Thursday, April 1, 2010

The [Non-]Functional [Pancreas] Resume

If you've been keeping up with some of my posts, if you follow my more random tweets on Twitter, or if you're my personal friend on Facebook, you probably know that I have been unfortunately having some issues at work. I am trying my best to look for opportunities and move on to something I am more passionate about. This isn't to say that my current job is doomed, but I feel it doesn't hurt to start looking around just in case things are headed way far south.  I do realize that the last time I was job-hunting, it took about six months to find what I've got now.

Yet the last time I was job-shopping, I was not considering something that most people would see as a "career change". If you check my resume, I appear to be an administrative assistant with creative leanings. I would much prefer to be seen as an entry-level creative, or a creative assistant with helpful administrative skills; however, since 2004, with the exception of one job, my work has been less than creative in nature.

In preparation for attempting a change in my career focus, I've been reading up on a lot of things--how to write cover letters, whether to consider internships, where networking opportunities might lie. I've been trying to write more, and in more place. I've been signing up for freelance writing job lists, trying to gather some clips. My degree is in Communications. I even ordered a copy of my transcript from my college to see if I could gauge where some of my real strengths lie!

(For the nosy:
Public Relations = B-
Organizational Communications = B
Reporting & Newswriting = B
Math for Liberal Studies = C- can see what I'm getting at here.)

Yet, I stumbled on one thing today which made me scratch my head in curiosity. Something I've never considered before. The Functional Resume. The idea is that you make lists of your transferable skills and/or your essential job functions, whatever you'd like to call them, and let your actual experiences speak for themselves, rather than letting the job titles and times you were employed speak for you. I am considering doing this for myself.

Regardless of the type of resume I choose for myself, I am wondering this: is it wise to include my blogging experience? I mean, a lot of media/marketing/PR-type jobs these days want to know about your social media experience. I'm not sure if I can brag about my 86 Facebook fans or my 337 Twitter followers--God forbid a potential employer be turned off by my oh-so-geeky status updates or my occasionally profanity-laden tweets--but I think it's important for people to know that I'm using these things.

I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I were just an everyday blogger. Somebody writing about their life as an entertaining memoir or writing about nerdy pop-culture or talking about food. Sometimes, I am that blogger, but this blog was founded around living with diabetes. Some people will not even mention diabetes until after they've landed a job. I am thinking the functional resume could be my answer. I do not have to specifically show that the blog I author revolves around diabetes--a potential suitor, er, employer would only need to know that I'm a blogger with a pretty decent following who is into social media platforms. Ta-da! Maybe!

I don't like feeling like I'm lying to potential employers. If I just list "Author--Blog Name Withheld" or something, they are either going to think (a) that's the blog's title, which is dishonest, or (b) I am writing a dirty, kinky, NSFW sex blog.

I am thinking a functional resume could be the answer to my diabetes blog disclosure problem.

How will this all work out? I will hopefully be able to tell you for sure in less than six months. We'll see.


  1. I recently applied for a job that I think I would be good at, even though my resume didn't really reflect that, so I switched to a functional resume. I like it a lot because I feel it shows off my abilities and potential better than simply a string of jobs listed chronologically.

  2. You're a great and very creative writer (I believe...). I think you should include your blogging experience as part of your resume.

  3. I have two resumes: a traditional chronological one and a functional one. I prefer the functional resume for a few reasons. I've done lots of freelance projects that were only for a month or two. On a chronological resume, it looks like I've job-hopped (which I have). But with the functional resume, it looks like I've got all of these skills that aren't tied to one or two employers (which I do).

    The problem is that most companies, recruiters, etc. want a chronological resume. They want to see your work history and ask why you left job X, etc.

    What I've done is submitted the functional resume first to get them interested. Then, when they come back and ask for the chronological resume, I've got it ready and waiting.

    This might be worth considering.

    As for the social media stuff, I don't kid myself that prospective employers aren't already googling my name, reading my blog, checking facebook for public content, and even looking on twitter for me. I think they'd have a difficult time finding people who aren't using social media. Besides, your blog is an excellent writing sample, which will show them that you're very talented.

    Good luck with the search!

  4. I hope you find something fantastic. SOON.

  5. Good luck with the search Hannah. It's a tough question you've got about resumes, etc., and I'm afraid I've not got an ounce of helpful information to add. Other than that I'm sure you'll find something great very soon!

  6. I agree with you. I think you can just say "social media savvy; familiar with blogging, Twitter, etc." too?


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