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I've seen quite a few questions that are asking what to do when changing careers. That's all well and good, and there are some great answers, but what do you do when you're looking to more or less keep the same career, but move into a different part of your field? Specifically, how does that affect resume writing?

In terms of details about my specific situation: I'm a software engineer, and my current position has me working on a web application. This is my first position out of college, and the side projects I list on my resume are also web-related. I'm concerned about being pigeonholed as a web developer, and I'm also interested in other types of software. Obviously, I'll be applying to non-web jobs, but how do I make it clear that I'm trying to shift my focus?

  • As a new graduate, then you can just leave out the side projects. Most hiring managers consider those side projects as toy problems and don't really add that much weight to a CV at this early stage of your career. – Jane S Aug 19 '15 at 5:29
  • @Jane S I understand your reasoning, but if I did that I wouldn't have much of a resume left. – Not My Real Profile Aug 19 '15 at 19:22
  • If I'm hiring a new graduate, I don't expect a CV that's packed full of experiences :) I want to know how well they are going to fit my requirements. Anything else is more or less a distraction and may dilute the story you are trying to tell me :) – Jane S Aug 19 '15 at 20:50
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how do I make it clear that I'm trying to shift my focus?

If you include an Objectives section on your resume, that is where you want to state that you want to change your focus.

In addition, this is where your Cover Letter becomes even more important. In it, you should mention your change in career focus, and specifically emphasize your desire to get into the exact domain being offered by the position you are seeking.

And of course during the interview, you'll be looking for signs that this new position isn't just web-centric, and will give you the non-web exposure you desire. And you'll want to be well prepared to discuss why you want to change your focus, and why this will be terrific for the hiring company.

  • But of course the first thing to do when improving your resume is to scrap the Objectives section (Useful links: 1, 2, 3) – Lilienthal Aug 19 '15 at 14:47
  • +1 for the cover letter ideas. I agree with @Lilienthal about Objectives sections, though; they feel trite and silly to me. – Not My Real Profile Aug 19 '15 at 19:23

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