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Resume: the document that has all but metonymically come to stand for the job search itself.
There’s more good/important/serious stuff about resumes online than you can shake a stick at. There are people who make resumes their profession. (Though if that’s the career you’re after, you might be on the wrong blog). But these are all great reasons to keep this as short as we can, and base it on the practicals of what has worked for us and people we trust. I promise: this topic makes everyone nervous–even those of us who currently have jobs.
So we made an infographic to demonstrate our spunky, techno-savvy youthfulness. (That’s the thing up top, fyi)
The less “official” publishing experience you have, the more creative you have to be with what you write down. It’s your job to find your book-biz relevant skills and experience where others might not see it, because no one’s going to go digging for it, kid. (This is as much true if you’re trying to reshape your career after a few years, like one of our readers).
Less-expected places in your history to mine for publishing skills: volunteering, college courses, community or college clubs/organizations, non-book related jobs, personal blog, website, writing experience, other personal projects.
Look for specific instances of:
- Web design, re-design, maintaining content of a blog or website, coming up with new ideas for new content or purpose of website. The blog or website needn’t be book-related.
- Organizing publicity for an event or person: mailings? e or print? posters? Getting in touch with businesses or media to run promotions?
- Organizing events: dealing with vendors and volunteers, managing schedules, monitoring a budget, invitations. (If available, numbers of those you hosted/oversaw can help distinguish your resume from the hundreds piling in someone’s inbox)
- Participation in a collaborative, long-term writing project. A professor’s research assistant, a literary magazine, a local newspaper? Did you: copy-edit? Compare various drafts? Check printing quality? Interact with a printer or bindery? With designers?
- Get the idea?
Most HR professionals say that relevant experience on the resume should be chronological with no gaps in between, but it’s up to you to chose what the bullet points are. You only get 3 or 4 per “experience,” so make sure they’re things most likely to count with a publisher.
Be aware that it’s wise to tweak the resume for different job applications. You’re applying to be a publicity assistant? It might be worthwhile to replace your design-emphasizing bullet points with those that highlight your phone and deadline-meeting experience in the exact same job. Your resume should be as attuned to a hirer’s criteria as is your cover letter.
Oh, yeah. The cover letter.
We’re getting to that tomorrow: the pesky part of a job application that demands full sentences. Never fear! More at-a-glance guides coming up. Meanwhile, stay safe with those bullet points.
Tell us your questions and tips!
- What’s the best thing anyone ever told you to do with your resume?
- What common advice do you think is overrated?
- Is an entry-level resume a horse of a different color–from all other levels of resume writing, that is?