Revamp Your Image: #1 – Using Past Experience on Your CV (Even in a Different Field)

Written by: Sean Revell
Published on: 16 Jan 2015

rewriting your cv

Are you having a tough time finding a job? You wear the right clothes, you put on a friendly smile, and you shake hands firmly. Frankly, you’re doing all you can to make potential employers like you. So where are you going wrong?

The thing is that even if you’re doing everything right in an interview, interviewees still may see you as a poor fit for the job. How can you make them see that you’re the perfect candidate?

In our three-part series, we explore different ways you can revamp your image to impress potential employers. Today, we look at simple ways you can tweak your CV all while using the experience you already have.


Map Out Your Experience

The very first thing you should do is map out your experience. Take a look at all the past jobs you have listed on your CV and create a list of your previous job duties. Were there any special skills or training you learned on the job? List that, too. The idea here is that you’re exploring the more subtle skills you learned instead of listing only the obvious on your CV.

For instance, if you used to work in retail, but are looking for a career change to work on a cruise ship, it’s practically a given that you’ll mention your customer service skills. But what else did you do? If you helped your boss organise a sales promotion or even spent time managing the business’s social media accounts, those are marketing skills you can transfer over to a new career in any niche.


Pinpoint Valuable Skills and Tailor Them to the Position

Next, consider what skills your potential employer will be most interested in. That means you need to ask yourself which skills are the most valuable for the job you’re applying for. You might have to tweak your CV for each application, and that’s okay. Various industries will react differently to your words.

One easy way to clue you in on what an employer is looking for is to double check the job ad. Perhaps it says they’re looking for someone who is willing to learn. You might mention that your previous job duties involved attending employee training sessions. Save room for that and leave out the part about knowing how to work a cash register or how to count money, especially when that’s a given due to your job title.

What’s important here is that you’re mentioning the skills that will transfer best to the field you’re applying for. For instance, your customer service skills are undoubtedly great to have, but if you won’t be working with customers or clients one-on-one in the position you’re applying for, then you’re better off emphasising your team projects and skills.


Mention Other Relevant Experience

Along with past experience in the workplace, it’s also worth listing any other relevant experience, such as temporary jobs, part time roles or volunteer work. This will go under a different section on your CV, but it can help impress employers. For instance, including your experience coordinating your church’s youth group activities illustrates your leadership and organisation skills.

Want to learn more about how to revamp your image to show potential employers you’re worth hiring? Stick around for part two of our series, where we talk about presenting yourself on social media.