If you are a mid life career changer, writing your resume can be a bit more challenging. As a mid life career changer maybe little to none of your past work experience is applicable to your new career field, so you may be starting to write your career change resume from scratch.
First, see my Career Change Resume page for general information.
In addition, here are some pointers that those of us over 40 career changers will need to keep in mind.
Remember your resume is a marketing tool , not your autobiography! Think of it as a brochure or brief introduction about you and how you are qualified for the job you seek. You do not need to list every job you have ever had -and that goes for people who aren't changing careers too. Trust me, no one cares what you did in 1985, or 1995 for that matter!
Your resume should list only the past 10-15 years of relevant experience and skills, That's it!! Things change so quickly in any industry that anything older than about 15 years is perceived as ancient history and not relevant.
If you have been working for 30+ years the tendency is to want to show how experienced you are, but long term experience can also broadcast how "old" you are . While none of us likes it, age discrimination does exist, so why give your resume reader any chance to be biased against you before he/she even meets you? You should NEVER be untruthful, but your resume should be a highlight of your skills and experience relevant to the new job, NO MORE.
Remember the ONLY purpose of your resume is to get a hiring manager (or recruiter) to call you for an interview . After you write your resume, read it as if you don't know the person who wrote it and ask yourself if you would want to know more about this person.
You may leave dates off for schooling or degrees and it is not necessarily seen as a negative. I have not listed my college degree dates for a long time and it has never hindered me getting a job. No one has ever asked me my graduation date either. You should always list employment dates, however.
Your resume should be 2 pages maximum!! One page is better. Again, resist the urge to write an autobiography. Keep your statements brief enough that you catch the readers interest and make them want to know more . If you are starting a new career field, this shouldn't be too difficult as you may not have lots of relevant experience yet.
You should have done some part-time, internship, or volunteer work in your new field as part of your research and exploration phase (refer to my Step by Step Guide to Change Your Career for more on this). Be sure to list all of that on your resume to show that you have recent, relevant experience in your new field.
List any specialized training or education you have, certifications or licenses in your new field. But again you don't have to list dates there either if you feel that it might make you appear too inexperienced .
Be sure to include hobbies if you think it might invite further conversation. If you've received any awards , even if not directly related to your new job search include those too. For example, if you were top fundraiser for your charity organization; or you led your child's baseball team to the state championships; or you were named volunteer of the year. Anything that shows leadership, teamwork, and integrity are all attractive to employers.