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Old 13.03.2011, 10:49
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CV for career change

How can one change their CV in order to enter a completely different field of work than what they have being doing? I am having trouble finding work in my field and have also being wanting to switch careers lately as I am finding it not much of a challenge anymore and thus not enjoying it like I used to, so I thought it would try something else.

I am looking for something in business administration etc.. Although I don't have a degree in business yet I am studying towards a business and engineering degree part time.

I have some experience in this but most of my career has being as a Aircraft Mechanic so trying to change things around on the CV seems impossible.

If anyone has before changed careers completely from what you were doing before then I would like to hear how you did it with your CV.

Thanks.
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Old 13.03.2011, 11:51
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Re: CV for career change

I am in the process of doing something similar .. albeit not so drastic as they are both office based but very different disciplines.

Ultimately what you need to do with your CV is not so different from what one should ideally always do when applying for a new job .. tailor the CV to fit for the job you are applying for. This means emphasising your experience that is relevant (or at least your relevant transferable skill set).

I am not sure what format you have chosen for your CV but could I suggest that a good route to follow would be to have the first section entitled "Personal Skills" and then concisely (bullet points?) list your skill set starting with those that are most applicable to your new career path. Things such as organisational skills, problem solving, self starting, motivation of team members, fast accurate working method, working well under pressure or what ever personal skills you think you possess (that are demonstrable) and that apply to this new career. This is the first thing your potential employer reads .. if you make it good they will be far more "forgiving" as they move onto your second section- which I suggest be employment history - from which they will see that you do not have direct experience. Start with your current employment - being part time study for your new business admin degree (provide detail here), then work backwards (dealing with your engineering experience). Again emphasise tasks that you undertook in your engineering experience that are relevant to your new career (supervision, overseeing, project managing ??). For an aircraft engineer's job it should read very very badly indeed! If so, well done!

Finally education/qualifications. Brief list. No point in labouring your inapplicable knowledge base whilst still showing that you have a good knowledge base.

You certainly can't hide what you currently do, but with some careful thought, you should be able to show why you would be good at what you now want to do .... and after all if you cannot prove this on paper, is it likely to be true in reality?

This is my personal approach to this issue. I hope others reply as it would help you to get a range of experience/advice. Many of us have had to re-invent ourselves now we live abroad, so there must be lots of advice out there for you.

Good luck.

Last edited by ecb; 13.03.2011 at 11:56. Reason: clarity
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Old 13.03.2011, 11:59
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Re: CV for career change

changing careers is difficult at the best of times; right now, it is hard enough for people to find something in their own field...

I would suggest you put your head down and carry on doing what you do today, complete your ongoing studies, and give this a shot once the economy has somewhat recovered.
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Old 13.03.2011, 12:19
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Re: CV for career change

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For an aircraft engineer's job it should read very very badly indeed! If so, well done!
Thanks for your advice, I will take it on board. I think you have a good point in relation to starting with my skills instead of career history.

Can you clarify you point above? Not sure if you were joking or maybe I'm just really slow but I don't get it! It could also be due to the hangover this morning

Thanks again for your advice.
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Old 13.03.2011, 12:23
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Re: CV for career change

Apologies.

What I meant was that this really would not be the cv you would write to get a job in your current industry. You may even find that it is better to leave out chunks of your current industry experience that you think have absolutely no relevance to your new job. As it is better to keep your CV concise, things have to be pruned somewhere so do not be shocked if you prune something which, for your current job, is vital, but which for your new career is useless.

Hope that makes more sense.
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Old 17.03.2011, 16:07
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Re: CV for career change

Is anyone willing to take a look at my new CV before I apply for 100's of jobs?

I have completly re-formatted it, took out loads of things which weren't applicable to a new career, inserted more skills and re-defined some of the work which I've done.

The CV is 3 full pages long which I am a little concerned about it being too long.
Do you thing where I have personal skills I could put 2 bullet points on the one line instead of just one under the other?
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Old 17.03.2011, 16:19
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Re: CV for career change

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The CV is 3 full pages long which I am a little concerned about it being too long.
Do you thing where I have personal skills I could put 2 bullet points on the one line instead of just one under the other?
The best tip I ever got from a headhunter was a number: 7 seconds. That's the time he spends on average per CV when sorting out... so if you cannot get the message accross in seven seconds, you lose.

So if you put bullet points together to make long sentences, I doubt it gets better, even if you need less paper. The key is IMHO to only put in the bullets that a relevant for a specific job... so you need to adapt your CV a bit to every job you apply.
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Old 17.03.2011, 16:20
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Re: CV for career change

3 pages for a CV probably needs pruned down, especially if you need to include a cover letter on top of that! With that said, I wouldn't mind having a look.. no business experience but a little time on my hands.

(Also looking to make a career jump out of engineering-type things myself, so maybe I can take a little inspiration from you!)
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Old 17.03.2011, 18:23
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Re: CV for career change

I was told CVs should ideally never go over a page and if they must stretch to 2 pages, you should have had at least 10 years working experience to justify the length.
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