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Who do I want to be today?
November 15, 2012 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm an organizational creative jill-of-all-trades and I might be losing my job. I'm updating my resume and, coincidentally, I need help creatively organizing it. Help, AskMe?

The company I work for might be folding soon. I need to get my resume together.

In the past 20 years I've had 9-to-5 jobs and freelance projects in radio, television, gaming, music, photography, web development, project management, journalism, internet and the non-profit world. I've worn a ton of different hats. I am very much a generalist. I have an associates degree in radio broadcasting, but other than that, plenty of on-the-job and learn-on-my-own training and a few extension courses.

I don't want to rely on freelance work, I do want to find another full time job - which I think will require a resume I can put on a single sheet of paper.... right?

But my skills and experience are so numerous, varied, overlapping and generalized that if I put all the details, names, dates, places and references on paper, my resume would be several pages long and very confusing and boring.

Any suggestions on how I should proceed? Thanks AskMe.

(I'm thinking of using an about.me page as an online "calling card" to make initial contact - good plan, or...?)
posted by thrasher to Work & Money (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
which I think will require a resume I can put on a single sheet of paper.... right?

No, you're a seasoned professional, not a recent college grad, Two pages is fine; I've done 2.5 as well. You should also explore other resume formats besides the chronological one, so you have different CVs tailored to different jobs to which you are applying.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


The one-page rule doesn't really apply anymore in most industries. With a twenty year career, you can definitely get away with 2-3 pages. Obviously, the most important information should still go on the first page.
posted by charmcityblues at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, you don't have to limit yourself to one page, as others have said.

You may want to have a number of resumes, highlighting specific industries and skill set for specific jobs. I did this. I had a secretarial resume, a Salesforce.com Admin resume, a Sales Operations Resume, a Sales Professional Resume.

I tailored each resume for each posting I was responding to. I used the descriptions and exact language when describing skills and experience.

Get on LinkedIn and fill out your Profile, include a recent, attractive photo of yourself. I went to a headshot place at the mall and had one done. It's professional and makes me look pretty foxy.

I do resumes for other people and here's a look that works for most:

A one-line description of who you are professionally, i.e.:

Sales and marketing professional with 20 years of experience in high technology companies

Administrative professional with 20 years of experience working with senior level officers

Salesforce.com Administrator with 5 years of experience implementing and managing
Enterprise level systems with 1,000 users or more.


Qualifications:
• Excellent problem solving and analytical skills
• Skilled in the use of Microsoft Office suite of products including Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint.
• Strategic Planning
• Managing a 6 member work-group
• Fluent in Urdu

Then do your professional experience, education and awards.

Finding a new job is a full-time job. Don't shotgun your resume out to all and sundry. Target specific places. Apply for specific openings.

LinkedIn Jobs and Simply Hired are two awesome sources for openings.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you're not on LinkedIn, join and start building your network. It's super helpful when you're looking because when you see a job at Company X you can see if you have any 1st or 2nd degree connections there.

I am job searching and actually recently hired a resume coach, Jason from Resume to Interviews, to rework my resume to better represent my skills and accomplishments. I wish I had done it earlier! It's not fluffing up or embellishing - he asks a lot of questions to get as much information as possible and then helps you word things the best way. It's actually a lot of work! I don't have a final draft yet but I'm really liking what I'm seeing. He might be a really good resource for you to help you present yourself in the best possible manner. It's also very affordable IMHO.

I agree with Ruthless Bunny's recommendation to have multiple versions of your resume for different positions. Also your cover letter is going to be important (which you can hire RTI for as well).

Oh also I have gotten soooo much good information from Ask a Manager (which I think I found through AskMe).
posted by radioamy at 9:44 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


This depends on the average length of your time at jobs and paid projects. You should make three resumes that outline like-for-like projects in progressively different ways. This will require you to keep track of applications with absolute precision and (hopefully) make it easier for you to come to the ideal job faster. It will also allow you to present a negotiation if you can think of a project to present to management in case a lay-off does take place.
posted by parmanparman at 10:11 AM on November 15, 2012


Oh yeah definitely put your photo on LinkedIn. It weirded me out at first but now I get annoyed when people don't have their photos! I didn't get a professional headshot, but I had a nice picture of me from a friend's wedding that I cropped to just my face. Basically anything that isn't you doing kegstands is probably fine.
posted by radioamy at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2012


The key thing in this time of electronic submissions--tailor your resume/online application to include the exact words and phrases from the job description. This is because often the first sort is done through some kind of HR application or by a very low-level HR person/admin. So, if, as I've suggested before, they are looking for a "Party Planner" and you normally describe yourself as an "Event Coordinator" then change your description or you may not even make the first cut. Throw in as many of these matching key words as are applicable to your experience. If you can tweak your job title to match (without it being a lie) that is even better.
posted by agatha_magatha at 11:00 AM on November 15, 2012


Oh yeah definitely put your photo on LinkedIn. It weirded me out at first but now I get annoyed when people don't have their photos! I didn't get a professional headshot, but I had a nice picture of me from a friend's wedding that I cropped to just my face. Basically anything that isn't you doing kegstands is probably fine.

This is bad advice. You are not going to find a new job by networking among the fellow unemployed on LinkedIn. Photos are for people who are doing networking for the sake of the social network. Do not let employers judge you by yours looks.
posted by parmanparman at 11:35 AM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


parmanparman - most of the people I'm linked to on LinkedIn are employed...it's a good way to keep track of who works where and who knows who. It's not the end-all-be-all of job searching and networking, but it's certainly a good tool.

agatha_magatha brings up a good point - I don't know how long it's been since you searched for a job, but the majority of everything is electronic now. It's unfortunate, but you do have to format your resume hits the necessary keywords that they're looking for. Then again, if you can get your resume in front of a hiring manager directly, that's even better.
posted by radioamy at 11:44 AM on November 15, 2012


I got my current job 2.5 years ago when someone who I've worked with for many years (both at 9-to-5 and freelance gigs) works there and sang my praises very loudly until I was hired. Before that, I worked at various freelance and contract gigs for about 5 years, so I haven't had to look for a job in about 7.5 years. The landscape has definitely changed.
posted by thrasher at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2012


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