Your Own Kind of Resume

by Erin Kennedy

Most resume advice tells you to use the classic resume sections when writing a resume: a header with name and contact information, work history, additional skills and education. Keeping the resume uniform simple makes it an easy and quick read for hiring managers. But what if you have one of those “creative” arts careers where the traditional resume sections just do not highlight your skills and experience? This is where you need to know what the industry standards are for a resume.

For example, if you are a singer, it is not enough to list the groups, opera companies or choruses with which you sang. You should have a resume section labeled “Repertoire” or something similar to highlight the music pieces you have performed, the venue where you performed and under which conductor, if applicable, as well as city, state and dates of performance. In addition, you should also have a section on your resume dedicated to listing the voice teachers and vocal coaches with whom you have studied. All of this type of information is key information for all musicians, not just singers.

Apprenticeships or internships are another key piece of information on resumes for those who create things with their hands. Furniture makers, musical instrument makers and glassblowers are all examples of careers where the apprenticeship is important to the artist’s career. These experiential opportunities can last for years before an artist is considered competent in her field. Where you apprenticed may very well determine where you spend the remainder of your career.

Find out from mentors, friends or colleagues what needs to be on your resume if you have such a singular, creative career. Be thorough in what you list so that your reader can trace the development of your skills and career. If you are having someone else craft your resume for you, be sure that writer understands your resume needs and how they differ from a traditional resume.

Bottom-line is this: create your resume so it is uniquely YOU. While there are some basic guidelines necessary to adhere to (keywords needed for keyword-scanning machines), today’s resume are a little less strict then they were 10 years ago. Let your brand and authentic-ness shine throughout your resume and chances are, you’ll be just the kind of person they were looking for!

About the Author

Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 12+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award.

As a proud member of Career Directors International (CDI), National Resume Writers Association (NRWA), Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), and Career Thought Leaders (CTL), Erin also sits on CDI’s Credentialing Committee for certification candidates and serves as a Mentor for CDI’s Member Mentoring Committee. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.

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