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Transfer Your Skills: Turning Your CV Into a Resume

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on March 26, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionMany academics work on building a CV, not a resume. However, you’ll need a resume for the hamster world, and CVs and resumes are two different animals.

For starters, the resume is much shorter. You can list your experience in reverse chronological order, but if you have a long work history or you are a career-changer, then you may wish to list your experience into several groups:

Relevant Experience: Here you list the jobs you performed that are similar to the job to which you are applying. For example, if you are applying to work as a copy editor, you may want to list the fact that you worked on your department’s grad student newsletter or you had a side gig as an editor.

Other Work Experience: Even if some of your jobs weren’t relevant, you still need to list them to convince a potential employer that you are not prone to sitting on the sofa eating bonbons and watching paternity test results on Maury Povitch. Even if you are prone to Povitch’s paternity test shows, you don’t want your employer to know.

Freelance Experience: You may or may not want to list this separately. If you’re applying for a writing gig, and you’ve written as a freelancer, then you should list this section under relevant experience. But if you did freelance work to build up other skill sets that are important but not directly relevant to the job, then list it in this section.

An Important Note: Resumes are much shorter than CVs. You may have heard that all resumes must be under one page. This is not true. My resume is just under a page and a half, and no one has ever told me I didn’t get a job because my resume was too long. I usually didn’t get the job because my skills and experience didn’t match their needs.

A resume’s goal is to let future employers know what you can do for them in as short a space as possible. If you have a long work history that will benefit the employer, then don’t leave anything out just because of some obscure rule you may have heard in a high-school typing class. That said, you don’t want to go on and on, either.

Any more questions about resumes? I’m happy to answer. Also, if you’re not sure how to word certain aspects of your resume, join LinkedIn, and read what your contacts have posted.

Image of “human computers” in the NACA High Speed Flight Station “Computer Room”, Dryden Flight Research Center Facilities, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

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