Kemba Saibou has worked in Africa for a nonprofit international development agency and for the Peace Corps. Now that she's back in the United States, she wants to use her planning and community development skills.
Saibou's logical career progression domestically and internationally makes her a good fit for a chronological resume, which she uses. But she needs to add "structure and texture," said Robert Michon, manager of the career center for returned Peace Corps volunteers in Rosslyn.
The challenge? "How to call forth the reality of her overseas experience and make it obvious and marketable to the hiring agent."
Her summary of qualifications should start with a one-sentence narrative, followed by a bulleted list, he advised. "I might jazz it up a bit to begin adding some excitement . . . and to reflect contemporary industry- or sector-speak, something along the lines of 'Bilingual French speaker with successful history in community infrastructure development and program implementation and administration.' "
Below that comes the list of "job-critical" qualifications. Don't forget the "soft" interpersonal skills that community development requires, Michon said. Then list jobs chronologically. Michon prefers a format similar to that in the summary -- a narrative sentence, followed by bulleted items that describe responsibilities and accomplishments.
Add texture by focusing on those accomplishments. "Accomplishments provide the peek into what kind of person is behind the resume. Passionate? Driven? Aware? Creative and resourceful? . . . If so, it might be the difference between getting an interview or not."
-- Maryann Haggerty
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