5 Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

5 Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

What are the most obvious things you include in a resume? – Experience and education. Those are the facts that are easy to check, but it’s not everything a potential employer is interested in.

When you change careers, in particular, the experience doesn’t go to your favor. All your previous jobs were in a field that the employer doesn’t consider relevant, so you’ll have to make up for that gap. That’s where your skills get into the picture.

If, for example, you decide to get a civilian job after years spent in military, the employers won’t show much interest for the missions you’ve been part of. They will, however, be thrilled to see the skills of resilience, commitment, and continuous personal development in your resume.

Are you interested to know what precise skills can get you a job in a new industry? We’ll list 5 skills of universal value for all employers.


  • Interpersonal Skills


It doesn’t matter whether an employer is considering a candidate to work in their offices or they aim to hire freelancers; interpersonal skills will still be important. No one works in isolation. Even when you work from home, you still have to communicate with clients, understand their instructions, and share your ideas.

What are interpersonal skills, anyway? It’s your ability to communicate and collaborate with other people. Whatever industry you’re coming from, you surely worked with other people. Your resume and cover letter should include examples of such team efforts, and it should highlight the contributions you made to team work.

Here are few examples of bullet points that would emphasize your interpersonal skills in the Qualifications section of your resume:

  • Effective work and collaboration with superiors
  • Motivational speaking skills
  • Resourceful contributions during meetings
  • Giving constructive feedback to team leaders
  • Social media influencer

If you have any skills that make you a good team player and attract people towards you as a leader, mention them in the resume. Any employer will be glad to see them.


  • Analytical Thinking Skills


This is just another term for the well-known and much-appreciated problem solving skills. Needless to say, you can’t just write “analytical thinking skills” in your resume and expect the employer to be impressed. You actually need these skills, and you’ll need to explain exactly how good you are at analytical thinking. The cover letter gives you space to elaborate on that.

If, for example, you’ve been in the military, you definitely had to analyze situations and solve problems. That’s a skill that’s in high demand. You have an ability to pay attention to details and consider various factors before you come down to a solution. That’s a skill that deserves its place in a resume.  


  • Writing


80% of the employers who participated in a survey conducted by Hart Research Associates said that colleges should emphasize written and oral communication.

It’s no wonder why they pay so much attention to this skill. On most positions, employees are expected to handle email communication, written reports, presentations, and even social media posts. Some employers will even ask an employee to write a blog post, even if such responsibilities aren’t part of their job description.

The potential employee will evaluate your writing skills from the job application documents themselves, but it doesn’t hurt to specifically mention them in the resume. If you lack writing skills, it’s never too late to start working on them. You can hire a professional writer from an Australian assignment writing service to help you with that.


  • Conflict Management       


Do you have the rare skill of acting like a mediator between two or more team members who are in a conflict situation? That’s an important interpersonal skill to mention in a resume and cover letter. It’s related to other important skills, such as negotiating, problem-solving, team building, and flexibility.

In the cover letter, you may mention a specific situation when you negotiated with your team members and brought them down to a mutual understanding.


  • Computer Skills


Technology continues to evolve. All employers from all industries are implementing different types of technology to make their work more efficient. That’s why it’s important to stay updated with all trends. Basic knowledge of programs such as MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint is no longer enough.

Regardless of the position you apply for, additional computer skills would separate you from the competition. Photoshop, for example, looks impressive in a resume. Don’t even get us started about social networking. It’s an essential skill for progress in any career.

If you lack technical skills, it’s time to start taking online courses. Then, you can feel safe to include them in your resume.


Your skills show up all over the resume and the cover letter. Regardless whether you’re completing the experience, education or qualifications section, the employer will mostly focus on the skills that come out of those details. In addition to the “hard” skills, which identify your technical skills and abilities for the specific job, the “soft” skills also matter. When you mention and prove important soft skills, the employer will prefer you over candidates with the same level of hard skills.

It’s time to write that perfect resume that shows you’re the perfect candidate even when you don’t have experience in the particular industry. You can do it!   

Mary Whitman

Mary Whitman is a blogger and freelancer from Adelaide, South Australia. In her spare time, she enjoys talking about Sustainable Development and Art. Find Mary on Facebook or Twitter.

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