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How to career pivot

This week I thought I would use the pandemic's most over-used word: Pivot!

Businesses have had to pivot their offerings and, if you have lost your job, you may need to pivot your career and change your resume to reflect your new direction (or desire to move in a new direction).

It's a very scary but real prospect for a lot of people.  I have worked with many clients over the last few months who can no longer find work in their usual field.

I've worked with travel and event managers, and even a librarian - all needing to highlight their transferable skills to help them move into other industries.

The good news is that pivoting is possible!

You need to first identify all your transferable skills. These are things like project management (event managers are essentially project managers) and organisational skills, administration, stakeholder engagement/management, client/customer service, communication, leadership, analytical/problem solving.

Once you have identified your transferable skills, you need to figure out what you want to do.  Brainstorm your likes and dislikes in all your previous roles. You might also like to think about the values of each workplace that you have enjoyed working in.

Then try to come up with a list of jobs/types of jobs that use the skills you enjoy using and that would align with your values.

For example, if you worked in travel, you may have loved the customer service side of the role, didn't completely hate the administration, and really loved the fast-paced but relaxed culture. But you really hated upselling and processing finances.

So your deal-breakers might be, a customer facing role with no selling, administration is okay but the organisation must be relaxed and friendly. Fast-paced is optional.

In this situation, a customer service role in local government might be a good fit.

So, then how do you change your resume to suit your career pivot?

You'll need to change what you call yourself and how you sell yourself, particularly on the front page of your resume.

1. Change your headline (job title under your name).

You could delete this altogether, or put a more broad statement. For example, instead of Event Manager, put some key words such as Project + Event Management  | Stakeholder Engagement

2. Adapt your professional profile

In your Profile,  depending on your experience, you could potentially call yourself  a "project manager with a background in events", or if you were more senior you could say you were a "collaborative leader who supports teams and manages stakeholder relationships to delivery events and projects". You could also say something like "seeking to move into a local government project management role".

You should also change the way the rest of your profile is worded to focus more on the transferable skills. You don't want to (and can't) hide your background, but you can sell yourself in a different way.

3. Amend your Key Skills section

Amend the order of your key skills (in the Key Skills/Strengths section of your resume) to suit the new career direction. Put them into a different order and change some of the language/key words to suit too. Again, you don't want to hide your background, just highlight the transferable skills.

4. Review your Key Achievements

Check that your Key Achievements on the front page also highlight transferable skills relevant to the role.

5. Consider prior experience

Another thing to consider is prior experience. A recent client wanted to pivot to an administration role, but hadn't had any specific administration experience since 2004. I don't normally recommend listing detail for older roles, but in this situation we fleshed out the older, more relevant role. 


 Want some help updating your resume? Make sure to grab your free 5 day RESUME MAKEOVER CHALLENGE and get in touch if you need assistance.

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