This is part three in the series about my recent job application and how I got a job I wasn’t “qualified” for. In this post I’ll talk about resume writing and how we all have more experience than we think.
For the job I recently got writing reviews of high-end men’s gear, they wanted an “experienced writer” and when I first read that, my lizard brain kicked in and told me that wasn’t me. I quickly discounted my own experiences as not good enough. But once I started looking for ways to make it work, my experience started to look a lot better.
Prove It – The Resume
Step one was totally rewriting my resume to be that of a writer. I didn’t add a few things about writing to my existing resume. I rewrote it completely, making it sound like all I ever did was write (not by lying, but by only talking about my writing experience. That’s all they care about anyway, why talk about anything else?)
I thought hard about past roles where writing was a key task (even if it wasn’t with “writer” as my title). I used heavy client writing as proof I could write quickly and under pressure. I pointed to ghost-written articles for clients, personal letters to the editor, and my blog as further proof that I was an experienced writer, even if I’ve never worked as one.
I’ve helped a lot of people with their resumes, and most struggle to remember their past accomplishments. They don’t realize that different activities mean different things to different employers. Something taken for granted by one might be highly sought-after by another. I’d frame my client writing experience differently for a consulting job than I would for a job as a writer. But the experience is there either way – it’s my job to put it in the proper context. That gets us into packaging, which is the subject of the next post.
For now though, maybe revisit your resume and see what was omitted or needs reframing.