Resume Help: How To Get Back On Track After Working In A Job Outside Your Usual Career Path

Problematic situations. That is why most of our clients come looking for resume help. You are not alone!

There are plenty of good reasons you may have left your career…

Your spouse took a great job in a new city, and since you weren’t really ready to be single, you quit your job and went with her.

Or, you reached that point in your life where you wondered if maybe you could be a ________ (fill in the blank with that thing you always wanted to be).

Or you took the leap and started that Beanie Baby Collectors Cafe. Unfortunately there weren’t as many people as passionate about Beanie Babies as you were.

Or, through no fault of your own, you got caught up in a major downsizing, were laid off, and had to find a job outside your field to pay the bills.

Whatever the reason was that you left, you’re ready to get back to it.

But you’re feeling rusty and unsure. And, of course, you have no idea how to explain the transition in your resume.

Which is precisely why you are here reading this article and seeking resume help.

What to do…

The good news is that you can use your work experience to your advantage – being able to show steady employment is one of the top requirements that recruiters and hiring managers want to see. The better news is that your experience it still valuable. You may just need to run it through a refresh cycle.

Put your current / most recent employment in the best light possible.

Whether it’s on an application or in an interview, you’ll be asked about your most recent employment. Make it work for you by highlighting on your resume the skills that help you in your chosen profession.

It may take some thought to figure it out, but you absolutely used the skills you developed in your usual career path in your most recent work.

And this is definitely time to create a targeted resume. Getting back on track means putting all focus on showing what you can do and why that new employer will benefit from hiring you.

Here is the first page of a targeted resume that we wrote for a Distinctive Career Services‘ client who was trying to return to a nursing career path while bringing in some of the executive management skills she had developed when she had to unexpectedly take over management of the company business.

If you are looking for resume help, this should inspire you (click to open full size and view the comments):

Resume Help to Return to Career Path Page 1

Get a refresh in your field.

Most fields have some sort of association or professional organization. Find yours. Depending on the requirements, you may be able to join, but at a minimum, you can attend events. This is also a great place to learn about professional conferences.

Either way, include this information on your new targeted resume. And attending industry events gives you an opportunity for networking and asking about openings in your field.

If you have had a certification related to your profession, see what you need to do to refresh it. If you’ve never had the certification, research what it will take for you to get certified.

Does certification require passing a test? Start the training process to prepare. Again, you should include these refreshed certifications on your resume.  Even if all you are doing right now is training, get that info on your resume: “Currently enrolled in continuing education coursework required for Xxxxxx Certification.”

You may not be able to actually obtain it, but starting the process will both get you up to speed and give you another plus when talking to potential employers. In the process of training and testing, try to do some more networking.

There’s that word again. Networking. You need to do it.

Ready for the second page of the targeted resume shown above? If you are reading this article because you are looking for resume help that will help ease your transition back to your previous career path, this targeted resume illustrates some key strategies (again, click through to see it full size and read the comments)

Resume Help to Return to Previous Career Path Page 2


Networking is one of the best job search tools you can use. If you’re trying to get back into your former career, getting in touch with that former network is crucial.

If you’ve lost touch with your former colleagues, now’s the time to reconnect. In addition to getting you in the loop for possible job openings, getting back in the habit of “talking about work” will help you get up to speed on what’s going on in your field.

Use social media like Linkedin and Twitter to make industry connections. If you’ve moved to a different state or city, look for second or third connections in your area. Ask your first level connection for an introduction.

Beef up on your tools.

The best way to get back on track for your job search is to start your job search, even if you’re not ready to start your job search. Look up your target position on job boards and create a list of the tool knowledge that’s expected.

For tools that you’ve used, see if you can find a refresher course. For tools you haven’t used, looked for an introductory course, or research the tool online and learn as much as possible as you can. Again your relevant areas of knowledge and training should be included on your targeted resume.

If the job postings ask for knowledge of regulations or standards, do the research so you can talk to the standards. Learn or relearn the industry jargon and abbreviations. Being able to talk the talk gives you a connection to the industry that will help both in looking for jobs and in job interviews.

Check out our blog and contact us for resume help.

No matter what questions you have about getting back into your career, look through our website for tips. And, of course, if you need resume help, we’re here. Just book a free Discovery Consultation to learn more.

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