Resumes for Career Changers: How to Turn a Big Transition Into Cash

One of the most lucrative, interesting – and challenging – resume opportunities lies in writing for clients who want to switch careers.

Before we get into the significant income upside, let’s look at the market itself –

First, why do people decide to switch careers after 7-10 years in their current profession?

  • They are bored and want a change.
  • They were in the wrong profession in the first place.
  • They may find that they are in a position with too much pressure and want to transition into something to ease the stress.
  • They are looking for a career with more opportunities – in career growth and/or compensation.
  • They were a victim of a layoff and were in a position that is not easy to land in other companies.

What challenges do these situations create for you as a resume writer?

For starters, you must make a job history in one profession or career look enticing to someone who’s hiring for an entirely different career. It’s your job to make past accomplishments and skills gained in one area appear directly applicable in an entirely new realm.

The resume you prepare for this sort of client absolutely CANNOT be a historical list of the positions held or a “cut and paste” of past job descriptions. You will need, instead, to focus on pertinent experience, accomplishments, and skills.

For your ability to do that – you can charge a premium. Depending on your geographic area (remember, the prices for services such as resume preparation will vary according to region), your fees should be a bare-minimum of $250-$300, going up to $500-$600.

And, in fact, you could charge even more if, for example, your client not only wants to change careers but has spent the last two years away from the workforce backpacking around Europe.

A cover letter for this type of client will be more involved – and more vital – than for any other client (except, perhaps, for those with major “gaps” in their resumes) … and so you can charge a premium for this service, too. At a minimum, the cover letter should start at $200, and could go as high as $300, depending on the client’s situation.

Remember, a good marketing strategy is to “bundle” your services. You can reduce your overall fee for the resume and cover letter and sell the two as a package.

The size of the discount for the client who buys both resume and cover letter can vary, but a good rule of thumb is take 15%-20% off the total price. You can get more creative if you offer other services (such as interview and/or career coaching) – and you can offer those at a bundled rate as well.

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Published: April 5, 2006

1 Response to “Resumes for Career Changers: How to Turn a Big Transition Into Cash”

  1. Specifics about bundling is helpful. Thanks.

    Jiivanii Dent

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