How to write an effective career change resume (with examples)

March 7, 2024

Two workers wearing PPE look at a tablet and discuss a project

The average person changes jobs an average of nine times during their career, and there are many reasons why someone might want to change the role that they work in. They might want to pursue a more challenging career path, be looking to earn a higher salary, experience a better work-life balance or simply want to explore new interests.

In today's dynamic job market, a career change demands more than courage; it requires a strategically crafted resume showcasing your transferable skills, relevant experiences, and determination. 

Whether you're stepping into a new industry or seeking a different role within your current sector, this guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to create a compelling resume that captures the attention of hiring managers. More than just wanting to change, it is crucial to adapt. There is no point in crafting a different CV if it is not tailored, especially for this moment of transition in your career.

We'll walk you through every step of creating a resume that not only highlights your past achievements but also shines a light on your potential. Get ready to transform your career aspirations into reality with our expert tips and actionable advice.

Feeling stuck? Consider your options and make an industry change

Transitioning to a new industry can be overwhelming, especially when skills development is necessary to align with your desired role. Securing the ideal job opportunity necessitates a dedicated level of effort and commitment. If you want develop more soft skills and expertise, stretch assignments can be a valuable approach to take.

 Taking gradual measures to evaluate your alternatives and potential career paths is beneficial. This approach lets you gain insight into your capabilities and establishes a coherent understanding of how they align with your chosen industry.

Consider your reasons for a new career 

Before you begin the process of looking for a new job, give yourself some time to assess why you want to do that:

  • Boredom or lack of satisfaction. If you don't find satisfaction and meaning in what you do during your working day, your thoughts will most likely wander to other employment opportunities.

  • Money and benefits. Salary and benefits are often the primary reasons many people start a job search. Perhaps through communications with peers within your industry or after reading articles on the internet, you've determined more lucrative opportunities do exist.

  • New interests. Many people make career changes throughout their lives as new interests, values, and passions develop. 

  • Job sustainability. You may have noticed that technological advancements could potentially phase out your current role or even lead to the closure of the company you work for.
Untitled design (16)-1

How should I write a specialised career change resume?

Embarking on a career change is a significant life decision that necessitates a tailored approach in every step, especially regarding your resume objective. Here are a few ways to prepare your CV for a career change and pursue your dream job.

It's all about the transferable skills

In a career change scenario, your previous experience in the new field might be limited. While this can be daunting, it’s also an opportunity to make your case. This is where transferable skills come into play. These universal skills you've acquired in your current or previous work experiences are relevant to a wide range of positions, such as leadership abilities, communication skills, project management, and problem-solving capabilities. 

Shifting focus from titles to talents

Traditional resumes often emphasise job titles and specific industry experiences. However, in a career change scenario, the focus shifts from past job titles to the talents and competencies you bring to the table. Often, different industries have their way of referring to the same skills or expertise. Researching CVs from professionals in the job market you want to migrate to can help with that. It's not about lack of experience, it's about showing potential employers what you can do for them, not just what you have done in the past.

No elephants in the room

Employers might have reservations about hiring someone without direct experience in their industry, and that is justified. Your job here will be to show the recruiters that you can be a jack of all trades and change careers with ease. By carefully aligning your skills and experiences from the previous role with the requirements of the new role, you can alleviate doubts and highlight why you are a strong candidate, despite your unconventional path. This includes using strategic positioning and persuasive language to draw parallels between your background and the needs of the potential employer.

Showing that you can adapt fast

Making a career change is a bold move that requires adaptability and a willingness to learn. A resume objective tailored for this transition demonstrates your commitment to your new career path and objectives. It shows employers that you have not only recognized your passion for a new field but have also taken concrete steps to prepare yourself for this shift. This can include relevant training, certifications, or projects you've undertaken to gain the necessary skills and knowledge.

Optimise for Applicant Tracking Systems

In today's job market, many resumes first need to get past an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before they reach a human reader. A specialised career change resume is optimised with relevant keywords and phrases that match the job description. This ensures that your resume passes through these systems and increases your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers.

