TIP #1: BE ADAPTABLE
Showing parallels between the field you are leaving and the one you are looking to pursue is extremely valuable. If you can show this, make it clear in your resume. You will also want to show how adaptable you can be to many difference situations. If you include a cover letter or introduction paragraph, make sure to include how adaptable you can be. You may want to come out and directly say that you are capable of adapting, learning and growing.
TIP #2: HAVE A WINNING ATTITUDE
You might think you have to wait until an interview in order to show off your determined and positive attitude, but there are also ways to express this in your resume. What awards have you won? What organizations do you lead? What teams have you been a part of that accomplished something? Don’t be shy, a resume is your time to boast about your accomplishments and show how you have a desire to be the best.
TIP #3: DEVELOP YOUR STORY AND TELL IT EARLY
Avoid using an objective at the beginning of your resume, “I am looking to be a financial planner” just tells us that you applied for the right job. It doesn’t give us any picture of who you are and why you are changing jobs. Tell the reader how you are passionate about helping others, driven to succeed, and ready to move into a new career will catch their eye in a much bigger and more impactful way. Do you have something to prove? Tell us about how tenacious you really are! Do you want to help others? Why?
TIP #4: GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PAST WORK EXPERIENCES
But more importantly, show how the general skills that you developed may relate to the new field. Detailing the groups or communications skills you learned can be extra helpful. Don’t just say you know how to work in groups, give an example of a project that you had a particularly difficult group dynamic and how it was overcome. Show off the skills that might be relevant for every field.
TIP #5: DON’T WASTE TIME ON GPA OR REFERENCES
Unless you have a 4.0 from a very respectable University in the field you want to work in, or you are straight out of college, your GPA isn’t really relevant. It is also great that your old boss would vouch for you, but most recruiters aren’t going to call them anyways. Use that valuable real estate on your resume for other more valuable experiences. Also, please never write “References available upon request”, we’ll ask if we really want them.
TIP #6: KEEP YOUR RESUME CONCISE
Be very mindful of how long your resume is. We simply don’t have time to read about every detail of your past job. Never go with a resume longer than 2 pages. Take the time to edit and reduce your resume to 1 page if possible. If you are the type of person who wrote 10 pages in school when the assignment called for 5, make sure you have someone who is concise help you to edit.
Thank you to Clark Shacklett, Lorin Surles, Doug LaMey and Greg Brenner for their tips!
If you are interested in changing careers, please visit www.capitalfinancialgroup.net/careers/ for more information about our job opportunities at Capital Financial Group.
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