How To Write a Career Change Resume Objective (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 28, 2021 | Published November 5, 2020

Updated February 28, 2021

Published November 5, 2020

When making a career transition, including a resume objective is essential. This brief statement proves to managers that while you may have limited experience, you possess relevant qualifications and skills to enable your success. In this article, we provide tips and examples to help you write a resume objective when changing careers.

Related: How To Make a Career Change

What is a career change resume objective?

The purpose of the objective is to capture the hiring manager's attention and quickly tell them why they should hire you. When pursuing a new career path, a career change resume objective describes your professional goals or reasons for seeking the change of employment. It is generally two to three sentences long and lives at the top of your resume.

Related: 5 Steps for Updating Your Resume in a Career Change

How to write a career change resume objective

Due to its placement on your resume, the objective could be the first thing an employer learns about you. Because you are changing careers, you want to ensure it grabs their focus and proves that you are a great candidate. Use these steps when writing a career change resume objective:

1. Read the job description

First review the job description to gain a clear understanding of what the employer is seeking from candidates so you can tailor your objective to the role. To catch potential the employer's attention, use the same or similar language and keywords in your objective. While your work history might look different from that of the other candidates, these details prove you have relevant experience.

2. Create a list of your career goals

When changing careers, your resume objective demonstrates how your previous experiences align with your current goals. For example, your goals might be to leverage specific skills or pursue a passion of yours. Doing this provides context about your professional development to the hiring manager that they might not get from your work history on its own. To prepare to write your objective, you should first draft a list of goals for your career change. Identify the goals that are most relevant to the position you are applying to—you will use those in your resume objective.

3. Focus on including transferable skills

If you utilized any of the skills listed in the job posting in prior jobs, you can use those examples to prove your qualifications. If not, think about the transferable skills you do have that show how you can fulfill the duties of the role. Make it clear to the employer why those skills are relevant to the role, even if they are not the exact skills listed in the description. Some examples of skills that transfer to nearly any job include:

  • Organization

  • Verbal and written communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Decision-making

  • Collaboration

Related: Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Mention any relevant education or training

To change careers, you may have received a new degree or other relevant training or certifications. If so, be sure to mention them, as this will show your dedication to joining the industry and learning the skills needed to excel. Having these relevant educational experiences can help make up for having less working experience.

5. Highlight your unique qualities

Stand out by showcasing your strongest personal qualities. These qualities should be relevant to the job and demonstrate why you are a good employee and coworker. You may be able to gather inspiration on which qualities to include through the job description. Consider highlighting these qualities by using them when introducing yourself. For example, "Self-motivated software engineer seeking..."

Some other examples of common positive attributes are:

  • Dedicated

  • Enthusiastic

  • Hard working

  • Reliable

  • Results driven

Related: Character Traits: Definition and Examples

6. Specify how you will add value

Once you have outlined your relevant qualifications, mention how you will use those skills to help the employer achieve their goals. When applying to work in a particular department, describe what specific contribution you hope to make there. For example, if you are applying to be a retail sales associate, you could state that you aim to provide friendly and attentive service to the store's walk-in customers. You might also want to include an example from your work history that demonstrates how you previously contributed similar results.

Tips for writing a career change resume objective

A well-written career change objective statement can make an impact on the hiring manager. An impressive summary can persuade them to read on to learn more about you and hopefully invite you for an interview. Keep these tips in mind when writing your career change resume objective:

  • Consider your resume format. While applicants commonly use chronological resumes, you may want to think about using a functional resume when changing careers. This format divides your work history by focusing on your skills and experience rather than the dates of employment. With this format, you can draft your skills-based work history first, then use it to highlight the most relevant items in your objective.

  • Tailor it to the employer. Aside from using specific keywords from the job description, specify the role to which you are applying. For example, say you are seeking a marketing coordinator role at the company rather than a vague phrase such as "seeking marketing opportunities." This specificity shows the hiring manager that you wrote the objective with them in mind.

  • Showcase impressive achievements. Including a significant professional accomplishment is a great way to garner attention at the start of your resume. Your achievements are specific to your experiences, which sets you apart among candidates. Ensure that the achievement is relevant to the position to which you are applying and uses measurable data when possible.

  • Keep it brief. The hiring manager likely reviews many resumes, so you have little time (and space) to prove you are a deserving candidate. To stay concise, avoid going over three sentences and using personal pronouns. Before submitting, review your objective to find any filler words to cut out, such as "like" or "an."

  • Have someone review it. If you know someone who works in your desired industry, have them look at your resume objective to ensure you provide the most relevant information. Ask them to assess whether the skills you mention are truly transferable and align with the job. They can also offer advice on what other behaviors, accomplishments or skills in your work history would showcase your potential in this new role.

Related: Resume Objectives: 70+ Examples and Tips

Career change resume objective examples

You can use the following five examples of career change resume objectives to help write your own:

  • "Enthusiastic individual with 15 years' experience in a fast-moving retail sales environment looking to join your team as a recently licensed real estate agent. Seeking to leverage my strong interpersonal communication skills and proven ability to build trusting relationships to help clients find new homes."

  • "Self-taught software developer seeking full-time developer role at SoonerLater App to apply proficiency in Java and Python programming languages. Experience working as a freelance developer, working directly with customers to create five apps with over 50,000 downloads each. Hoping to combine excellent customer service skills, technical knowledge and attention to detail to provide an exciting and easy-to-use app experience for users."

  • "Reliable business professional with eight years of experience in sales and business development within financial services industry seeking digital marketing specialist role. Creative thinker with the ability to manage wide-ranging client demands to build solutions that improve revenues and brand awareness."

  • "Accomplished journalist seeking a new career as communications manager at Hungry Illinois. Proven track record of clear, concise written communication abilities and ability to collaborate with others to effectively market materials. Passionate about philanthropy efforts toward feeding the hungry and hoping to help spread your nonprofit's mission throughout the community."

  • "Dependable and self-motivated professional with five years experience in high-pressure office environment managing multiple simultaneous projects. Seeking to start a career in human resources as HR assistant for the City of Tampa to work alongside a diverse team and support public services. Detail-oriented with proven ability to prepare accurate reports under strict deadlines."

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