Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mom With Dated Experience

I have been a full-time mother for the past nine years and wasn't even thinking much about going back to work but I just heard about a job (Arts Program Administrator at a museum) that sounds perfect for me. I am dusting off my resume and I have a question:

I have three types of experiences that I have grouped together as "Creative Experience," "Arts Administration Experience," and "Board and Committee Experience." All are relevant, but probably the Arts Administration most so. The most recent grouping is unpaid, volunteer, charity board, community service. It is definitely relevant as it is fund-raising and arts-oriented. The creative experience is about 10 years old, but still relevant as it is art direction and design. The most relevant and most distant in time are several jobs in arts administration, which go back about 18 years.

How should I order these? Most relevant first regardless of chronology, which would put my most current experience last? Or in reverse chronology (which would put the most recent but most relevant last)?
-- Jessica

by Garla Smith, Smart Moms®, LLC, and

Dear Jessica,
Because of the gap in your history and the fact that you are going back into a field where your relevant experience is dated but still very relevant, the functional resume might be the best bet. The functional resume highlights two or three skills in which the job seeker is very strong. Here's the twist: you could insert subtitles under each skill heading, which tie the skill to the organizations where the experience was gained. Under each organization subheading, you could have two or three result statements to show that you have experience relevant for the job. Perhaps these statements could speak to your creative and art administration skills.

Your main question was about the order in which you should list your experience. In the body of your functional resume, prioritize your skill headings according to how relevant they are to your job objective. Within each skill heading, prioritize your organization subheadings so the most relevant is first, regardless of chronology.

Notice, this resume has the feel of a chronological resume but does not highlight dates until the end of the resume in the Work History, where you provide a timeline of what you have been doing. It is meant to be brief but should have no gaps. For spans of time when you were not employed, list Stay At Home Parent/Title. (By “Title” I mean a descriptor for what you were doing in addition to being at home.) List dates in terms of years (for example, 2000 - 2007), starting with your most current date.

Many thanks to Susan for pointing out this unique functional style resume. I believe it will serve moms very well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, That is very helpful! - Jessica