How to Write a Resume Objective for a Career Change

Updated 22 March 2023

The prospect of transitioning careers is exciting because it allows you to pursue a job within a new industry. As you're in the early stages of gaining relevant experience, it can be challenging to convince prospective employers to hire you. You can overcome this by highlighting your transferable skills and the value you could add to an organisation through a compelling resume objective. In this article, we examine what a resume objective for a career change is and provide steps for how to write one, along with some tips and examples to help inspire your writing.

What is a resume objective for a career change?

A summary statement, or resume objective for a career change, aims to gain the attention and interest of hiring managers. It's a brief paragraph two or three sentences in length that you place between your contact information and work history. A resume objective introduces you and expresses what distinguishes you from other candidates.

Related: 6 Reasons for a Career Change (Plus How to Transition)

How to write a resume objective for a career change

How you craft your resume determines the effectiveness of your career transition. Consider the resume objective as the summary that sets up the content of your resume. Hiring managers expect candidates with extensive relevant experience, so this paragraph explains why your resume is worth considering. The following are some steps for how to write a compelling resume summary statement:

1. Examine the job posting

The job posting is a valuable source of information that you can use to write a resume objective statement. It communicates the skills and responsibilities of the position, the minimum years of experience and the work ethic that hiring managers expect to find in candidates. Use the job description to identify keywords and then list them in a separate document, so you can integrate them later throughout your writing. This process allows you to establish an alignment between your resume objective and the job posting, demonstrating your understanding of the position and the hiring managers' needs.

Related: 5 Career Change Resume Examples with Template and Tips

2. Define your career goals

Consider drafting a list of your career goals. Once you complete this list, determine the most relevant goals for the position you're applying to and include them in your resume objective. This information offers hiring managers insight regarding your career change and professional development. It can also help complement the other sections of your resume.

3. Include your transferable skills

Unlike technical skills, which are specific to the job, transferable skills refer to the abilities you apply to various jobs. They include problem-solving, analytical, leadership and interpersonal skills, adaptability, and attention to detail. Transferable skills help demonstrate how your previous work experience prepared you to excel in a new career. By matching these abilities to the ones described in the job posting, you're adding further evidence demonstrating your capabilities of performing a role's duties.

4. Share your relevant training or certifications

As you transition to a new career, enrolling and completing additional education, training or certifications relevant to your chosen position is beneficial. This also highlights your passion and determination to expand your knowledge and skills within a new industry. This can also assure prospective employers of your commitment to meet or surpass their expectations for the position and that you can be a valuable team member.

5. Mention your distinguishing qualities

A practical method of distinguishing yourself from other candidates is by mentioning your unique qualities. Review your work history and professional accomplishments to identify specific work ethics, skills or experiences that led to success. Ask yourself what you did to solve a problem or what methodology you used to impact your work environment positively. These traits can support your career goals and highlight the value you add to an organisation. They can also persuade hiring managers to focus on your capabilities to fulfil a role instead of the amount of your relevant experience.

Related: What Is a Career Transitioning Process? (With Tips for Success)

Tips for crafting a resume objective for a career change

A compelling summary statement captures the interest of hiring managers and encourages them to examine the rest of your resume. It helps them determine whether to consider you for the position or proceed to the following applicant. Consider implementing the following tips to help improve your resume objective:

Switch to a functional resume format

The standard chronological resume format presents your work history in chronological order after a summary statement. This format benefits individuals applying for positions relevant to their work experience. As someone transitioning to a new career, using a functional resume instead of a chronological one is beneficial. This format prioritises transferable skills, encouraging you to list your work history based on your abilities and traits. It disregards your dates of employment and ensures that hiring managers understand how your skills prepared you for your career change.

Related: A Guide to Writing a Career Change Functional Resume

Highlight your key accomplishments

Even though you're transitioning to a new career, it can be helpful to use the accomplishments from your previous career as a reference. Identify one or two achievements that highlight your transferable skills and consider including them in your resume objective statement. Include quantifiable descriptors in your writing because this type of language offers prospective employers a clearer understanding of the value you add to a position.

Read more: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

Stay concise

Summary statements are two or three sentences in length, so stay within these parameters. Hiring managers typically receive numerous resumes, and the resume's objective statement may be the only section they review before deciding whether to proceed with another candidate. Keeping your summary concise and purposeful enhances its effectiveness and can persuade the reader to review the rest of your document.

Proofread your objective

After completing your summary statement, proofread it to ensure that the spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct and that the intended message is present. Sharing it with friends, colleagues or mentors is a practical way of receiving additional or professional feedback about your writing. Sometimes a third-party perspective can identify areas of improvement within your use of language and structure.

Related: 53 Motivational Quotes for Career Change and Development

Examples of resume objectives for a career change

Reviewing examples is a practical method of discovering the language and structure of summary statements that can help your career change progress. It can inspire your writing and offer insight into standard practices to develop a compelling resume. You can use the following five example resume objective statements for inspiration:

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Example 1

This example details an experienced labourer seeking to transition to an office setting:

Adaptable professional with over ten years of experience managing and distributing mail, meeting deadlines and overcoming harsh weather. Seeking an office administration management role at Warehouses & Co. to begin my new career. Proven interpersonal and leadership skills, with an in-depth understanding of computer systems, allow me to learn quickly and guide colleagues to achieve corporate goals.

Example 2

This example presents a self-taught designer pursuing professional development:

Self-taught website designer pursuing a full-time designer role at PyramidSpace to showcase my proven abilities with various programming languages, including Python, Java and Ruby. Worked with renowned athlete Mathias Barker to design his website and launch his product line, selling 100% of his inventory within 24 hours. Determined to implement my technical knowledge and client service and analytical skills to develop websites for a wider range of corporations.

Related: How to Become A Web Designer (With National Average Salary)

Example 3

Here's an example of an individual transition from the entertainment industry to oil and gas:

Accomplished executive producer seeking to start a new career in the oil and gas industry with Tar Sands Corporation. Acquired a bachelor's degree in engineering with honours while producing more than fifteen profitable film productions. Passionate about applying my critical thinking, managerial, interpersonal and time management skills to collaborate with engineers and develop environmentally conscious projects.

Example 4

This example presents an experienced social media manager seeking to leverage their knowledge in technological research:

Experienced social media community manager pursuing a role as a research partner to develop drone technology with Future Corporation. My proven understanding of audience needs led me to achieve an 80% approval rating. Determined to leverage my knowledge of communities, business and customer service management to innovate and collaborate in research that can positively impact the population.

Related: A Guide for a Career As a Researcher (With Pros and Cons)

Example 5

Here's an example of a technical writer transitioning to editor in creative and narrative writing:

Self-motivated and accomplished technical writer pursuing a career as a manuscript editor for Beyond Ink Publications. Won seven short story competitions, including an international competition, by applying my excellent writing skills, creative thinking and proven understanding of grammar and narrative structure. Passionate about using my attention to detail and analytical and critical thinking skills to assess and edit manuscripts for upcoming and established authors.

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