Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Marketing myself to New Dream: the hybrid transitional résumé

In a burst of activity this past weekend, I finished updating my résumé and emailed it to New Dream. I decided to restructure it to appeal more strongly to the non-profit sector and New Dream in particular. So, in addition to updating the technical/professional work experience section, I also added a section describing my activism and volunteer experience. I'm calling it a hybrid transitional résumé because its purpose is to help me change career tracks, and because it combines elements of formal work experience with relevant non-professional experience in the new field.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I need my résumé to play up my strengths enough to overcome my shortcomings (a lack of professional non-profit experience and a skill gap for serious website development). Consequently, here are some thing I tried to highlight in the résumé:
  • Activism/volunteer work:
    • On behalf of New Dream (this has its own section)
    • For other organizations, especially ones working on similar issues
    • Projects/actions that I have started on my own (to demonstrate creativity and ability to take the initiative)
  • Websites I have created or contributed to: Resources for Sustainable Weddings, World Centric, and my Alternative Wish List. (Oops, I noticed that I accidentally left the last one out of my résumé.) I think these will be a real asset on my résumé because the second website is related to New Dream's mission, while the first and third are directly relevant to the Alternative Gift Registry they will be developing this year (hopefully, with my help).
  • I would like the technical part of the résumé to convey a sense of intelligence, competence, commitment, dependability, experience with large/complex/challenging projects, and an ability to learn on the job.
Here is what my updated résumé looks like. I welcome any constructive comments on it.

I have a follow-up call with New Dream's IT guy on Thursday. I have to walk a fine: while I want to present myself as being really eager for this job, and I definitely would take a full-time job with this organization after my year off, I don't want to have my year off completely cut short. My personal projects are important to me and I don't want to be forced to jump back into the full-time workforce prematurely. I think in the near term I am open to a paid contract job of fixed scope. As a last-resort fallback position, I may be willing to work on their web projects on a temporary volunteer basis, if that would sufficient limit my time commitment, or if they really don't think I have the skill set for a paid gig but would let me acquire it as a volunteer. I need to figure out how to get my foot in the door without shooting my year off in the foot, and then negotiate the terms accordingly.

Steps to prepare for the call:
  • Review the Alternative Gift Registry proposal that M. emailed me
  • Look at New Dream's website and try to figure out what software/tools they are using
Questions to ask during the call:
  • What web technologies do you use for the website?
  • What kind of web development projects do you do in-house? What kind of projects do you contract out?
  • Do you ever utilize volunteers for website development?
  • What is the timeline for the Alternative Gift Registry and Conscious Consumer projects?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi the Mander,
I was reading this article about career changes and had this excerpt:
Ham calls these types of successes the "silver lining phenomenon." "In general our academic training doesn't include identifying a career we're well-suited for," she says. "In the absence of a designated process, chance or coincidence or an inspiring role model can often speak to our emotional side and lead us to a career that turns out to be rewarding in ways we couldn't have predicted."

Is there a roadmap that people can follow that will lead them to a job they're passionate about? "Yes!" Ham says, offering the following guidelines:

1. Commit to a career search that isn't necessarily linear, driven by "finding a job."

2. Be open to self discovery during the search and look for work that draws you into the person you're capable of being.

3. Aim for creating "fulfilling" work over "passionate" work -- you'll be more satisfied in your golden years.

"You have to take a leap of faith and really believe, because there are no guarantees," Panter says. "But I just knew that I had to do this."

Definitely what you are doing!

Find what fulfills you and that makes for a successful career that balances life and work!
Good Luck!