Monday, April 27, 2009
This past week I was browsing the office supply aisle at the store, and took notice of all the different “resume grade” paper options for sale. For a premium price, you could buy fine linen or parchment or watermarked sheets, each promising to make a good first impression with the resume recipient.
And for some reason the sight of all these papers lined up in a row got me thinking about modern resumes, especially during a recession. And I wondered “what type of resume would a Recessionista have?”
Does Career = Job?
A comment made by a friend later in the week provided a key clue. She mentioned that she didn’t think a person’s career should be defined solely by their job(s). In her opinion, a “career” included activities done both in and outside of traditional employment. I was intrigued by this broader definition of work and considered what a Recessionista resume would look like if it followed this philosophy.
Ideas for a Recessionista Resume
And though I haven’t settled on exact formula (as if there is one), the following are some ideas I think a Recessionista could include on her resume:
* details of her “extra curricular” activities. These activities, be they social clubs, hobbies or volunteer engagements, say a lot about a person. Granted, an employer is not looking for the same type of “well rounded person” that, say, a college admissions board is looking for, but when these activities can be tied to job skills, they can really make a resume shine.
* highlights of entrepreneurialism. Employers are not too keen on hiring someone who already has their own business, but they do love to hear about your sales and marketing skills. Recessionistas can play up their creative entrepreneurialism in ways that won’t scare away an employer by emphasizing these skills as part of an ongoing and informal entrepreneurial lifestyle.
* quantified accounts of resourcefulness. Although an employer isn’t likely to be impressed with “I managed my household budget for 10 years,” they might take a second look at “I cut 15% off of budget spending and invested the difference for a 10% return.” And yes, you will have to explain that these savings were done at home, but coupled with a description of how you approached your savings & investment strategy, you might make a great impression.
A Little Risky
Of course modifying a resume to include some of these non-traditional features is a little risky, and some risks might not be worth taking. So if you feel more comfortable with a traditional resume, stick with that. But if you are looking to broaden your definition of "career" to include a variety of skills and activities that fall outside of your job, a resume is a great place to start.
And in my opinion is beats the pants off of linen or parchment paper.
Do you have any resume tips you'd like to share? Or maybe your thoughts on "careers" verses "jobs." Post your thoughts below!
Previous Related Posts on Resumes and Work in a Recession:
Building a Resume that Rocks
My Recession Proof Plan for the Work from Home Life
My Stay at Home Resume Makeover
Smarty Pants: Is Staying Home Foolish in a Recession?