RE-SUMming Up All My Experiences….Again

Name: Valerie Albanese

Objective: Secure the most amazing museum job where I can develop creative programs and exhibits, collaborate with colleagues, encourage and engage in memorable visitor experiences and cultivate and nurture an interest in museums in my community.

Education: Lots, I have loans to prove it!

Related Experience: Ah this part always gets me…. so I’ll stop here…. This post is inspired by my recent attempts to (yet again) “update” my resume. For me, I suppose it’s the equivalent of spring cleaning (for pack rats). So why dont I love to update my resume?

Mainly because:

  • It is time consuming! Although I should not have to re-invent the wheel (and if I did, I’d have a wheel, not a resume) it’s a strain on my creative abilities to try to make the same thing sound different.
  • My template(s) seem so traditional and ordinary. I know I need to “stand-out” but it’s figuring out how (and I’ve used InDesign and Word formats). Part of me hopes that one day, paper-resumes will be obsolete and there will be a new, fresh way of representing oneself.
  • I’ve done a lot in my various positions and it’s challenging to keep it concise while fully sharing all the fabulous things about me. Keeping it to one page is like an urban legend!

    © Matt Glover, 2006.

    © Matt Glover, 2006.

While I can continue listing these challenges, I’d prefer to focus on possible solutions. I recently (and randomly) came across this interesting post. The writer provides great insight from the perspective of a resume-reviewer to anyone who may be tweaking their resumes (especially engineers). Many of his key points resonated with me, but my major take away is that my resume is not my life story (that will be The Memoirs and Musings of Val, on shelves 2020) and as a resume-writer I need to be considerate of my field, my own expectations and doing a good job of linking the two together adequately and with brevity.

Here are a few suggestions for those of you in embarking on similar journeys:

  • Consider your college/ graduate school Career Planning Office to review your current resume. Positives: objective review, no cost.
  • Have a trusted colleague, peer, mentor, or professor review your current resume. Positives: If in the same field, this individual will provide great detailed-insight, no cost.
  • Reaching out to anonymous professionals via list-servers and specialized online groups may provide the same results as above.
  • Consider an agency or specialized service to review your resume and cover letter. Although this will probably be expensive, it’s likely because this option will produce great end results (good networking opportunities, and one-on-one assistance with experienced professionals).
  • Certain organizations (including the American Association of Museums) offers mentor programs to build relations, which can be a great opportunity (if involved) to have a conversation about resumes.
  • Furthermore, some conferences have opportunities to attend Resume Writing Workshops and career building exercises.
  • For those of you who may want to be more…discreet, scouring resumes of other professionals may be of interest.

If you have any suggestions, do share! I promise I won’t make my resume better than yours!

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3 thoughts on “RE-SUMming Up All My Experiences….Again

  1. I attended the AAM session on the Resume writing workshops at this year’s Annual Meeting and it was a BIG help. A couple of pointers to share:
    1. CUSTOMIZE your resume.
    2. Make sure your format is pleasing.
    3. The purpose of the resume is to get you the interview.
    4. QUANTIFY and SPECIFY whenever you can!
    5. Utilize the cover letter as an opportunity to highlight experience and reflect what you know about the institution and how you can help them.

  2. Also, DO NOT include salary requests/requirements unless the application specifically asks. In this case, try to be as broad as possible.

    A good resource determine appropriate salaries, based on the position: your local/regional museum association (they have this info on file from surveys etc.).

  3. I also received this information (definitely helpful if intend to apply to any NPS positions) from a mentoring roundtable for emerging museum professionals at the AAM Annual Meeting on “Directing Yourself, Setting Goals, and Reaching Out: A Career Strategy.” This model may be useful in the breakdown of your responsibilities and achievements when outlining your qualifications.

    CCAR Model
    CONTEXT: Title of your job or role you are playing; the context sets the stage for your story.
    CHALLENGE: What was the challenge of this example or project?
    ACTION: What were your specific actions in this case?
    RESULTS: What happened? How does this relate specifically?
    (AWARDS): Did you get an award for this example? If so, include with your results.
    (SPECIALIZED TRAINING): What training do you have that supports this?

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