Untitled design (15)-2

Key elements when writing a career change CV

Creating an effective career change resume involves more than just listing your job history. You could do a series of things to enhance the chances of a recruiter noticing you and your CV. Here are some do's and don'ts to remember as you craft yours.

1. Objective statement or professional summary

The goal here is to capture your career goals while also explaining why you are transitioning to the new field. All of this should be done in a way that feels natural to the reader, with a brief statement combining transferable skills, career aspirations and how you plan to bring value to the desired new role.


A great tip here would be to customise this section to each job accordingly. Making every CV directly address specific needs for the role and the employer can make a huge difference and go a long way.

Example 1:

A marketing specialist aiming to transition into the tech industry might say, "Driven marketing specialist with over five years of experience in developing successful brand strategies, seeking to leverage analytical and project management skills in a product management role within the tech sector. Eager to apply my background in market analysis and team leadership to drive successful product launches and innovation."

Example 2:

A teacher looking to move into corporate training could write, "Passionate educator with a decade of experience in curriculum development and student engagement, aiming to transition to corporate training. Skilled in creating compelling educational content and fostering a productive learning environment, I am excited to apply these skills to help your organisation develop its talent and enhance employee skills."

2. Skills section

In this section, the main objective should be highlighting your current abilities that are relevant to the new career you envision. Hard and soft skills are your bread and butter here. Having a great mix of key skills that are valuable to the new industry can have a major impact on how the recruiter will receive your CV. Think beyond technical skills to include leadership, communication, problem-solving, and other adaptable skills.


As mentioned in the previous element, you should always tailor your CV to each job opportunity you want to apply for. That being said, use the job description as a guide to identify which skills to emphasise and ensure they align with what the employer seeks for that role.

Example 1:

For someone transitioning from finance to data science, the skills section might highlight: "Analytical Thinking, Financial Modeling, Python, Data Visualisation, Strong Communication, Problem-solving, SQL." This showcases a blend of hard and technical skills relevant to data science alongside transferable soft skills.

Example 2:

A retail manager moving to customer success in a tech company might list: "Customer Relationship Management, Team Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Salesforce, Strategic Planning, Empathy." Here, the emphasis is on transferable soft skills and some technical knowledge relevant to the new role.

3. Professional experience

This is the part of the resume that needs to show (with examples) how your previous job roles have prepared you for this career change. A good way to do that would be to focus on achievements and responsibilities from past positions most relevant to the new job. Describing the experience while emphasising the results, relevant achievements and how they relate to the potential role can be a good way to do that.


Bring numbers and results where possible to show the direct impact of your work. Growth, gains, increases, and revenue incomes are always welcome to add colour to your CV. You can also use action verbs to pack a punch on your achievements. Great examples are: converted, applied, developed, operated, solved, and constructed.

Example 1:

A project manager in construction looking to move into software project management might detail: "Managed a team of 20+ to deliver projects on time and within budget, achieving a 15% reduction in costs through efficient resource management. Looking to apply project management expertise and collaborative skills to lead software development projects."

Example 2:

An HR professional aiming for a career in UX research could illustrate: "Conducted comprehensive employee satisfaction surveys and implemented feedback mechanisms, increasing employee engagement by 25%. Eager to apply my understanding of user needs and feedback analysis to enhance product usability and customer satisfaction in a UX research role."

4. Education and other certifications

This is often an overlooked section of resumes, but it sure can make you stand out from others. The goal here is very straightforward of showing your formal training and qualifications. Degrees, courses, workshops and other certifications that are relevant to your new field have to be displayed well here. Don’t forget to list the most important ones first. Keep in mind that the range of time a recruiter spends reading a resume is not long, so you have to make sure the main information comes first.


If you’ve taken courses relevant to your new career, list them here, even if they didn’t lead to a degree or certification. This shows your commitment to your professional development and learning and growing in your new field.

