Resume tip needed for people with changed career path

Hi guys, I have one question who say they did a job irrelevant to software and ended up with coding related job after changing the career path. How did you mention your experiences in the resume? Did you not mention about your previous jobs? Or if you don’t include then did people question you about it during interview that you have career gaps?

The truth shall set you free… : ). I am a big advocate that any experience in life gives you experience that you grow from. Even if you were on a path that didn’t correlate directly to what you are pursuing now, you gained experience as an employable person. If you are honest with yourself and your potential employer chances are you will end up in a position that you are comfortable in and is a fit for your skill / personality. Best of luck in the hunt!

I haven’t got a job in coding yet, but I’ve worked in three totally different careers - briefly, mental health, fitness then sales/travel. I’ve gotten a lot of push back in some cases, especially from “friends” and a few potential employers because of my “career gaps.”

But, every good boss has seen how much of an advantage it is to have varied skill sets - working in mental health means I can handle pretty much any complaint/issue/feedback/pissed off client, fitness gave me amazing goal-setting and interpersonal skills and sales/travel especially helped me to understand practical aspects of tech and well, sales.

Use your resume to show how each previous career will make you even more successful and how the skills you developed in the past will make you succeed.

Keep in mind, lots of research has shown that skill development curves are typically logarithmic, not linear, so developing deep expertise may take a long time, but more often you can pretty quickly get to the point of diminishing returns (aka the person whose been in the office 10 years isn’t that far ahead of the person whose been there 18 months and the senior guy likely can’t see the forest for the trees, while the new guy brings all kinds of new ideas, skills, creativity etc. to the team).

If you need further inspiration/examples:

  • Scott Thoreau - lawyer turned author
  • Santiago Ramón y Cajal - artist turned doctor turned Nobel prize winning father of modern neurosciences (he’s the reason we’re seeing advances in treating dementia, Alzheimer’s…)
  • Adam Khoo - magician/DJ/gamer “loser” turned multi-millionaire
  • JK Rowling - single mother turned billionaire (though she isn’t anymore because of her donations…)
  • or how about flight attendant turned web dev <a href:“”>Maigen Thomas who started with courses on code academy…

If an employer can’t see how your other skills will help you succeed, you’re either not explaining yourself or the person sitting in front of you isn’t worth your time. :wink:


I have worked as an engineering technician and a musician, and a teacher and a grant writer.

I currently actively look for work as a programmer and a grant writer. I have separate resumes for each. I tend to emphasize work experience relevant to each in their respective resumes, and list but don’t elaborate on non-relevant experience. I try to expand the relevant experience and try to compress (and even combine where possible) non-relevant jobs to save space for relevant material.

I wouldn’t want to leave any major jobs off. I think it would be a little offputting to an interviewer to find out that you’ve had a whole other career not mentioned on your resume. It might make him wonder, What else did he leave off? Gloss over it, sure, but if it was your profession for a while, it should at least be mentioned, even just one line.

Here is the link to Maigen Thomas.
She is a very interesting and enthusiastic person!

Thanks to everyone who replied here. Hope I will be able to modify my resume and get a job soon.

Thanks for sharing that article, i read the whole thing. Very inspirational!

Thanks for sharing this information.