Career Change Resume Sample—25+ Examples and Writing Tips

A career change resume sample that gets interviews. Write your resume for career change fast, with expert tips & good + bad examples.

Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Career Change Resume Sample—25+ Examples and Writing Tips

This career change resume sample cuts the clutter.

 

That’s good because—

 

A resume for career change has to show you’ll do the job.

 

Even though you haven’t done it yet.

 

Don’t fret.

 

Pick achievements from old jobs that fit the new one.

 

That’s the only way to prove this isn’t just a passing whim.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A career change resume template better than most.
  • How to write a resume for a career change that gets interviews.
  • Several standout resume examples for career change.
  • Why accomplishments will make or break a resume for career changers.

 

Career Change Resume Sample

 

This career change resume example moves the candidate from marketing to software engineering.

 

It shows software engineering accomplishments. It downplays past work in other fields.

 

The job wants skills in Java, C++, and debugging.

 

Kelly Hitoshi
Software Engineer

 

Personal Info


Phone: 949-300-9278
Email: kellyhitoshi@gmail.com
www.kellyhitoshi.com
linkedin.com/in/kelly-hitoshi
twitter.com/kellyhitoshi

 

Summary

 

Energetic software engineer, seeking to use proven skills in Java and C++ to provide expert development to Blue Waffle Worldwide. Created 4 working web apps and 4 mobile apps. Debugged 15 web apps and contributed to 8 GitHub projects. Wrote code for 25+ client projects.

 

Skills Summary

 

Java

 

  • Built native Java data visualization web app. Users can upload .csv files and produce graphs and charts. Cited in TechCrunch. Gets 4,000 monthly views.
  • Created a Java-driven website that serves up Java tutorials.
  • Developed working hotel reservation system app that matches user requirements with available rooms. Includes a recorded preference feature.
  • Wrote a working Sudoku game using Java and MySQL.

 

C++

 

  • Built a physical remote control for the Sonos system with C++.
  • Created 4 mobile C++ apps, including a Tic Tac Toe player and a puzzle game.
  • Solved 42 C++ problems at HackerRank.com.
  • Updated cookies functionality in an eCommerce website.
  • Contributed to 5 C++ GitHub projects, including Glynos and Udacity.

 

Debugging

 

  • Debugged 9 Java-based web apps.
  • Slashed errors 25% for an eCommerce site via in-depth debugging.
  • Conducted extensive debugging of 6 commercial C++ web apps.

 

Experience

 

Senior Marketing Specialist
O'Neil & Watanabe Inc.
2015–2019

  • Led team of five marketing specialists in a busy marketing firm.
  • Wrote Java and C++ code for 25 client projects.

 

Marketing Specialist
Orinco Marketing
2012–2015

  • Produced 60+ marketing projects for a fast-paced business.
  • Debugged company web app. Cut customer complaints by 30%.

 

Education

 

2008–2012
B.S. in Business Administration, California State University

 

  • GPA 3.8
  • Excelled in software engineering coursework.
  • Worked as computer science teacher's assistant 3 semesters.

 

Conferences

 

  • DEVintersection 2018. Spoke on a panel about Java programming.
  • Microsoft Ignite 2016.

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Active member, IAENG Society of Software Engineers.
  • Achieved 1st place in 5 LeetCode coding challenges.
  • Attended lumohacks hackathon, 2018.
  • Volunteer web development specialist, local homeless shelter.
  • Lead weekly yoga classes for fun and self-care.

 

Languages: Java, C++ C#, PHP, Ruby, SQL, MySQL, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript

 

Tech Skills: Coding, Debugging

 

Soft Skills: Leadership, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity

 

Now here’s how to write a career change resume:

 

1. Start with the Best Career Change Resume Format

 

This is urgent:

 

Your resume format makes all the difference.

  • Choose the combination resume format. It transfers appropriate experience from old careers.
  • Use the best resume fonts in 10–14pt with 1-inch margins. Add big headings and white space for easy-reading.
  • Write a one-page career change resume. Got more to say? Put it in a career change cover letter. (You’ll need one!)
  • Start with a resume header with name, phone, and email. No photo or street address.
  • Add a resume summary for career change, then a skills summary, work experience, and education.
  • Include resume extras like conferences, publications, and additional activities. They’ll strengthen your case for changing careers.

