Post Academic

The Post Academic Resume Series: Work Experience, Part 1

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Welcome to the Post Academic Resume Series. We’ve covered the Resume Objective, and over the next two posts, we’ll help you with your Work Experience.

If you thought dealing with your resume objective was tough, wait until you start your work experience. This will be painful, as Arnold and I have mentioned, because you can’t talk about your publishing in depth. Here’s how to capture your teaching skills in a way that hiring managers will understand:

Get inside the head of the hiring manager. Your publications are great, but hiring managers don’t care about you. They care only about what you can do for them, so you must prove that you have skills they need.

Boil your work history into bullet points that start with action verbs. For example, here’s a glimpse of what a copywriter might say about her current job:
Copywriter/Senior Copywriter, Cookie of the Month Club, 2008-present
–Write marketing material for brochures and mailings to clients
–Write Web site content that has been optimized for search engines
–Increased response to direct mail by 5 percent
–Promoted to Senior Copywriter in 2009

More after the jump! Image from the United States Navy Department, public domain on Wikimedia Commons.

Whenever possible, throw in a number. Did you teach three classes of 25 students a semester? Did you draw up lesson plans for 7 different courses? That’s impressive. It shows you aren’t afraid of presenting to large groups, and you’re an expert at planning. Did you help plan a conference? Did you manage a budget for that conference? If so, how much money was it? Bosses like to hear that you’ve been in charge of events and money because it suggests you aren’t afraid of responsibility.

Prepare one long resume and several short ones. For your first resume draft, list as many bullets under each job as you like. This is your “base resume.” Then, when you apply for a job, choose the bullet points under each job that best match the job you want, and dump any irrelevant bullet points. For example, if you’re applying to be a copywriter, list only the bullets that focus on your writing and creative experience. In the end, you should wind up with at least three bullets and at most five bullets under each job.

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