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Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, February 13 2023

How to Create a Winning CV for Changing Career

Many professionals are looking to make the jump from one industry or role to another, but it can be difficult without knowing how to create an effective CV for changing careers. Crafting a CV that highlights all of your skills and experiences while also showing off why you would be perfect for the new job is no easy task. It's a core component of your wider career plan.

We will show you what information should go into your CV when making a big shift in roles as well as offer helpful advice about structuring it correctly so potential employers can easily see why they should hire someone like yourself who has decided to take their career down an unexpected path.

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What to Include in Your CV When Changing Careers

When changing careers, it is important to tailor your CV to the new role you are applying for. Your CV should reflect the skills and experience that make you a great fit for the job. Here are some tips on what to include in your CV when changing careers:

1. Relevant Experience:

Highlight any relevant experience from previous roles that can be applied in the new role. For example, if you’re transitioning from marketing into sales, highlight any customer service or communication skills developed in your previous role.

2. Transferable Skills:

Showcase transferable skills acquired through past experiences that can be used in a different industry or field of work. Examples could include problem-solving abilities, organisational skills, leadership qualities, etc.

3. Qualifications & Certifications:

Include qualifications and certifications related to the new career path you’re pursuing such as professional development courses or language proficiency tests taken during your transition period between jobs or industries.

4 . Accomplishments & Awards:

Don't forget to list any awards or accomplishments achieved throughout your career journey so far - these demonstrate not only hard work but also success.

5 . Professional Memberships:

If applicable , add details of any professional memberships held which may help boost credibility with potential employers . This could include membership of an industry body , trade association , voluntary organisation etc .

By including all this information on your CV when making a career change, it will demonstrate to employers how well suited you are for their vacancy and why they should hire you over other candidates who may have more direct experience within their sector. This will help them understand the transferable skills and qualifications that make you an ideal candidate for the job.

By tailoring your CV to the specific job you're applying for and highlighting transferable skills, you can make a successful transition into a new career. Next, we'll look at how to structure your CV when changing careers in order to maximise its effectiveness.

Key Takeaway: When changing careers, it is important to tailor your CV to the new role you are applying for. Showcase transferable skills, relevant experience and qualifications, accomplishments & awards and professional memberships to demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate for the job.

How to Structure Your CV When Changing Careers

Start by summarising your professional background with a few sentences. This should include any qualifications or certifications you have obtained as well as any work experience related to the new role you are applying for.

Next, list all of your relevant work experience in reverse chronological order starting with the most recent job first. Include details such as job title, company name, dates employed and key responsibilities or accomplishments for each position held. If there are gaps between jobs, explain them briefly but focus on emphasising what you achieved during those periods rather than dwelling on why they occurred.

In addition to listing work experience and qualifications, consider including other information that may be beneficial when changing careers such as volunteer activities or hobbies which demonstrate transferable skills or interests related to the new role. For example if you’re applying for an IT role but don’t have much technical knowledge yet then mentioning how you teach yourself coding online could show potential employers that you’re willing to learn new things quickly and independently.

Finally, make sure all of this information is presented clearly and concisely so recruiters can easily identify what makes you suitable for the role without having to read through pages of text. Use bullet points where possible instead of long paragraphs so it looks neat and organised - remember that less is more when it comes to CVs.

By following these tips for how to structure your CV when changing careers, you can ensure that it is organised and effectively highlights the skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate. Now let's move on to discussing the importance of writing a compelling cover letter when making a career transition.

Key Takeaway: When changing careers, structure your CV to emphasise relevant experience and skills. Include work experience, qualifications, transferable skills and interests in a clear and concise way. Use bullet points where possible for neatness.

Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter When Changing Careers

When changing careers, a cover letter is an important part of any job application. It’s your chance to explain why you are interested in the role and how your past experiences make you a great fit for the job. Here are some tips on writing an effective cover letter when changing careers:

Focus on Transferable Skills:

When transitioning into a new career, it’s important to focus on highlighting transferable skills from previous roles that can be applied in the new position. For example, if you were previously working as an administrative assistant but now want to transition into marketing, highlight skills such as organisation and attention to detail that could be beneficial in both positions.

Showcase Your Achievements:

Use this opportunity to showcase your achievements from previous roles and demonstrate how they can help you succeed in the new role. If possible, provide concrete examples of projects or initiatives where you had success so potential employers can get a better understanding of what kind of value you bring to their team.

Explain Why You Want This Role:

Make sure to explain why this particular role interests you and why it fits with your overall career goals. Showing enthusiasm for the position will give employers confidence that hiring someone who is making a career change was the right decision for them.

