Diversifying your resume for the future

January 21, 2010 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

One of the questions hiring specialists are most often asked is a seemingly simple one: What are you looking for in a resume? The answer is usually much more complicated but increasingly, employers want it all: in-depth and targeted experience, a range of skills, signs of leadership and working well with others, and indications of professionalism and drive.

A recruiting specialist recently gave me a bit of insight that I think could help both job hunters and those who may need to look for a job over the next several years: diversify your experience whenever and however you can, and make sure your resume reflects that variety. Because what one employer is looking for (even if you remain in journalism or transition to a related field) can be quite different than what another wants. How to do this with the job you have or the jobs you have had, you ask? Some tips:

*Be open to different types of experiences in your current job or even while job-hunting. For instance, if you are a reporter at a newspaper or online publication, seek to get some editing experience — perhaps through a job swap or by filling in sometimes for vacationing editors. Even a limited amount of editing experience could be a way to set you apart at job-hunting time. If you have opportunities to help recruit (say when your organization has a booth at a job fair) or train others (volunteer to help lead training sessions at your company within your area of expertise) or appear on radio or TV given your subject expertise, jump at the chance. And while job-hunting, select free-lance assignments based not only on what they pay but on the type of knowledge you’ll be able to note on your resume (and through your clips) as a result.

*Seek training and development opportunities whenever possible. If you’re currently employed, don’t scoff at in-house training sessions, especially if they can help you develop leadership, management or technical skills. If your company offers a tuition reimbursement program, aggressively pursue courses that brush up skills you’ll need not only for this job but the next one. And if you’re job-hunting, take advantage of online seminars and short-term courses (many are offered at relatively low cost or are even free, especially for job hunters) in your skills area but also that are a bit of a reach and may broaden your skill base. And remember, hiring managers are always going to ask what you’ve been doing since you took a buyout or were laid off (even if it’s only been a few weeks!) and seeking further training is an impressive answer to that query.

*Make use of your network to seek opportunities to diversify your skills and experience. Your network is there not only to help get your resume in the door of various organizations but the members often have a variety of skills and experience and can offer counsel on how these skills have helped them in the past. If, for instance, you are lacking in management skills but have a contact who is an experienced manager, interview them about some ways you can start to develop that experience — ask specifically about training — and once you’ve developed some of that background, then you’re in a position to ask them for help getting your resume in the right place. Again, seek information from those who have what you want — a diversity of experience on their resume — and then try to see how you can use this in your own job hunt or a future job search.

*An email correspondent passes along a link to entrepreneur.com and some great tips for starting up or expanding your free-lance business, and treating it like a business:

Timeless tips for boosting your income and managing your work load


*And apparently I wasn’t wrong (always a good position for a journalist!) in my Dec. 7 post about this area (see “Why D.C. is a relatively good market for job hunters”). A job search search engine, Juju.com (link below for more information) recently compiled its Job Search Difficulty Index and D.C. was the “easiest” (remember, again, it’s relative!) of major metro areas. I’ve listed the top 20 areas but go to to the site if you want to give yourself an idea of how hard it can be (poor job hunters in Detroit, which ranked 50th!) to get a job elsewhere. Feeling better now?

New York, NY—January 2010Juju.com, a leading job search engine, has released the updated Job Search Difficulty Index, which measures the difficulty of finding employment in major cities around the country. The Index was calculated by dividing the number of unemployed workers in each metro area, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by the number of jobs in Juju’s comprehensive index of millions of online jobs in the United States, which is compiled and updated continuously from thousands of employer career portals, recruiter websites, and job boards all over the Internet.

(About Juju.com Juju’s goal is to make job search easier. We think that traditional online job search methods take too much time and make it difficult for job seekers to find a comprehensive set of relevant jobs, so we strive to create tools that make jobs more accessible and job search results more relevant. Juju is a job search engine, not a job board, so our comprehensive search results link to jobs found on websites all over the Internet, rather than to a limited set of job listings hosted directly on our own site.)

Job Search Difficulty
(Least -> Most)
Metro Change Since Last
Individuals Per
Advertised Job
Population Rank
1 Washington, DC 0 1.93 9
2 San Jose, CA 0 2.50 31
3 Baltimore, MD 0 2.93 20
4 Salt Lake City, UT 2 3.22 49
5 New York, NY 0 3.32 1
6 Hartford, CT 1 3.47 45
7 Boston, MA -3 3.72 10
8 Denver, CO 0 3.95 21
9 Austin, TX 1 4.06 36
10 San Antonio, TX -1 4.40 28
11 Oklahoma City, OK 0 4.48 44
12 Pittsburgh, PA 2 4.83 22
13 Virginia Beach, VA -1 5.02 35
14 Seattle, WA 4 5.10 15
15 Milwaukee, WI 1 5.11 39
16 Indianapolis, IN -3 5.15 33
17 Richmond, VA -2 5.23 43
18 Dallas, TX -1 5.27 4
19 St. Paul, MN 3 5.39 16
20 Philadelphia, PA -1 5.42 5

*As always, some job leads to pass along:

*Undersea Warfare magazine has an opening for a technical editor in D.C.:

Technical Editor/Writer Lead
Alion Science and Technology – Washington, DC
Responsibilities Managing editor for UNDERSEA… follow production calendar -Work with Senior Editor to maintain production schedule -Plan and write…
From Alion Science and Technology

*CyberCoders in Bethesda is listing some editing positions, including a magazine managing editor:

Magazine Managing Editor – K–12 Education Editor – IT Editor
CyberCoders – Bethesda, MD
Managing Editor – K–12 Education Editor – IT Editor Magazine Managing Editor – Education Technology Editor – K–12 Education Editor – IT Magazine Editor – Skills… $65 an hour
From CyberCoders

*The Environmental Protection Agency has an opening for a communications specialist in D.C.:

Communications Specialist
: Environmental Protection Agency – Washington, DC
clearance of communication materials, print publications, and any other communications products such as new releases, talking points, communication strategies… $105,211 – $155,500 a year
From Federal Government Jobs

*And last but not least, DB Consulting Group in Silver Spring is seeking an editor:

Editor (Washington, DC Area)
DB Consulting Group, Inc. – Silver Spring, MD
communications, or a related field. A minimum of five years experience as a senior editor overseeing a high volume of publications and communication products is…
From Jobfox

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Cover letter tips for recent grads (and veterans) How non-journalists can help you land a journalism job

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