Changing Career – How to update your CV and land your dream job

Moana Bennett
4 mins read
Job Seeker candidates cv guide job search

Embarking on a career change can be an exhilarating but challenging journey. While the idea of pursuing a new path might be exciting, translating your skills and experience into a different industry can seem daunting. That’s why I’m here to guide you through the process and help you create a powerful CV that opens the door to your dream job!

In 2022, after over 6 years working in the fitness industry, I made the big leap into corporate recruitment. Alongside all the feelings of excitement and determination, I had the monumental task of showcasing my skillset in one piece of paper – a CV.

When seeking a career change, the key to crafting the perfect CV is writing it for the job you want, not the job you have. By following a few easy steps, you can transform your application from just another email sitting in someone’s inbox, to a stellar interview!


1. List your skillset, not just your task list

Before diving into the process of updating your CV, take some time for self-reflection. What transferable skills have you acquired throughout your professional journey? Whether it’s soft skills like communication and empathy, or technical skills like budgeting and project management, you’re bound to have some that can be applied to any role – no matter the industry.

Identify the core transferable skills that make you a valuable asset in the role you’re applying for (check the job description!), then highlight these in the experience section of your CV.


2. Avoid industry jargon

Speaking of the experience section, when listing your previous roles, it’s important to steer clear of industry-specific jargon that may limit the way others perceive your capabilities. Instead, focus on the underlying skills and competencies involved in each position. By rephrasing your tasks and responsibilities in broader terms, potential employers will see the value you can bring, regardless of your background.

For example, instead of saying, “I hired personal trainers across 8 gyms”, I could reframe my experience and say “I successfully completed end-to-end recruitment, meeting the staffing requirements for 8 businesses across the South Auckland region”.


3. Tell potential employers why

Use your CV intro (or cover letter) to clearly articulate why you’re passionate about both the new role and new industry. By demonstrating your enthusiasm and highlighting your genuine motivation for transitioning into a different field, you’ll stand apart from other applicants. Employers know that the more you love what you do, the more committed, engaged, and diligent you’ll be; a win-win situation!

While most technical skills and industry knowledge can be taught, genuine passion is rare and innate, making it a valuable attribute which employers area always looking for.


4. Show that you’re in it for the long run

Employers are not only interested in your current skills, but also in your potential for growth and long-term contribution. For employers, it’s more beneficial to retain good staff than hire and train new staff, so they want to know you’re going to stick around! Since career change is often driven by a desire for personal and professional growth, it’s the perfect scenario to showcase your aspirations for the future.

In your CV, outline your short-term and long-term goals, emphasising your willingness to invest time and effort in developing your expertise in your new career field. Your future employer is going to invest time, energy, and resources in you, so show them how you plan to invest in them.


5. Stand out with personal branding

During a career change, personal branding becomes even more critical. Try writing an elevator pitch that captures your unique value and use it as the intro to your CV. What are your goals? What sets you apart? How do you provide value?

Consider boosting your online presence by making the most of your LinkedIn profile, creating a professional website or portfolio, or even contributing to industry discussions. By building a strong personal brand, you’ll attract the attention of more potential employers and set yourself apart from the competition.


Final advice

Transitioning to a new career requires planning and strategic communication. By reimagining your CV, you can position yourself as a strong candidate for whatever career you choose. Most importantly, focus your application on why you want this new role and what makes you the perfect candidate. If you don’t try, you’ll never know! Ready to take the next step in your career journey? Get in touch.

Moana Bennett
Could it be time for a change?
Looking for a permanent role, or thinking about temping or contract work?