How to tailor your CV for a career in a new industry
Putting together a strong CV is always a challenge, even if it is an industry you’re currently working in. A good CV must communicate, quickly and effectively why you are a good candidate for a particular role.
There are many templates and guides that you can follow, but what happens when you are trying to break into a new industry where you have no experience?
Follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of getting your foot in the door:
Speak to someone in the industry
Our first recommendation actually has nothing to do with writing your CV. Your best bet is in fact to get in touch with someone working in the industry. Leverage their experience to find out what the most important skills are; how you can stand out; and the best way to structure your CV so that you make a great first impression with recruiters.
Work on new projects
Your CV doesn’t only have to focus on your past achievements. A good way to increase your chances of breaking into a new industry is to pick up projects in your current role that closely resemble what you’d be doing in the new role. You can ask your current boss or management team to try help out with a certain project as a way to expand your skill set, but remember to highlight that this would not be at the expense of your current responsibilities. Your work on these types of projects will be a strong value add to your CV.
Many jobs do in fact have transferable skills between each other. When writing your skills, rather than focusing heavily on particular achievements or outcomes from your experience, try to highlight projects or achievements that highlight these transferable skills that would be useful in the new industry. Speak to someone who’s familiar with the new industry to help you highlight the most relevant skills.
Don’t be afraid of being different
Coming from a different industry may not always work against you. In fact, many employers might be interested in your range of experience as they may not need just another employee who fits the same mould as everyone else. Don’t hide your past experience, but do remember to try and highlight how this experience would be beneficial in the new industry.
Sometimes your CV might not be able to effectively communicate why you make a good fit for that role. This is when a strong cover letter will play a crucial role in helping you land that interview. To make sure your cover letter works in your favour, focus on highlighting why you are looking to break into that particular industry and company. Detail your strongest achievements and skills to help land the job.