Dear Sam: I am within my first five years post-undergrad. I am an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and a civilian employee with the government, and I am contemplating making a move to the civilian sector. However, my combined military service and civilian occupations span many specialties. As an officer, I have worked in logistics and public relations in leadership roles - both stateside and in combat. As a civilian, I work in human resources and payroll administration in a non-supervisory role. How and what should I include in my resume? - Laura
Dear Sam: I am within my first five years post-undergrad. I am an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and a civilian employee with the government, and I am contemplating making a move to the civilian sector. However, my combined military service and civilian occupations span many specialties.
As an officer, I have worked in logistics and public relations in leadership roles — both stateside and in combat. As a civilian, I work in human resources and payroll administration in a non-supervisory role. How and what should I include in my resume? — Laura
Dear Laura: Wow, that is quite a diverse background. First, thank you for your service to our country.
The answer to your question about what to include versus what to omit on your resume depends completely on what you want to pursue. You should include all of your positions, but you could strategically tailor the content in the way that best supports your candidacy today.
A resume is a picture of your background written in a way that positions you best for what you want to do next. If the logistics aspects of your experience do not support your current career target, then you could put those on the back burner or omit them entirely. I think it would be best to develop two or three solid versions of your resume.
The first should be focused on operations, the second on PR and communications and the third on human resources. You could develop one main resume — with each area of your experiences introduced with a functional subheading — and then simply reprioritize content based on the type of role for which you are applying.
Within each resume, you should also build a targeted Qualifications Summary. This approach will allow you to present the targeted picture critical to success in today’s job market while also keeping your options as open as possible. Best of luck.
Dear Sam: I am looking for advice about applying for a job in higher education. I have the experience and education required for the position. The ad for the job does not specify full-time or part-time so I am assuming it is a full-time role. The position appeals to me and I feel I could be an asset to the school, but I only want to work part-time hours.
If I apply for the position, should I mention the possibility of either part-time hours — or job sharing — in a cover letter, or wait until I get contacted for an interview? Alternatively, should I forget the entire thing and apply only for positions that are advertised as part-time? — Rick
Dear Rick: Great question. I recommend waiting until interest has been established in you as a candidate before you start negotiating terms of employment. If the position is indeed full-time, an employer could still see something in you that they do not find in candidates seeking full-time employment, so there may be some wiggle room in the position’s structure, hours and compensation.
If asked directly about your preference about working part or full time, you should be honest, but I would not offer your employment preferences until you feel it is time to negotiate the terms of your employment. If you are only searching for part-time roles, you will find that your choices might be greatly diminished.
More positions than you would expect, however, have room for negotiation, so it is entirely likely you could strike the work-life balance you are seeking even in a full-time role. Best of luck.
Samantha Nolan is a certified professional résumé writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a leading résumé-writing firm. Do you have a résumé or job-search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at email@example.com. For more about Sam’s résumé-writing services, visit www.ladybug-design.comor call (614) 570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).