I have always prided myself on the fact that I have a good resume. I wrote my first resume in High School, and it was simply awful by my standards today. I made that one from a template in the Career and Life Skills class that was required. In college I updated this same template for a few years. And then I started looking for internships. I went to a Resume Talk that my dorm was hosting and saw what my resume could be. I spent several weeks going to the Career Building (I can’t remember what it is really called, but is in the house across from the Health Center at IU) which I recommend to anyone who is getting ready to graduate or start the intern process. They helped me re-format and learn to write in an active voice. I have sections. I have a good resume.
As I have worked for the last few years, I have had to update my resume, probably more than most do to the fluidity of my chosen profession. I’ve added jobs, deleted substitute teaching, moved Education to the bottom under experience, and deleted “Software” cause really you should be able to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. What I didn’t realize I was doing, well I knew I was doing it but didn’t realize it could hurt me, was tailoring my resume to my chosen field. This is great when I am looking for jobs in Research and Production. I took out the administrative jobs, and put emphasis on the production management and research analysit skills.
This morning I spoke with a Recruiter that a friend had recommended. I need a job, and I am open to anything. As we were talking I mentioned my experience as an Executive Assistant. She asked where, and I told her at Stretch Films, and listed some of those duties. She then pointed out that none of that was on the resume. WHAT! Oops! I had totally forgotten that except for the title which is on there as “Executive Assistant / Production” There is virtually no mention of my many administrative skills. Which includes typing, proofreading, booking travel, and a surprising (to me when I really thought about it) amount of data management.
I made a fatal mistake. I didn’t write to the audience. Especially in the current economic atmosphere, there are plenty of qualified candidates who have worked in admin jobs in a business field that is not television. So I spent the morning revamping my resume’s job duties to include the administrative skills. I also re-vamped the language, because while someone in television looking at my resume knows what post-production coordinator or storyboard editing means, someone in the traditional business world probably does not. Or at least don’t see how that skill translates. I feel good about this – except for one more small point.
I have had A LOT of jobs. And they often only last a few months. While in television this is normal, and a wide amount of work is a good thing. To a business (and the mortgage company) it looks like you are flighty and can’t keep a job. So I also re-organized with long-term jobs on top, followed by a list of “Freelance Experience.” It’s the best I can do.
I now have three resumes for 2009. One that I sent to the recruiter, who so kindly asked me to re-submit with changes and she will pass along my resume to the correct department. One that I re-vamped for Production Coordinator and Admin jobs, I realized that including some of the administrative skills is actually a plus, and some of the language is a little more professional. And then I have my original 2009 resume that I will continue to submit to animation production and research jobs.
I’m hoping this resume overhaul does good things. Now on to the dreaded cover letter…