There are multiple types of career changes. One of those is the individual who started in one field and left it to pursue other interests. Are you one of those people who have worked in multiple fields? You aren’t alone. Many of my clients have worked in more than one field. If you leave a field for a period of time and then want to return, you may be facing a tougher struggle than if you had stayed in the field throughout your career. But it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to return to a field that you once had.
1. Position your expertise in the resume
Regular readers know that I am not a fan of the functional resume. I never have been and I am still not suggesting this as a solution for the individual who wants to return to a former career. However, it is critical that you arrange your resume to highlight and focus on the field if you want to return. Change the keywords to focus on the field you want to reenter.
Your accomplishments should be fine-tuned to bring out the skills that correlate with your field of choice. In this area, you can divide your accomplishments into topics that match your expertise and position the most relevant toward the top of the section.
When you get to the chronological section of your resume, you can reorganize your professional experience by topic. This would allow you to put all of the experience that fits one field together and then place the rest under another header. For example if you are returning to nursing after a period of working outside of healthcare, you can put all of the healthcare related experience under a heading such as “Professional Healthcare Experience” or “Professional Nursing Experience.” Everything else then can be positioned under “Professional Experience.”
2. Continue your education
If you are planning to return to a field, start attending conferences and seminars that relate. You can add those to your resume. Take courses that would be a plus in your field as a refresher. Read periodicals and career publications that relate to your field.
3. Bolster your expertise with a new certification
Along with continuing your education, you may want to get a career-specific certification. If you are looking at returning to Project Management, you may want to get your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. If you are looking at returning to Safety Management, you may want to go after your Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Certifications add to your credibility and can add to your salary. ” In 2009, BCSP found the average CSP earned $99,447 annually and that the median salary of those holding the CSP was $85,000.”
4. Reference volunteer experience that fits your field
I have had more than one nurse client that left a salaried position to work in the field but for a relative or friend. They were still using their nursing skills despite being out of the field for a period of time. List the skills used and write bullets to capture that experience on the resume.
5. Refresh and renew your network connections in the field
If you want to return to a field, keep in contact with those people who stayed in the field. They will be the most likely to be able to tell you where the jobs are and be a reference to your skills.