How to make a career transition successfully

How to make a career transition successfully

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Are you thinking of making a career switch? Novorésumé is on hand to help with your job search, CV writing, interview technique, and many other aspects, to make that career transition as smooth as possible - and successful too. 

There are few things in life that can cause more uncertainty and stress than contemplating a possible career change. You’ve probably already established yourself in one field of expertise, but now you’ve reached the point where it’s not giving you the job satisfaction it used to, so you’re thinking about moving your career focus in a completely different direction. 

Some people see changing one’s career path as a total leap of faith. It may feel like you’re stepping into the unknown, and therefore that you’re going to need a bucket full of determination and courage to see you through to the other side. 

Searching questions

It’s probably been on your mind for some time now, but if you’re reading this article, we’re guessing you’re not quite sure where to start. You might be asking yourself, how can I get this process up and running? 

Well, before you start the whole job-searching process, with all of the cover letter writing, resume perfecting and interview preparation that entails, there’s probably some searching questions you need to ask yourself first. 

You could place these initial questions under four distinct headings: 

1. Values

Can you name what’s really important to you? Are there any things that are non-negotiable for you?

2. Skills

What gets your pulse racing? What are you most skilled at? What are you good at doing? In your career so far, what value have you created? How did you create it? What have you learned from that process?

3. Interests

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime? Do you have any regular hobbies? What gets your adrenaline pumping? Do you have natural talents that you use for your interests that could be transferred to your new career?

4. Work-related

What gives you the greatest job satisfaction? In what kinds of roles do you find the most meaning? What is your ideal job / career path? What don’t you like about your current job / career path? What does being successful in the workplace look like for you? Why do you want to move on and make a career transition? What do you plan to put in place that will help you achieve your goal of a new career? What career services can you call upon to help you?

After honestly answering all these questions (and any others that you may think of), you’ll be in a better position to start your job search. Here’s how to nail it. 

Transitioning to a new career field: Crafting a winning resume

If you’re thinking of entering into a completely new field of expertise - one that you may have little or no experience in - you’ll probably be up against people who have worked in this field for most of their working lives, which might sound rather ominous. 

But don’t despair. If you have the right resume - one that shows the hiring manager what you’ve got to offer, then you’ll be able to compete with the other candidates and make the career transition a smooth process. 

It’s all about those transferable skills

Specifically, you need to show off your transferable skills in the work experience section of your resume. For example, you might be wanting to move from your present job in sales to one that involves copywriting. Your current resume relates to your sales position, but there will be skills that are transferable between both roles. 

For instance, having first-class communication skills are relevant for both positions, as is knowing and understanding your target market and being able to convey complex information in simpler terms, so that you can get your message across. 

So, there you have it: you have three transferable skills from your sales role that will fit the copywriting role you’re applying for. 

Writing the work experience section of your CV

Use your work experience section wisely. Make sure you highlight the jobs and roles you’ve been involved in and craft this section to match that information, so that these three transferable skills are clearly presented. 

For example, you could write something like this: 

Sales Executive, Company Y, 03/2017 - 02/2021

  • Created and presented a pitch deck that secured a $700,000 deal – the largest for Company Y to date. 
  • Boosted sales volume for the most-underperforming product by 55% by repurposing it in the market with a more competitive price tag. 
  • Was engaged in the creative and editing processes of all sales materials, technical documents, and scripts, for complete accuracy and consistency of presentation. 

You can see that the above example does two things right:

  1. It clearly shows the candidate’s transferrable skills and achievements
  2. It only highlights the parts from the candidate’s work experience that are relevant to the position applied for

Get transitioning

Now that you’ve learnt a bit about the different areas that are involved in making a career change, you should be better armed to start that job search that will help you land that dream job in the career path you’ve always aspired to.

Want more career advice? Check out Novorésumé’s free e-book that gives you the lowdown on all you’ll need to know about starting a job search. Their career blog also has lots of useful articles, especially if you’re looking to tackle the career change process. We wish you well in transitioning to a new career of your choice! 

Andrei Kurtuy


Andrei Kurtuy

Andrei Kurtuy is one of the co-founders and CCO of Novorésumé and an expert in the job searching process.

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TaylorScrybe2 07:14 | 19 September 2021

I ran a mentor session on this subject today via! You raise some excellent points Andrei, such a good topic worthy of discussion.