Changing Careers: How To Write A Resume That Highlights Your Transferable Skills

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Are you considering changing careers? Are you feeling stuck in your current job and ready to make a move towards something new? If so, it’s crucial to highlight your transferable skills on your resume.

These skills are the backbone of your experience and knowledge, and they can help you stand out in a new industry. To successfully change careers, you must demonstrate your ability to adapt and learn quickly.

By highlighting your transferable skills, you can demonstrate your value and potential to employers in your desired industry. In this article, we will explore how to identify your transferable skills, tailor your resume to your desired industry, use clear and concise language, utilize the right format and structure, and customize your resume for each job application.

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to landing your dream job and successfully making a career change.

Key Takeaways

  • Highlight transferable skills and relevant experience to make the resume stand out.
  • Use industry-specific keywords and language to tailor the resume to the desired industry.
  • Keep the resume concise and reader-friendly by using bullet points and quantifying achievements.
  • Customize the resume for each job application to demonstrate adaptability and show the employer that the candidate fits their specific needs.

Identify Your Transferable Skills

Don’t know where to start with changing careers? Begin by identifying your transferable skills – the ones that can take you from your current job to your dream job in a snap!

Recognizing transferable skills is all about recognizing the skills you already possess that can be applied to a new career. These skills can include communication, leadership, problem-solving, and project management – skills that are valuable to any employer, regardless of industry.

Once you’ve identified your transferable skills, it’s important to showcase relevant experience on your resume. This can include previous job duties, volunteer work, or even personal projects.

Focus on highlighting the skills you possess that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, and use concrete examples to demonstrate how you’ve used these skills in the past. By emphasizing your transferable skills and relevant experience, you can show potential employers that you’re the perfect candidate for the job, even if you don’t have direct experience in the field.

Tailor Your Resume to Your Desired Industry

Crafting a tailored resume that aligns with the needs of your desired industry is essential for catching the eye of potential employers. The first step in tailoring your resume is to research the industry and understand the skills and qualifications that are valued.

Once you’ve identified the most important skills and qualifications, you can begin to showcase your potential by highlighting your transferable skills that match those needed in the industry. To maximize impact, consider using bullet points to list specific examples of how your transferable skills have been used in past experiences.

Make sure to quantify your achievements whenever possible, providing concrete evidence of your ability to contribute to the industry. Additionally, use industry-specific keywords and language to show your familiarity with the field.

Finally, avoid including irrelevant information or skills that do not align with the industry, as it may detract from the overall impact of your resume. By tailoring your resume to your desired industry and showcasing your potential, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

writing relevant information in the resume based on the desired industry
Writing relevant information in the resume based on the desired industry

Use Clear and Concise Language

When it comes to crafting a winning resume, it’s crucial that you use clear and concise language. This means avoiding industry jargon and acronyms that could confuse potential employers.

Instead, focus on using action words to describe your skills and achievements in a way that’s easy to understand. Be sure to keep your resume easy to read and digest, so that it stands out from the crowd and catches the attention of hiring managers.

Avoid Jargon and Acronyms

Using too much jargon and acronyms in your resume can make it difficult for potential employers to understand your transferable skills. While you may be familiar with certain terms and abbreviations in your previous industry, it’s important to remember that not everyone will have the same level of knowledge.

Instead of relying on technical language, aim for clarity over confusion. Simplify your language so that it’s easy to understand for anyone reading your resume.

One way to do this is to avoid using acronyms altogether unless they’re widely known and understood in your new industry. Instead, spell out the full term and provide additional context if necessary.

Additionally, try to use plain language and avoid using overly complex words or phrases. Remember, the goal of your resume is to showcase your transferable skills and demonstrate your value as a potential employee.

By using clear and concise language, you’ll be able to effectively communicate your skills and experiences to potential employers.

Use Action Words to Describe Your Skills and Achievements

Showcase your abilities by incorporating action words that vividly describe your accomplishments and skills. Using powerful verbs and effective language in your resume can make all the difference when highlighting your transferable skills.

Rather than simply listing your job duties, use action words that paint a picture of your achievements and contributions to the company. For example, instead of saying “managed a team, “try “led a team to exceed sales goals by 20%.”

When showcasing achievements, it’s important to provide specific details and quantify your results. This not only shows what you’re capable of but also gives potential employers a clear understanding of the impact you can make in their organization.

For instance, instead of saying “improved customer satisfaction, “try “increased customer satisfaction ratings from 80% to 95% through implementation of a new feedback system.”

By using action words and showcasing achievements, you can make a strong impression on hiring managers and stand out as a candidate with valuable transferable skills.

Keep Your Resume Easy to Read and Understand

To ensure that the hiring manager easily comprehends your professional experience, it’s advisable to make your CV reader-friendly. This means using a clear and concise format, with a logical flow that showcases your transferable skills.

One key aspect of a reader-friendly resume is the design. Choose a layout that’s easy to navigate, and use headings and bullet points to break up large blocks of text.

Another important consideration is font selection. Avoid using fancy or decorative fonts, as they can be difficult to read. Stick to a simple and professional font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, and use a consistent font size throughout the document.

You can also use bold or italicized text to draw attention to important information, such as job titles or achievements.

By keeping your resume easy to read and understand, you can increase your chances of catching the attention of potential employers and landing your dream job.

creating a professional and easy to read resume
Creating a professional and easy-to-read resume

Utilize the Right Format and Structure

When it comes to highlighting your transferable skills on your resume, you’ll wanna make sure you’re utilizing the right format and structure.

Resume design and formatting tips play a crucial role in presenting your skills and experience in the best possible light. Here are some tips to help you create a standout resume:

  1. Use a clean and professional font that’s easy to read, such as Arial or Calibri.
  2. Keep your resume to one or two pages, depending on your level of experience.
  3. Use bullet points to list your experience and achievements. Start each bullet point with a strong action verb.
  4. Use white space to make your resume easy to scan and visually appealing.

By following these formatting tips, you can create a resume that not only highlights your transferable skills but also stands out from the competition.

Remember, your goal is to make it easy for the hiring manager to see how your skills and experience match the requirements of the job.

Customize Your Resume for Each Job Application

Now that you’ve got the right format and structure for your resume, it’s time to move on to the next step: customizing your resume for each job application. This is crucial if you want to stand out from the rest of the applicants.

Remember, employers are looking for someone who can fit their specific needs and requirements, and a generic resume won’t cut it. To make your resume more appealing to a particular employer, you need to highlight your transferable skills that match the job description.

You may also want to personalize your resume by adding a personal branding statement or a summary that showcases your unique strengths and qualifications. Additionally, make sure to update your online presence, such as your LinkedIn profile, to reflect your current career goals and achievements. By doing so, you increase your chances of getting noticed and invited for an interview.

Remember, the key is to be strategic and adaptable in your approach to job hunting.


By identifying your skills, tailoring your resume to the industry you want to join, using clear language, and customizing each application, you’re well on your way to landing the job you want.

Remember, your resume is more than just a list of past experiences and qualifications. It’s an opportunity to showcase your strengths and potential to a potential employer.

By using a detail-oriented, strategic, and adaptable approach, you’ll be able to create a resume that not only highlights your transferable skills but also sets you apart from other applicants.

Good luck!

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Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.