résumé rx

Résumé Rx

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Alan S. Orloff has worked as a marketer, publisher, engineer and stay-at-home parent. Now he wants a job in the nonprofit sector.

"Wanting to make a difference is not usually enough to get a job," said Cathy Wasserman, a career coach who focuses on the nonprofit sector. Instead, be clear about the field in which you wish to work and the role you want.

"Without that clarity, it's going to be very difficult for you to write a résumé that really stands out. With that clarity, you can amend your résumé and make it much more specific, which will reduce the obstacles created by sector switching . . . your age, and being out of the professional workforce for some years."

But a well-written résumé isn't enough. "You need to show potential employers that you are serious by volunteering, getting on a board of related interest, or even doing some consulting work that is connected." That way, you can build skills while exploring interests.

"You might want to do a cross between a chronological and functional résumé to highlight your major buckets of skills. For example, rather than having an Experience section, you might have a Marketing Experience and a Writing and Editing section," she suggested.

"Optimally, each entry starts with a one or two sentence summary of what you have been doing in the particular position." Put two to five bullet items under each. "You are really missing an opportunity to capture what I imagine are some really rich experiences and skills that you have been building. . . . You are trying to create a brief, but vivid, image of the impacts and differences that you have made."

-- Maryann Haggerty

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