Example 1:

An individual transitioning to digital marketing from sales might list: "Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Google Digital Marketing Certification; Course in SEO and Content Marketing from Coursera." This shows a mix of formal education and self-directed learning relevant to the new field.

Example 2:

Someone moving into the cybersecurity field from a non-technical background could highlight: "Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; CompTIA Security+ Certification; Cybersecurity Fundamentals Course (edX)." This demonstrates a commitment to acquiring the technical skills needed for the new career path.

5. Additional sections

This is optional, but also a good way to show some characteristics about you in an indirect way. Here you can display that you are a team player, your volunteer work experiences (that can demonstrate your commitment to the community), projects you’ve been involved in (either personal projects or professional ones that can demonstrate skills in the desired new field), and languages that you master (multilingual abilities can be a significant asset in many industries).


Crafting a career change resume is about painting a picture of yourself as the ideal candidate for your new field, despite not following a traditional path. Thinking outside the box and mentioning different projects and endeavours can be a great way to start the conversation and catch the eye of the recruiter.

Example 1:

A software developer transitioning to environmental science might include: "Volunteer Work: Regular participant in local river clean-up projects; Developed a community app for reporting illegal dumping. Languages: Fluent in English and Spanish, Intermediate French." This section showcases a personal commitment to environmental issues and relevant projects, plus multilingual abilities.

Example 2:

An accountant moving into the non-profit sector could mention: "Projects: Led a fundraising campaign for a local animal shelter, raising over $10,000. Volunteer Experience: Treasurer for a community food bank, managing finances and budgeting." This illustrates skills and interests that align with the values and needs of the non-profit sector.

Untitled design (17)-1

Do's and don'ts when writing a career change resume

Transitioning to a new career involves presenting yourself in a way that highlights your relevance and fit for the new role, despite lacking direct experience. A career change resume requires a strategic approach to emphasise your transferable skills, adaptability, and readiness for the challenge. 

Here are some essential elements to include in your career change resume to make a compelling case for your candidacy.


Focus on transferable skills:

We can’t stress this enough. Highlight skills and experiences that are relevant to your new career path. This shows you’re versatile, experienced and willing to adapt to the new position.

Customise your resume for every job:

Tailor your resume to each job posting description, emphasising the most relevant skills and experiences. While you’re at it, search for the appropriate keywords for each. This takes some time to do, but it definitely will make a difference in the hiring process.

Include a cover letter:

A career change cover letter gives you additional space to explain and express your enthusiasm for the new field. You can also detail why you’re making the change and how you plan to achieve your goals with the company.



Avoid the temptation to explain all the reasons for your career change or justify any employment gaps. You can discuss it in the cover letter, but don’t extend yourself too much. Keep your resume focused on your skills and qualifications.

Ignore your achievements:

People often overlook their previous achievements if they aren’t related to the new desired field. Even if your past work doesn’t directly translate to your new career, your achievements can still demonstrate your ability to succeed. Don’t be shy!

Underestimate soft skills:

Soft skills ultimately can make a difference. Things like communication, teamwork, and adaptability are highly valued in all fields. Make sure to highlight those and, if possible, bring cases where you demonstrated them in your past experiences.

Embrace your next career chapter with Airswift

Embarking on a career change is a bold step towards fulfilling your professional aspirations.

As you step forward into this exciting new career phase, remember you don't have to do it alone. Airswift is your dedicated partner in this journey of transformation. With over 35 years of experience in pioneering workforce solutions globally, we specialise in turning career aspirations into reality. Our deep industry expertise and unwavering commitment to your success make us the ideal companion as you explore new horizons.

Our extensive network and comprehensive job board offer various opportunities tailored to suit your new career direction. We invite you to leverage our resources, expert guidance, and support services to empower your career transition. At Airswift, we're not just helping you find a job; we're helping you build the future you envision.

Find the right job for you!

bottom banner

This post was written by: Tomás Battaglia, Content Marketing Coordinator