Writing and regular jobs

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Jan
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Writing and regular jobs

Postby Jan » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:54 am

Just wondering if I'm the only one with this problem... When you write a CV, where and how do you put in your writing activities? How do you treat it when you're being interviewed for a job?

I have a heading called "Other", and I put it there along with internships etc. Yet it's the activity I've been most consitently pursuing. My CV as a whole tells you pretty much nothing about me, just like my grades in school.

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Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:58 am

If I don't think it has anything to do with the job -- right now I'm a line mechanic, f'rinstance -- I treat it much the same as my sporadic forays into professional music: it's a hobby, a pastime.

If there's writing involved in the job, I mention my years at a huge college newspaper, one or two of my published op/ed pieces, & one of my more innocuous nonfiction small-press books. This shows that I can organise & deliver a long-term project. Any job that'd be interested in such ability probably asks, but it can always be crammed under "professional memberships" or some such if they use a boilerplate application.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:23 am

Well, I guess my problem is that CV's are activity-centered and grades are performance-oriented - neither really give you any glimpse into the heads of people that are somehow unusual. Which is bad because it's one of the features of society that discourages variety. It's all about performance within fixed parameters, and the less you you accept that, the worse you're off.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:05 pm

CVs must be designed with an eye toward a particular context, and geared toward specific ends.

Some specific and professional "day jobs" aren't necessarily going to be interested in your writing or other extracurricular activities. It's a crap shoot whether a particular personnel manager or potential boss would find any of these things interesting, and they could work against you.

When I submit an acting resume, I sometimes don't refer to my writing activities at all, dependent partly upon what kind of role I'm shooting for and how much other experience (specific shows, voice acting, live audio work, etc.) is more pressing to include -- it all has to fit on one page.

For other acting situations -- a general audition for a theater's entire season, or before representatives of many different theaters (I had one of those early Saturday morning), I include writing, editing, and proofreading in a short, catch-all "Other" paragraph at the bottom, along with reading aloud, performance folk dancing, singing with symphonic and chamber choirs, and so on, because the work sought is creative, and these are all creative activities that might arouse interest and even come in handy.

If you're applying for an academic job, your CV can run to pages upon pages that include all your pertinent publications from books to scholarly articles.

So it all depends on what you're applying for, and with whom.
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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:35 pm

I would agree with David's comments and say that you should always consider your audience when writing a CV or a resume.

For example, when I was engaged in a job search a few years ago, I had one resume geared towards high-tech companies, one for Compensation specific positions, one for more general Human Resources related positions, etc.

The same principle would apply when constructing a CV. Just remember to accentuate the key points within the CV or resume in such a way that they visually catch the eye of the reader.

A statistic I once learned is that a reviewer only spends about 30 seconds looking over a resume. You only have that person's attention for an exceedingly short period of time, make sure you grab it during that period.

Shoot me a private message if you would like to discuss further
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Jan
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Postby Jan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:34 pm

Thanks.

"in such a way that they visually catch the eye of the reader."

I send out most resumes with my picture. :-)

You guys are right. It's just a little sad that we have to reduce our lives to job titles, marks and dates. Personally, if I were recruiting for a company, I would want to get an overall impression of the person. Even if some activities that are important to you are not pertinent for the job, I would still want to see them mentioned. In fact, I would prefer a prose description of two to three pages - way more interesting anyway.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:39 pm

As far as writing the CV for the audience is concerned, the thing is that I feel I have to write all of them for idiots who need everything in tables and numbers. :roll: I wish I could imagine an intelligent audience for such things.

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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:52 pm

Cute, Jan, why not just include a picture of the collie while you are at it. What I meant was highlighting the information you deem as most critical in such a way that it stands out for the reviewer.

That could mean indenting the information so that it stands out, the use of bold or italics fonts (although I would be judicious in the use of these), or any other ways to allow the reviewer to quickly identify the key points you want to make.
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:10 pm

One could do that. (But not in Germany. No highlighting. I like the fact that everything is allowed in other countries - we have to follow somewhat stricter guidelines, and we do put a photo on top.)

Okay, so I'm the only one who hates the application process. :(

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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 am

My friend, you are certainly not the only one who hates the application process. While I did not state so explicitly in my last posting, I have to say that the interview process is cumbersome, inefficient, and has a success rate of maybe 33%.

That being said, if you are not going to use a sourcing firm to provide external candidates, the submission of resumes and the interview process is the only way to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

While I have not done a ton of work in recruiting, I have helped out in that are from time to time and you would not believe some of the random resumes that would come in when a job is posted. People who have no management experience at all applying for director level positions or above, people with not technical experience applying for high level engineering positions, etc.

It is quite amazing what will come in when a job is posted, and only serves to bog down the application process
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class


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