Career Planning

Resume Builders for Returning Students

Learn more about resume builders for returning students.

March 12, 2009

Resume Builders for Returning Students

You've gone back to school and are in the process of making a career change. Your resume should reflect both your previous experience and your new education. How do you sell your experience?

Don't leave out important dates.
Many non-traditional job-seekers are reluctant to include dates of employment or graduations for fear that hiring managers are less interested in older applicants or somebody with gaps in their work history. However, leaving off dates or titles can raise hiring managers' suspicions that you're trying to hide something. It's better not to fudge dates and titles.

Remember: Your resume is a marketing document, not a career obituary.
Don't tell your entire career history in this document. Do your homework researching the organizations to which you're applying. Feature in the resume what you can do for them in the future, rather than what you've done in the past. This is a cold call, and you're the product.

It's up to you to show potential employers how your experience in another field will benefit them -- don't expect them to make the effort.
The average person spends seven seconds scanning a resume. Don't ask this person to spend any of that precious time trying to figure out where you'd fit in the organization. That's your job. Through your research, you should have an idea of where the organization is going and what skills it's going to be looking for. Highlight your experience in those areas.

Consider using a functional resume.
A functional resume – with a "Profile" section at the top – offers you a good opportunity to showcase skills rather than job experience. You can show the relationship between the kind of person you are and the demands of the job. It also offers a chance to show that your style will fit with the culture of the organization.

Consider having an "Experience" section rather than one called "Employment."
This is another option if you think your previous employment is irrelevant to the position you're seeking or could negatively impact your application. An "Experience" section will allow you to include internships, class projects and independent study, which otherwise would not be considered employment.

This information comes from Monster, the Internet's leading job board. For additional tips, check out

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