 

What about the career change functional resume? It’s seldom a good idea to write a functional resume for career change. It lacks the work history employers crave.

Expert Hint: Save your resume as a PDF unless the job posting disallows them. Career change resume PDFs don’t flake out in transit. They’re also machine-readable in 2019.

2. Write a Resume Summary for Career Change that Convinces

 

Shocker:

 

Most resumes for career changes fail miserably.

 

They talk about the wonderful things they’ve done that the employer doesn’t care about.

 

Don’t do that.

 

Write a resume objective for switching careers that proves you belong here.

 

Include:

 

1. One adjective (energetic, hard-working, efficient)

2. Job title (project manager, administrative assistant)

3. Years of experience (2+, 7+)

4. How you’ll help (provide expert software development)

5. Flashiest 2–3 achievements (created 4 web apps, wrote code for 25 projects)

 

These career change resume examples show how:

 

Resume Summary Statement—Career Change Example

Good Example
Energetic software engineer, seeking to use proven skills in Java and C++ to provide expert development to Blue Waffle Worldwide. Created 4 working web apps and 4 mobile apps. Debugged 15 web apps and contributed to 8 GitHub projects. Wrote code for 25+ client projects.
Bad Example
Hard-working marketing manager switching to a career as a software engineer. No experience yet but I’m a fast learner with deep interest in programming and software development. Highly skilled in Java and C++ programming. Excelled in career as marketing manager.

Those are worlds apart.

 

Why does the first of those sample resume for career change objectives work? It shows you’re not meddling in things you don’t understand.

 

But where can you get job-matching achievements like that?

 

Get experience for resumes for career changes from:

  • Jobs in other fields with tasks that fit this one
  • Projects
  • Volunteer work
  • Consulting
  • Freelancing
  • Competitions
  • Moonlighting
  • Internships

 

Note: A resume objective for switching careers used to talk about your goals. In 2019 you’ll get more interviews by showing how you’ll meet the organization’s goals.

Expert Hint: Write your career change resume summary last. Look through the rest of your resume and cherry-pick the best bits from it for your qualifications summary.

3. Write a Solid Career Change Resume Skills Summary

 

Why do resumes for career changes need a skills summary?

 

Here’s the problem:

 

Let’s say you worked in marketing. You’re changing to a programming career.

 

Your resume for career change can’t be all about your old job.

 

But—

 

You can show things you did that transfer to your new career.

 

A switching careers skills summary does just that.

 

These career change resume examples give a map:

 

Career Change Resume Samples—Skills Summary

 

The job ad wants skills in (1) Java (2) C++ (3) debugging.

 

Let’s say you’ve never had the job title, but you’ve done side-tasks and projects.

 

Skills Summary

 

Java

 

  • Built native Java data visualization web app. Users can upload .csv files and produce graphs and charts. Cited in TechCrunch. Gets 4,000 monthly views.
  • Created a Java-driven website that serves up Java tutorials.
  • Developed Java hotel reservation system app that matches user requirements with available rooms. Includes a recorded preference feature.
  • Wrote a working Sudoku game using Java and MySQL.

 

C++

 

  • Built a physical remote control for the Sonos system with C++.
  • Created 4 mobile C++ apps, including a Tic Tac Toe player and a puzzle game.
  • Solved 42 C++ problems at HackerRank.com.
  • Updated cookies functionality in a C++ eCommerce website.
  • Contributed to 5 C++ GitHub projects, including Glynos and Udacity.

 

Debugging

 

  • Debugged 9 Java-based web apps.
  • Slashed errors 25% for an eCommerce site via in-depth debugging.
  • Conducted extensive debugging of 6 commercial C++ web apps.

 

Perfect.

 

Why do those career change resume examples work so well?

 

They show competence, though you’ve never held the job.

 

But even the hotel reservation system was just a mockup that you did for fun.

 

The debugging tasks were side-jobs from your old profession.

 

Career Change Resume Skills

 

What skills work in a resume for a career change?

 

Read the job posting to find out.

 

Plus—use these transferable resume skills:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Active Learning
  • Coordination
  • Decision Making
  • Perceptiveness
  • Customer Service
  • Persuasion
  • Dependability
  • Psychology
  • Judgement
  • Compassion
  • Self Motivated
  • Detail Oriented
  • Listening
  • Adaptability

Expert Hint: Making a career change at 50 or 40? You’re not alone. According to a University of Phoenix study, most of us want to switch, but we fear the risks.

