I am a 32-year-old with a background in research methodology and statistics. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and MS in social research. I have worked in the field for the last six years. While employed in this area, I have had the opportunity to work with teams on improving business processes using technology.
I am in the process of making a career switch to working with Cisco routers, bridges, and switches. In preparation, I’ve been taking classes that prepared me to take my first level of Cisco certifications. As part of the course that I am currently taking, I completed 44 hours of lab work configuring Cisco routers and bridges.
I just wanted some advice on how to position myself when interviewing and on my resume.
Dear Changing Careers,
It sounds as if you’re moving over to a technology-oriented role from a research role. You’ll definitely want to rework your resume so that it focuses on your newfound skills and coursework as well as functional skills that are transferable from your previous career to the one you’re moving into. You also should spend some time talking about your transferable as well as new skills in your cover letter.
Then, when interviewing, explain your reason for the career switch: Why did you go through with it? Again, emphasize the skills you gained in your previous roles, and how you imagine those applying to your new career.
It sounds as if you have excellent communication skills, the ability to work effectively with people, and strong research and problem-solving abilities. All those qualities, along with the certification, should be impressive to employers.
GenieAsk the Genie: Changing Careers From Social Research to Technology by Granted Contributor