Be Concise & Clear:

Keep things concise by avoiding long-winded sentences or paragraphs filled with unnecessary details about yourself or your experience; instead focus on providing relevant information about yourself and how it relates directly back to the job description at hand. Also use clear language so readers don't have trouble understanding what points you're trying to make throughout your cover letter

Crafting a cover letter that highlights your relevant experience and showcases your unique skillset is key to successfully transitioning into a new career. Networking with the right people can help you get there, so let's take a look at how to network when changing careers.

Key Takeaway: When changing careers, highlight transferable skills from previous roles and showcase achievements that can be applied in the new position. Be concise and clear when explaining why this role interests you and how it fits with your overall career goals. 

How to Network When Changing Careers

Networking is an important part of finding a job when changing careers. It can help you gain valuable insights into the industry and create connections that could lead to potential opportunities down the line. Here are some tips for networking effectively when making a career change:

1. Identify Your Goals:

Before you start networking, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your goals are and how networking can help you achieve them. Are you looking for advice on transitioning into a new field? Do you want to make connections with professionals in your desired industry? Knowing what your objectives are will help guide your conversations and ensure that they’re productive.

2. Reach Out To People In Your Desired Field:

Once you know what kind of information or contacts you need, reach out to people who have experience in the field you’re transitioning into and ask them questions about their career path and advice on how best to approach job applications in this area. Connecting with professionals in your desired industry can open doors for potential opportunities down the line, so don’t be afraid to take initiative.

3. Take Advantage Of Professional Networking Events: 

Attending professional events such as conferences or seminars related to your chosen field is an excellent way to meet people who work in similar industries as well as learn more about current trends within those fields. Not only do these events provide great networking opportunities, but they also give attendees access to resources like speakers, workshops, and other educational materials that may prove useful during their transition period from one profession into another.

4 . Utilize Social Media Platforms:

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn offer users access not only to fellow professionals but also employers looking for talent within certain industries – making it easier than ever before for individuals seeking employment after making a career change. Make sure all of your profiles are up-to-date , including any relevant skills or experiences , so employers have easy access when searching through potential candidates.

Joining groups related specifically towards individuals undergoing transitions between professions can provide helpful support systems while providing additional insight from experienced members.

After meeting someone at an event or connecting via social media, follow up with them by sending thank-you notes expressing appreciation for their time and knowledge shared during conversations. This helps keep lines of communication open should further inquiries arise later on down the road, plus it shows professionalism which could potentially lead to future collaborations.

Networking is an essential part of any career change, and can help open doors to new opportunities. With the help of a career coach, you can learn how to effectively network when changing careers and maximise your chances of success.

Key Takeaway: Networking is key when changing careers: identify goals, reach out to professionals in desired field, attend professional events and use social media platforms. Follow up with contacts to show professionalism and keep lines of communication open.

Benefits of Working With a Career Coach When Changing Careers

Working with a career coach can be an invaluable asset when making a career change. A good coach will have experience in the industry you are transitioning to, and they can provide valuable insight into different industries, job opportunities, and the skills needed for success in your new role. They can also help identify potential opportunities that may not be advertised publicly, giving you an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs.

A career coach is well-versed in the job market and understands what employers are looking for in candidates. They can provide advice on how best to approach job applications by helping you tailor your resume and cover letter to specific roles or industries. Additionally, they can offer guidance on developing key skills needed for success in the new role such as networking strategies or improving public speaking abilities.

Having someone who knows what employers want and who has knowledge of current trends within certain industries is extremely beneficial when changing careers. A career coach will also be able to give feedback on your performance during interviews so that you know exactly where improvements need to be made before attending future interviews. Furthermore, they may even have contacts within certain companies which could open up additional doors of opportunity that would otherwise remain closed without their assistance.

A career coach can be an invaluable asset when making a transition into a new industry. Not only do they provide practical advice on resumes and interview techniques, but they also act as an emotional support system during this process of change. Having someone who understands the complexities of what it takes to switch careers paths entirely is essential for maintaining motivation levels and allowing honest reflection about progress being made towards achieving goals set out at the start of coaching sessions together.

Key Takeaway: A career coach can be a great asset when making a career change. They provide advice on resumes and cover letters, help develop key skills needed for success in the new role, give feedback on interview performance and even have contacts within certain companies.


Changing careers can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it doesn't have to be. Having an effective CV for changing career is essential in order to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your transferable skills. 

With the help of a career coach, you can learn how to structure your CV correctly, write an effective cover letter and network effectively when making this transition. Ultimately, having a well-crafted CV for changing career will give you the best chance of success in finding your ideal job.

Uncover how to change your career today with our quick assessment quiz even if you don't know where to start - TRY PATHFINDER NOW

Written by

Naomi Rothwell-Boyd


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