4. Add a Powerful Job Description to Your Resume for Career Change

 

Here’s the secret:

 

You need to show experience in your career change resume.

 

But—

 

Don’t talk about the great work you did that doesn’t fit this job.

 

Find achievements in your old work history that match your new career.

 

These resume for career change examples show how:

 

Career Change Resume Job Description—Example

 

Job ad wants Java, C++ and debugging skills.

Good Example

Experience

 

Senior Marketing Specialist
O'Neil & Watanabe Inc.
2015–2019

  • Led team of five marketing specialists in a busy marketing firm.
  • Wrote Java and C++ code for 25 client projects.

 

Marketing Specialist
Orinco Marketing
2012–2015

  • Produced 60+ marketing projects for a fast-paced business.
  • Debugged company web app. Cut customer complaints by 30%.
Bad Example

Senior Marketing Specialist
O'Neil & Watanabe Inc.
2015–2019

  • Led team of five marketing specialists in a busy marketing firm.
  • Handled hundreds of client marketing projects.
  • Developed video, print, and social media campaigns.

 

Marketing Specialist
Orinco Marketing
2012–2015

  • Produced 60+ marketing projects for a fast-paced business.
  • Wrote copy for content marketing campaigns.
  • Increased open rate of email campaigns by 20%.

Why does career change resume sample #1 nail it?

 

Because it’s short.

 

It shows you weren’t playing hooky for seven years.

 

It lists accomplishments that fit your new career.

 

Then it leaves room for more impressive feats that fit the job.

 

PS—

 

The % and other numbers show your skills are powerful.

Expert Hint: “I need a new career!” said everybody. But look before you leap. Check Glassdoor and the BLS.gov website to find fields with high pay and short training—and consider choosing from these.

4. Turn Boring Education to a Reason to Hire You

 

Your resume for career change education has to grab them.

 

Here’s how:

 

Don’t just talk about your degree and GPA.

 

Show accomplishments that fit your new career.

 

See this career change resume example:

 

Education on Resumes for Career Changes—Example

Good Example

Education

 

2008–2012
B.S. in Business Administration, California State University

  • GPA 3.8
  • Excelled in software engineering coursework.
  • Worked as computer science teacher's assistant 3 semesters.

Nicely done.

 

That career change resume sample links you to your new career.

 

It shows you aren’t completely green.

Expert Hint: Is your resume experience thin? You can make your education section longer with positions and projects. Add bullet points to each.

5. Energize Your Career Change Resume With Bonus Sections

 

To get interviews when transitioning to a new profession—

 

Add extra sections to your resume for career change.

 

These samples of resume for career changers show right and wrong:

 

Career Change Resume Samples—Extra Sections

Good Example

Conferences

 

  • DEVintersection 2018. Spoke on a panel about Java programming.
  • Microsoft Ignite 2016.

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Active member, IAENG Society of Software Engineers.
  • Achieved 1st place in 5 LeetCode coding challenges.
  • Attended lumohacks hackathon, 2018.
  • Volunteer web development specialist, local homeless shelter.
  • Lead weekly yoga classes for fun and self-care.
Bad Example

Additional Activities

 

  • Attended several marketing conferences.
  • Volunteer marketing manager, local animal shelter.
  • Yoga.

Those first of those career change resume examples does the trick.

 

What about certifications on a resume for career changers?

 

If the job requires them, put them under your resume objective for switching careers.

 

If they’re just add-ons, put changing careers certifications lower down.

 

See the functional resume samples for career change in this guide for placement.

Expert Hint: Send a cover letter for career change resumes. Make your best case for why you’re switching. Reference job-fitting achievements to show competence.

Key Points

 

For a career change resume that breaks down barriers and gets you that new job:

  • Use the career change resume template at the top. It helps prove you belong in this new job.
  • All resumes for career changes need a skills summary. Use it to show you’re not a total newbie.
  • List accomplishments in your resume for career change experience and education. That’s how to convince them that you’ll fit your new career.
  • Send a career change cover letter. Use it to show you were destined to work in this job and company.

 

Got questions on how to write a great resume for career change? Not sure how to go about finding a new career? Need a cover letter for career change? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply..

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Tom Gerencer is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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