It’s getting ever closer to my This American Life submission date and I’ve only got one thing left to finish – My Resume!
Is there really anything more daunting than staring in the face of resume yet unwritten? Writing out accomplishments and all those skillz that have been accrued throughout the years of work. The only thing I’ve found more frustrating than a resume is the cover letter to go atop it. Making a cover letter and resume standout in pools of applicants these days is a lot like finding good Mexican food in Seattle, difficult.
Yesterday morning I decided to stare my enemy in the face and go all in because the worst that could happen is I come out at the end with yet another crappy unusable resume, but at least I’ll have learned something throughout the process.
I googled at least forty different phrases that I thought might lead me to the description of the perfect resume and what I found at the end of my search is what I found at the beginning that “one size does not fit all.” The articles told me that one resume is not enough and that I should have at least five resumes tailored to a variety of positions that I would like to pursue. Many compared it to having different outfits for different job interviews. Would you wear the same outfit for all of them they asked? My answer to this question is “hell yes!” I know that’s the wrong answer, but they are asking me, a girl that can barely pick out my own daily outfits because fashion sense isn’t one of my gifts; I barely know how to match black with other blacks. I mean come on… if I can interview in one outfit, then that’s definitely what I’m gonna do, but… I do see their point. I decide to think of it in terms of what other people would do and I suppose that means they surely would have separate interview outfits, so I guess this means that I need to start working on a variety of resumes.
Things to know about the resume I’m about to write:
1. I have decided to “change careers“
Technically I don’t know if I’m changing or actually starting. I’ve been stuck in admin positions for the past few years and it is definitely not where I want to stay it was mostly a place I landed when trying to make enough money to pay off some student loans after college. Now I’m changing to the career field of “writing, publishing, advertising, marketing, etc.” in order to utilize my writing background a little more.
2. I don’t actually have a varied background in my newly chosen career field so what do I do about the resume. Do I lie?
Well that was a big question for me as I was writing because what does one do to spruce up a sparse resume? It was in this instance that I realized I actually did have to rely on transferable skills. These are skills that you have already acquired via all of your other occupations, hobbies, volunteer experience, etc. I decided to create a list of all the skills that I am at least 70% sure I already have and even added a few that maybe I’m a little iffy on (because I’m 100% sure I could learn them quickly if needed). If you need a quick place to find lots of these skill sets checkout ONET.com.
3. I’m not sure if it should be a functional, chronological, or combination resume.
After reading through a variety of articles for the career changer I decided to go with combination. A combination resume has the ability to show off your transferable skills as well as help you focus on all the practical things that apply to your future career. Going chronological keeps you a little more boxed in because it only showcases what you have already done, while going functional apparently scares some employers off because it looks like you’ve done nothing.
4. 1 page or 2?
My previous chronological resume that was getting me no interviews was two pages long and I’m pretty sure that I’ve had enough career experience at this point to have two pages, but as I said the resume has gotten me nowhere. I decided to google search “best resumes of 2013” and came to this page. All of these beautifully designed resumes are only one page long and are probably getting more interviews than mine, so I decided to stick to a one pager. My favorite is the resume on fabric, I am contemplating getting at least one of those, but for this one I decided to go for design #7.
Once I picked a design I decided it was time to start going for it. I had my old resume in hand and was able to transfer at least a few things over, but for a majority of it I decided I needed to redefine some of the responsibilities I had, using better key words. There are plenty of skills checklists you can use, but here is an easy go to one provided by Rogue Community College.
After some researching and writing I came out with a resume in about four hours. The only thing I realized at the end was I didn’t actually finish a writer’s resume, I wrote one that’s more tailored to Sales & Marketing, which is fine because I do in fact need those five resumes. Sales & Marketing is a direction I’m definitely okay with going, but this leaves me with a vacant writer’s resume spot, which I will be attending to today.
This all just means that This American Life is going to have to wait another few days for my application, but my goal is to have it in by March 1st anyhow. By the way, if you know any TAL staffers, please feel free to put in a good word for me!
Anyways, here is yesterday’s finished product sans my contact info! Sample Resume