Help me put these things I did into resume language
February 12, 2013 8:54 AM   Subscribe

Pimp My Resume: Mommy Edition. How can/should I describe these volunteer things I've done at my kid's schools on my resume?

My kid's getting older and I'm trying to ramp up my freelance work, so I'm getting my resume all snazzied up. And I'm having trouble coming up with the proper way to spin these two things I've done as a parent volunteer:

-- At School A, I founded their first-ever e-newsletter. Used the Constant Contact system. Wrote the damned thing every week, collecting info from all concerned parties, like administration, PTA and teachers. Devised a system to collect the email addresses of school staff and parents. Helped the administration see what a great thing this newfangled form of communication is. Distributed it to an audience of about 500+. Basically made it all happen singlehandedly. (This all happened over one year; three years later it's still going strong without me.)

-- At School B, I took their moribund Facebook page and made it into a very effective part of the school's communication plan. The first part was a solid year of lobbying the administration, convincing them that FB wasn't something to be feared, which took a patient, slow-and-steady approach, getting buy-ins from people at various levels. Went from just a couple hundred friends to over 1000. Devised a content strategy to ensure that important info is communicated but that nothing ever makes the school/admin look bad or compromises student privacy. I am the sole administrator/moderater of the page, responding to all comments and messages. I post every day, have gotten creative with it, figured out which posts people engage with, etc. I hear every week from some random person or another how helpful the page is in terms of knowing what's going on at school and feeling connected as a community.

If it matters, the rest of the (actual, paid) work I've done in the last 10 years since my kid was born has all been in the category of wordsmithing -- copy editing, writing marketing copy, stuff like that.
posted by BlahLaLa to Work & Money (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Is it relevant volunteer experience?

Build it into progressive points under each dated section and place the entire thing under "Volunteer Experience".
posted by parmanparman at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2013

Constant Contact goes under software used. And put "email marketing campaigns" under your Skills.

Facebook stuff goes under Social Media. Also, Facebook Group Administration.
posted by xingcat at 9:01 AM on February 12, 2013

Inside a Volunteer Experience section, rephrase the above descriptions into resume speak, and give yourself nice titles: I would say that at School A, you were the E-newsletter Coordinator, and at School B, you are the Social Media Marketing Coordinator.

If you'll be needing to use references from the admin at either school, make sure you check your title with them first.
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:04 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Those are pretty significant projects that reveal initiative and professional-level skills as well as the interpersonal talent and change skills it took to get people to collaborate on a new system.

There's a big difference between these projects and "showed up once a week to read a story." These belong on your resume. I would not shunt these under software or some other hideaway spot. You could actually list these as positions as this page suggests, calling them something like "Newsletter Editor" or "Communications Specialist" (google for appropriate terms.

Don't stuff them under a bushel! These are great projects that demonstrate marketable skills and a go-getter character. It's important to make it clear that you initiated these projects, you didn't just take over a predefined role.

Also Google volunteer+work+resume to see what other recommendations and examples look like. This is a problem many others have solved and perhaps the various answers will help you identify what will work well for you. Good luck!
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You may have volunteered for these positions but you certainly could have been paid for the work you did. I agree with everything Miko says, and would list these as regular positions on your resume (you can put "volunteer" in the descriptions somewhere, if you feel it's necessary).
posted by chowflap at 9:17 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: I'd probably break out your experience into two categories, something like Writing/Editing and Social Media/Community Organization. I'd put all the paid wordsmith stuff under the first heading (arranged chronologically of course) and then the two you describe here under the second. I'd put "volunteer" in parentheses after the titles of each of the volunteer roles. There are some good suggestions above about how to title them. Then, bullet points under each title listing out the tasks.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:50 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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