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Friday, June 14, 2013

The resume

I have a resume, I have several actually. It's become a new "best" friend in my life these days. Okay, I'm being modest...more like a year and a half to be exact. I have a resume that highlights all my careers, ESL teaching, journalism, and social work. I title it "social work" but it's mostly casework since I haven't been trained as a social worker, yet. For a long time, my resume only comprised of teaching. I barely had volunteer experience. Now, I have too much to include on the resume. My education alone takes half the page! That would explain why on interviews I'm asked, "You must really love school don't you?" I probably could work on my skills. I feel I need more computer skills. I'm still not savvy in Excel.

My volunteer work has increased so I try to highlight the most recent and relevant experience. Typed, formatted, and three versions later, I have a resume. I like it. On LinkedIn, I have all three versions condensed into one. How impressed I am at myself. I didn't realize how much I have done. I smile at the thought. After patting myself on the back, I'm ready to send this lovely, well-experienced resume out to employers. How exciting to know they will see what I have done. How exciting they will see my passion in all three careers. How exciting to know they will be impressed by the amount of volunteer work I still do.

The resume is sent. No response. Not so exciting anymore.

The reality is I'm not the only one with an impressive resume. I'm not the only one who's passionate. I'm not the only volunteer out there. My resume gets mixed up with hundreds, thousands, probably millions of other impressive-passionate-well-experienced resumes. Sigh. My first thought is, how can I make mines stand out amongst the rest? I've tried fancy templates, but the information is the same. I can't lie, doesn't make sense to anyway. I've had it proofread and revised and the information will remain the same. I don't want to change that. I was a teacher. I worked in non-profit. I am a freelance writer/journalist. I am a volunteer.

Don't get me wrong. I've had some callbacks. I have been on some interviews. I just haven't landed a job yet. Having a resume is still a great tool to showcase work, volunteer experience, skills, and education. I believe it's helpful to employers in getting to know something about you. The interview is a favorite of mine since I have an opportunity to share my personality along with my qualifications.

So for now, I will keep the resumes handy. It may be the pathway to a great opportunity in the near future. I am hopeful.

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