Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Building a Resume that Rocks

I've been plagued by a common misconception.  It is this: that when I quit my 9-5 job, my resume withered with it.  This misconception is founded on a standard view of resumes, which is that they are a brief synopsis of my jobs.  And "jobs" refers to those hours spent working for someone, punching a time clock, and getting a paycheck.  Any work outside of that criteria, as the logic says, is not really "work," and therefore not resume potential.

Given this rubric, my resume has perpetually stalled out at 28.  Bummer.

Of course, like with a lot of things this year, I've decided to think about resumes, and work in general, differently.  Starting with dumping the idea that a "job" has to be the clock-punching, regular paycheck variety described above.

So, that said, here are some things that I think should be added to the resumes of women, like myself, who are building careers outside of the 9-5:

*  Community involvement:  My preparations for emergencies and plans to be helpful to neighbors and community members aren't just flowery ambitions.  Considering that tax dollars are spent to provide these types of "safety net" provisions, I'd say I have the potential to positively contribute to the fiscal bottom line.  A potential that can be quantified and measured and reported in classic, resume style.

*  Resource management:  politicians and celebrities alike are keen on talking about how to be more environmentally friendly and waste less and consume more responsibly.  Well, how about adding some of those "resource-targeted" activities to my resume?  Like my support of handmade artisans and upcycling materials in my home and using meal planning to eat more wisely.  

*  Economic leadership:  apparently savvy economic-minded people are in high demand today (hello!  $700 billion bailout!).  I could add some of the home-economic skills I've employed over the past year as an example of economic leadership on a small scale (because obviously the Big Scale is getting rather overloaded!).

*  Entrepreneurial advances:  certainly resume-appropriate are the advances I've made in my business over this past year, demonstrating that creativity can be quantified, even if it deviates from the 9-5.

Given this perspective, I won't be intimidated by narrowly defined resume-worthiness ideals.  A great resume is one that is lived out for others to see.  Or, at least that's what I'm choosing to believe, anyway.

Check in on Friday as I experiment with this "resume reformation" by attempting to add the above to my own resume!  Don't miss it!

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