Now, I have done resumes for my husband for the past 14 years. I have become an expert at presenting his work history, education, and skill set in such a way that he has continually improved in position and salary with every new job. I have done numerous resumes for friends and family members -- utilizing my Marketing background to spin every aspect of their professional lives into a positive image to help them further their careers or simply get their first jobs. But this was different. This was ME. I have discovered that my awesome resume writing skills are a lot like clarvoyance -- the don't work on me and my life.
Years ago, before kids, I worked for Toshiba in outside sales. I did very well. I was good at reading people, determining what they needed, what they could and would spend, and providing those things in a professional and courteous manner. After kids, I decided to stay out of corporate America (partly because I wanted to stay home, and partly because I was much more willing to deal with immaturity from my kids than I was from a lot of the executive types that I had worked with). But I did work part time as a professional photographer. I even ventured out on my own as a freelancer who did parties, weddings, some real estate, and even a little product photography to be used in print marketing. But in the past 5 or 6 years, I haven't done anything professionally -- I have 4 kids, and became a "professional" Blogger and Facebook addict (neither of which produce income).
So as I sat down to make my first resume in 12 years, I was drawing a blank. I didn't know what to include in my resume from my previous job history. While working on other people's resume, I had been able to turn any job into relevent experience no matter how much it differed from the job that they were applying for, but as I thought back on my long job history (I started working and paying taxes when I was 13), the work seemed disconnected from what I was applying for. Also, I wanted to make this resume easily convertable to apply for other positions in case this one didn't work out.
The flashing cursor beneath my name and contact information was mocking me.
I tried to recall what I was like then -- in my high heels and power suit, briefcase in hand, meeting with CEOs and convincing them to buy what I was selling. I don't remember. I hate heels now. I sometimes wear them to church, but to be fair, I take them off at church. As I have stated before, my wardrobe now is a lot like Garanamals -- pick a pair of yoga pants and a random t-shirt, and everything matches. I hadn't had a "meeting" in more than a decade unless you count a playdate at the park. How was I supposed to translate 10 years of refereeing, butt and nose wiping, grocery shopping, and laundry into marketable skills?
I knew that I could do this. I am smart. I am educated. I possess valuable skills that many employers could utilize. But yet that stupid cursor was flashing "LOSER" at me. So as an exercise, I approached the resume like I would approach a blogpost. Make it honest. Make it readable. Make it relatable. I immediately had ideas of what to include, and decided on a skill based resume using only my job as mom. It got me past that flashing cursor that was taunting me, and although this is NOT what I will be sending to prospective employers, I would love to send it out and see if I got any offers.
Ginger Caballero123 Awesome AvenueBlissful, Delusion 98765(432)555-9182OBJECTIVETo secure a position that will grant me temporary reprieve from the mundane insanity of motherhood to four young kids while not compromising my Facebook or Blog time. Seeking a position that can provide the illusion of being a responsible adult, with a salary that will keep me in coffee and yoga pants until I die.
Stay at Home Wife and Mom to Young Children, October 1998 -- Present
Number of direct reports: 4
Indirect reports: 1
Voluntary, non-salaried position. Resposibilities include but are not limited to teacher, student, detective, nutritionist, cook, maid, chauffer, accountant, negotiator, social secretary, personal hygiene assistant, seamstress, diplomat, warden, advocate, therapist, spiritual advisor, nurse, enforcer, manager, personal shopper, mediator, personal assistant, multi-medium artist (crayon, play-dough, sidewalk chalk, etc.), repair person, Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and miracle worker. Solely responsible for end product, which is still currently in development.
SKILLS ACQUIRED THROUGH THIS POSITION
-- Ability to manage a group of vastly diverse individuals while leading them all to believe that they are actually in charge.
-- Ability to multi-task without losing track of direct reports and their actions (ie; the ability to talk on the phone, while typing a blogpost, while doing laundry, while watching TV, while supervising the completion of homework, while updating my status on Facebook, etc.)
-- Ability to utilize every bit of creativity to produce something out of nothing (ie; the ability to aid in the completion of a book report/science project/diarama 25 minutes before bedtime the day before it is due without venturing out to the store, or to create a complete dinner to feed 6 people 2 days before payday out of 2 eggs, four packs of Ramen, and half a bag of frozen brocolli, etc.)
-- Ability to spin catastophic events into a positive while admitting nothing that would reflect poorly on management (ie; convincing the oldest girl that her favorite outfit that was ruined in the wash is an opportunity to shop for something new that she'll love even more while not mentioning that the reason it was ruined was that there was no attempt to read the label on how it should have been laundered.)
-- Ability to fairly and equally distribute resources on a daily basis (ie; Must be able to dole out the mac and cheese without hearing "He got more than me!" and be able to properly manage time each direct report has had in the 'good' chair, with the TV remote, on the computer, etc.)
-- Ability to think outside the box (while simutaniously not throwing the box away because it could be used for a diarama in the 11th hour.)
-- Ability to ignore distraction to accomplish the task at hand (ie; four young children chanting "Mom? Mamma? Mommy? Mom?" ad naseum as I am trying to write this resume.)
-- Ability to think on my feet (ie; I must always have an answer to "But why?" no matter how many times it is asked, or to provide a viable reason why child is unavailable for a social engagement with a kid they do not like, etc.)
--Ability to accomplish all of the above on 5 hours of sleep or less.
BA in English and Marketing from the University of Alabama, 1996
Masters Degree in Common Sense and Ingenuity from the School of Life, ongoing study
If you are a mom who is trying to return to the workforce, I hope that this reminds you how amazing you are for what you do. That's what it did for me. I finished my REAL resume after I finished this one. If the employer is smart, she'll forgo any interviews and throw away all of the other applicants resumes and just hire me. I have more skills than a recent college graduate -- skills that can only be obtained through years of being a mom. I am awesome. (As are most mothers).