How to Revamp Your Résumé
If you've lost your job or are unhappy with your current one, you might be contemplating a career switch. You won't be able to rely on the résumé you used to help you land your last job. Below are tips from the January issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine to help you recreate your résumé for a career change. And see How to Switch Careers for more advice.
The stock in trade of a career switcher is a set of transferable skills and a functional résumé. Instead of ticking off tasks specific to your old industry in chronological order, frame your work in broader terms, under headings such as Team Leadership, Project Management, Research and Analysis, Innovation, Client Management -- you get the idea.
Back up each transferable skill with a concrete accomplishment. Be concise and specific, using numbers to quantify cost savings, revenue generation or time management. Purge the jargon of your old job, but pepper your résumé with the buzzwords of your target industry. Résumés are scanned electronically 80% of the time, says Atlanta career coach Gail Geary, so keywords are important.
Tailor your résumé for each job application. When you apply for a government job, you will probably encounter essay questions that seek to determine your knowledge, skills and abilities -- or KSAs, for short. Your answers will supplement information in your résumé. In writing your answers, make sure to parrot key words and phrases from the job description.
Volunteer experience commensurate with your private-sector status should always be included on your résumé when you seek nonprofit work. Serving soup is fine, but mid-career professionals should also be serving on board committees, contributing their management skills.