How to Adapt Your CV for a Change in Career Direction
Updated: Aug 20
At the time of writing (during the COVID-19 Pandemic) this is one of the questions we've been asked about most frequently. This is as a result of thousands of job losses, particularly in certain industry sectors such as Tourism, Hospitality and High Street Retail. People working in these sectors have needed to rethink their whole future career path. You may be one of them.
Daunting as it may seem, please have hope.
Everybody has what recruiters call 'transferable skills'. These are core abilities that can be applied to another role in a different industry sector. So if you wanted to make a move from retail to healthcare, for example, then your core skills in working with people, communicating in different ways and working within a team, combined with personal characteristics such as empathy, mean you'd be perfect for your new role too.
The key to success lies in conveying these transferable skills in your CV in order to show that you're suitable for a new, and different, role.
There are THREE key ways you can do this on your CV:
1. Add a personal profile to the top of page 1 on your CV. This is usually a short 3 or 4 sentence paragraph that summarises your career to date and notable achievements. In this case, use it to showcase your positive personality characteristics and transferable work skills relevant to the new type of work that you're applying for. You can also say what you’re passionate about and what motivates you. Adapt this statement to every different job that you apply for. Gather ideas on skills that a recruiter might be looking for from the job ad, the job description and the personnel specification.
This will help your CV to read instantly like you're a great match for the job.
2. Follow your Personal Profile with a 'Key Skills' section. Think about all of the skills that you've learned and acquired in your previous role/s that might be utilised in your new role and, as above, look for the skills that the recruiter is asking for in the job ad. Write 3 to 5 bullet points, each just one short sentence long, grouping together similar key skills that are relevant. Of course, it goes without saying, that you do need to genuinely have these skills.
3. Provide the proof that you have the skills you say you do. You must do this throughout your following 'Work / Career History' section. Here you have the chance to demonstrate that you have the necessary transferable skills by highlighting your previous work achievements. So in this section you should aim to say not just what you did (job duties) but how well you did your job. Think of times and ways in which you have used the core skills required. For example you might have won an award for employee of the month for providing excellent customer service. Write each achievement in a bullet point no more than two lines long.
Adapting your CV in this way and reflecting on your past work experience will also help you to have more confidence and to be prepared for those all important interviews.
We understand that writing your own CV can be really difficult at the best of times - so if you need further help please don't hesitate to call us 07722 212 911, email us or download our GTJ! Ultimate Job-Hunting Toolkit - which includes a professional CV Edit.