Resume, or vitae–they both mean the same thing. A summary of one’s personal history and employment experience.
Everyone trying for a job in today’s market needs one, and it is quite the task to put an effective one together. I tend to believe that everyone should try putting one together at least once in their lifetime if merely for the experience of the exercise itself.
As I sorted through my bookshelves a few weeks ago I turned up a lot of folders, notebooks and tablets that I’ve accumulated from spirituality, creativity, women’s and writing conferences, training sessions, workshops, etc. I keep notes and resource materials religiously and I decided I wanted to see what my path looked like since I turned in the direction of an intuitive and creative writing lifestyle. The picture at the top of the blog post is what I produced from that process, and it was not only revealing, but empowering. I am extremely fond of that particular word. I believe it to be a word that will take us great distances when we become regular friends with it.
Formal resumes must meet certain specifications to catch the eye of future employers today. You have to “spin” them to read properly for the job you are targeting, so you mustn’t necessarily put everything that helped shape and prepare you for the sought-after job on your formal resume.
That’s why I like this new document format that I dubbed the “personal development plan” so much. It is a form of report card for your eyes only, and you can lay out a document that will allow you to analyze quite personally what you have—or have not—done that has shaped the zone you occupy currently.
It allows you take stock of all the effort you’ve made since commencing the current career path you are on . . . or the one you hope to be on after you complete the “must earn pension check first thing”—or the “I don’t want to wait until it’s too late thing . . .” You get the idea I’m sure.
I like it done in chronological order by month and year, with the earliest thing you can remember—first. Once you have it all together, sit back and study it with honest eyes. Really look at the dates and their spread.
- What years did you show great progress?
- What years did you not take any forward-moving steps at all?
- What was going on that kept you from doing so?
- Will you allow that to happen again?
- How do you feel now that you look back on it?
- Are you smarter? (If you answer yes!–great. If you answer with anything else, explore that maybe?)
- What do you think needs to happen next?
- Who might you call in to assist you?
This isn’t just for a writer. It can be for anything you want to grow or change.
It can also be the pat on the back you might need. Perhaps you feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels and not making any headway? A document like this might be just the thing you need that allows you a little personal brag time as you plot your next step.
How about trying your own report card?