Resume Summary for a Career Change (With Tips and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 December 2022

Published 6 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Prospective job candidates with experience and skills from one career can write a resume summary that helps them transition to a new profession. A resume summary is important when making a career transition because it helps summarise why a candidate's prior experience makes them suitable for a different career. By exploring some sample resume summaries, you can learn to create your own and display your relevant experience and skills professionally. In this article, we explain what a resume summary for a career change is, outline the steps to write one and provide tips and examples for you to review.

Related: How to Write a Resume Summary With Examples

A resume summary for a career change is a brief professional statement of approximately three to five sentences that appear at the top of your resume. This summary highlights your achievements, experiences and skills. It also helps you show a prospective employer how your experience can help you succeed in the new role. Based on the position, company and industry you want to enter, you may create a resume summary that matches the specific job description to help you increase your chances of receiving an offer.

Related: What to Know About Writing Resume Objectives (With Examples and Tips)

How to write a career change resume summary

You can follow these steps when writing a career change resume summary:

1. Check the job description

Before you write your resume summary, it's important to review the job description so you can understand the employer's interests. Familiarity with the role can help you tailor your summary statement to suit the company's culture and needs. It's helpful to review what the job description tells you about the business's ideal employee and compare your professional background and skills to the one they describe.

You can select strategic keywords from the description to use in your summary. Some employers use an applicant tracking system to analyse resumes. These systems scan for specific keywords that match the parameters the company sets and select the applications that way. You can often advance past the screening process by using keywords that qualify you as a strong candidate. You can also scan your resume to see if you can add or redefine your skills based on the keywords the description uses.

Related: Breaking Into Permanent Work With a Contract Background

2. Mention your job title and years of experience

You can begin your resume summary with an introductory sentence that mentions your current job title and your years of experience. You can also include keywords that highlight your skills and qualifications in the introduction. For instance, if the job advertisement shows the company wants someone reliable and self-driven, consider describing how you're qualified by mentioning your reliability and initiative in your summary.

3. Highlight relevant academic qualifications, skills and experience

In your resume summary, it's important to highlight any skills, education and experience that match the job description. It's helpful to show that you want to seek further training since a career change may involve getting additional training and certifications. It can help you to know what other qualifications you may need before your transition. You can also list and identify personal goals that apply to the specific position. Mentioning any relevant training or credentials to show your determination and dedication to a career change may also prove helpful.

Another topic to discuss can include the transferable skills you may have gained throughout your career. When listing these skills, you can show how they can help you fulfil the duties related to the new role. It's helpful to clearly illustrate the relevance of these skills because they're often the core aspects hiring managers review. Transferable skills may include providing customer service, communicating, organising, collaborating, problem-solving, decision-making, computer proficiency and leadership.

Related: 13 Transferable Job Skills That Employers Love

4. Highlight your aspirations and unique qualities

It's important to showcase your personality and let prospective employers know how you might contribute to the company when hired. Conveying your enthusiasm for the position and that you dedicate yourself, work hard and achieve goals can help show the hiring manager you understand the role and can learn new skills. For instance, if you want to work in customer service or as a sales associate, you can describe a time you provided excellent after-sales service to customers. For a management position, you could describe how you can meet sales targets and grow a company's customer base.

Showing how your previous skills can benefit the company lets the hiring manager know you have a unique perspective that can help the team. Describing your relevant skills in your summary can help you get an interview.

5. Mention the name of the company and the job title

It's often essential to customise your resume summary to the specific company you're applying to by mentioning its name and the position. Doing this demonstrates that you pay attention to what you're doing and that you care about the position you're applying for. It demonstrates a level of respect for the person reading your application and shows the recruiter or hiring manager that your application is relevant to them. Consider using the employers' specific terms when referring to the job, especially when applying for multiple positions in the same industry.

6. Proofread and edit

Proofread and edit your resume summary to ensure your grammar and spelling are correct. Many hiring managers value clear writing because it demonstrates strong communication skills and attention to detail. Many free online tools can evaluate your grammar. These programmes can help ensure your summary is clear, concise and direct. You may also review the spelling of the company's name and job title to make sure you use the correct information. Reading your writing aloud or asking someone to review it and provide feedback can improve your writing and make you sound more professional.

Tips for writing a resume summary

The following tips can help you write an excellent resume summary when changing careers:

  • Use specific words. When writing your resume summary, use proper names and specific numbers. For instance, you can state you have five years of experience or that a company's sales grew by 20% under your leadership to make your qualifications clear.

  • Be concise. A short summary may contain less information than you want, but an overly long summary may confuse your reader. As a result, it's helpful to prioritise the details mentioned in the job description in a few sentences.

  • Use narrative, tone and language. It's helpful to use action verbs when you write because this makes your writing easier to understand. Using a narrative style that maintains a consistent tone helps ensure you write a coherent summary statement.

  • Review the content. A resume summary often attempts to draw the reader's attention by enticing the reader to continue looking at the resume through a short, engaging blurb. It's important to keep this section focused on displaying your qualifications upfront because you can always use a cover letter and the body of your resume to provide more detail about yourself.

Related: What To Write in a Resume Profile (With Steps and Tips)

Examples of resume summaries

The following are examples of some resume summaries for a career change:

Project management

Here's an example of a sales manager seeking to move into a project management role:

Former sales manager seeking to join Better Way Corporation as a project manager after completing the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Experience with maintaining a large customer base, managing marketing campaigns and leading teams to reach sales targets and deliver projects timely. Brings seven years of experience working with board executives and managing teams of 10 to 20 people. Organised successful marketing and training events that resulted in a 55% increase in customer base and sales revenue.

Advertising

Here's an example showing someone from sales trying to move into an advertising role:

Brings five years of experience in consumer sales and knows how to connect with customers, guide their purchasing decisions, collaborate with team members and analyse data strategically. Has hands-on experience promoting product features and targeting niche markets in highly competitive environments. I am looking forward to using and expanding my skills in advertising by filling the associate advertising position at Finnest Advertising Agency.

Education

This example shows a professional seeking to enter the education field from a mental health role:

A dedicated professional with six years of experience working as a mental health specialist. Seeks to fill the mental health first aid instructor position at TeachTech University. Has first-hand experience working with people to teach excellent communication, leadership, problem-solving and organisational skills to the next generation of medical professionals.

Human resources

Reliable and highly adaptable former sales manager with five years of experience seeking a human resources manager position at GTMTM Corporation. Diverse experience interviewing and assisting new hires during the onboarding process. Proficient at managing global teams of 10 to 20 people. Expert in setting performance objectives and conducting performance reviews for staff.

Explore more articles