Once you have an updated general resume, begin to tailor it toward the direction of your new or improved career path(s) and specific positions you apply for. Continue to add skills and projects as you develop them in class. 

We recommend having one master document that has all of your experience to pull from, then 2–4 additional tailored resumes on hand depending on what types of roles you want to apply for and your experience. For example, a job seeker with a marketing and graphic design background pursuing a certificate in front end development might have: 1) a technical front end developer resume, 2) a general marketing resume, and 3) a design-focused resume depending on what types of jobs they want to apply to. 

Important: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have a hard time picking up content from PDF files! If you are designing a stylized resume in InDesign, Canva, or another platform, strongly consider uploading two resumes in the application form: one in Microsoft Word so that the ATS can pickup keywords, and another stylized version in PDF for the hiring manager to review. Reach out to your Career Navigator for questions on this.

Resume Templates

Review these resume templates to get a sense of what your resume should ultimately look like.

Professional Summary 

  1. Do you signal your career change by indicating the type of role you are looking for? 
  2. Did you highlight the skills acquired during the certificate program (“skilled in HTML, SQL and Python”)? 
  3. Review examples and more resources for formatting a professional summary found here, Professional Summary and Bio – San Diego Workforce Partnership. As you progress through your career, your professional summary will change and should include more skills and achievements related to your certifications.

Skills Section 

  1. Did you add your new skills to the beginning of your skills section? 

Education Section 

  1. Have you added your certificate to your resume? E.g. UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies, Digital Marketing certificate, Anticipated December 2024.  

Experience Section 

  1. Have you visited ONet Online or reviewed certificate-specific sample resumes to add as many relevant tasks and skills to your experience bullets? The purpose of this is to leverage as much existing experience you have towards your new career direction.  
  2. For Onet Online, review Hard Skills and Soft Skills to get some ideas for keywords in your resume. Add these keywords to your existing sections to tailor your experience to meet industry norms. 
  3. Have you leveraged EVERY piece of relevant experience towards this career direction? Volunteer, internship, school projects, consulting gigs, informal work.  

Helpful hint: 

  • If you are considering a career change into a very different role, speak to your manager on whether you can shadow a team at your company doing that work, or tackle a new project for 10-20% percent of your time, or do it as a volunteer project. It’s much easier to get experience in an existing job than to try to get a new one without experience on your resume. Develop your company’s social media presence or ask if you can build a dashboard for your coworkers to improve business performance. 
  • Consider pro bono, or internship work to boost your experience. Ask friends or colleagues if they need help building a website or expanding their marketing base. Consider sites like Volunteer Match, Taproot or Catchafire to look for projects you can take on during school!   

Portfolio Section 

  1. For students working on portfolios, have you added your portfolio to the top of your resume? 

ATS Screening

  • Finally, upload your resume to JobScan.co with a sample job description to see if your resume would pass a recruiter Applicant Tracking System (ATS) screening. Your resume is a living document so plan to continuously iterate on it.

Congratulations! You have a viable tailored master resume to start applying to jobs in your field of interest.  

Questions? Set up a meeting with your program career navigator for a 1:1 consultation!