Manager, rebrand thyself.
August 17, 2014 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I've been unemployed for about six months now and I'm looking to get back into the workforce with any position that pays a wage that I and my wife can afford to live from.

My area of expertise is call center technical management, (when you talk to one of those specialty tech support groups that inevitably are the ones who figure out whatever the absurdly weird problem actually was, I was one of the people providing them coaching and the like.)

Last year, there were dozens of jobs in my area that fit this description, now there are virtually none, so I've mostly given up on continuing that career path, and management in general, as I'm just not getting callbacks on the resumes I'm sending out.

Since this same resume scored me dozens of interviews last year, I don't believe that the document itself is the problem - but I could be wrong. I have kept it updated to include any new skills I've developed, so it's current and accurate.

At this point, I just am looking for some advice on how to rebrand myself as someone who can do office/ clerical work for a fair wage. Aside from management, where the bulk of my skills and training have focused for the last twenty years, I can do all the typical things needed to keep an office running;

80+ word per minute typing, excel, powerpoint, word, VOiP phone systems, creating and generating reports, research, training, hiring and firing, technical writing, speaking with customers in any capacity, project management, etc.

My fear is that my resume is now scaring off average jobs, because they might see me as too qualified, but I'm at a point where I'll take nearly anything that pays enough to cover my mortgage and some medical bills. It's becoming increasingly desperate that this happen sooner rather than later.

So how should I market myself? Get rid of all the management stuff on my resume and just focus on the clerical skills? Pick a specific set of the clerical skills and try to shoot for an office assistant type of position? Is the management stuff even really a problem in making me look overqualified, or does that not really factor in anymore?

I am also more than willing to consider a complete job shift into something entirely new, but I believe that might be a harder sell considering how specific my abilities have become over the last few decades.

I'm considering going to a hiring coach to help me focus on what is really needed in the market right now (in S.E. Wisconsin) and aim my resume at that, but I thought here would be a better place to start.
posted by quin to Work & Money (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I read this and I need to state that I managed quin for a brief period of time in the 90s before I moved to the other side of the country. I think this individual is a remarkable talent, and I wish I had better advice. This is not a situation where the poster's resume needs a mild massaging or there is some sort of gap in knowledge or motivation, as quin is competent, knowledgeable and motivated and is trying to find a job to use those qualities.
posted by eschatfische at 1:23 PM on August 17, 2014 [8 favorites]

Check your Mefi mail.
posted by Slinga at 1:46 PM on August 17, 2014

Have you tried getting in at American Family Insurance in Madison? For instance, Customer Command Center Manager (tho' that listing is 3 weeks old, I would assume for a job like that they'd want to interview several people).

Another thing might be some place like MarketSource -- but only if you can get in as a manager, as their p-t jobs don't give you enough hours. Basically, handling the branding for companies like Samsung at the retail level. Involves traveling to retail locations and making sure employees are trained on how to sell the products, the displays are set up and working properly. If you are a manager, overseeing those who do that and dealing with store managers. It may not be a longterm gig that you'd want to do forever, but they are usually hiring.

Regarding the resume, my husband, who has an MBA, does dumb it down for certain jobs, yes.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:52 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think you should look at technical sales, professional services, business analysis, MIS, voip implementation, project management (maybe do PMP, if you can?), training or technical writing and documentation. When I think of you positioning for clerical work, I cringe and feel strongly that you are selling yourself short.

I also think you need more than one resume. Create one that you can shop around to a temp agency or to lower paid positions. Use this as your bread and butter while you look for something else.

I'm not sure of your background, but if you have a degree, you might look around to teach in a continuing studies program or something similar. It might not pay much, but it could be in the evening and give you some (extra) credibility while you look for something else.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 5:32 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Look into the major market research firms in the region (e.g. Chicago) and inquire about their telephone survey call center management needs. It may be similar enough that you can leverage some of your experience.

This is in addition to everything else you try.
posted by lathrop at 5:59 PM on August 17, 2014

I also think clerical work is selling your abilities very short.

But if you decide to go that direction...have you taken the Civil Service exam in Wisconsin? You are the type of individual who should score ridiculously well and I doubt the hiring managers will have a problem with you being overqualified. The money isn't outstanding, but it might lead to other opportunities down the line.
posted by mjcon at 4:03 PM on August 18, 2014

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