For survivors motivated by their cancer experience to transition to a new field, coming across a posting for their “dream job” can be equal parts thrilling (“Yay! It exists!”) and intimidating (“How do I get an interview when I have no relevant experience?”). If you’re in a similar situation, don’t panic. A recent article from The Muse outlines steps for re-framing your resume and cover letter to showcase yourself as a great candidate for that ideal new role outside of your current sector.
- No matter what kind of work you have done in the past, you’ve no doubt developed skills that are sought after in various fields and work environments. So, as a start, turn your focus toward identifying relevant transferable skills, rather than relevant experience, and then list them toward the top of your resume so they catch the hiring manager’s attention straightaway.
- Unpaid experiences are just as meaningful as paid ones; so don’t limit yourself to listing only job-specific accomplishments. Including on your resume those projects you worked on as a volunteer — or, if you’re a recent grad, as part of your academic activities — can help illustrate your interest in and capacity for taking on the responsibilities highlighted in your “dream job” post. And don’t forget to list related professional development as well!
- It’s said that first impressions are the most lasting. Therefore, use your cover letter (aka, your initial introduction to a potential employer) to fill in the blanks about exactly why you are the best candidate for the job. Using prose in compelling ways to articulate how your skills and interests marry-up with specific job requirements can preemptively answer questions that might arise if a hiring manager were to look solely at your resume.
To read the full article on The Muse, click here. And be sure to check out the following CAC resources for changing careers after cancer: