Do you have any advice on how to write a resume after being absent from the “real” workforce for close to 15 years? I am sure that I am turning off potential employers merely by what I am listing as my qualifications. (I’m a practicing fine artist, I ran our family business for seven years and homeschooled our son for the remaining seven.)

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  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You should take a two-pronged approach to updating your resume. First, you need to know the best way to show what you have done without looking like you’re out of date. So, for example, putting the family business on the resume is good. Putting childcare on is bad. It does’t matter that it was homeschooling, it doesn’t matter that mom’s are great time managers, great business managers, whatever. It just doesn’t play well on a resume. The best thing you can do in this regard is to pay someone to help you rewrite your resume so that you are presenting yourself in your best light. It’s very very difficult to write one’s own resume, even in the best of circumstances. Hire a career coach for an hour or two to help you learn how to present your past experience to employers. You need to tell a good story. Here are two posts that will help:

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2008/03/18/how-to-edit-your-resume-like-a-professional-resume-writer/

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/02/04/be-memorable-by-telling-good-stories-about-yourself/

    The second thing you need to do is to start doing work for no pay and put it on your resume. This is how you get qualifications and experience before you re-enter the workforce. Your resume is not a list of jobs you got paid for. It’s a list of things you’ve accomplished. So make up work for yourself in the area you want to be hired. Do the work, and write it on your resume. For example, create a PR campaign for a local store, and measure the results, and put it on your resume.

    Here’s a post about creating your own experience on your resume:
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2008/01/29/how-to-get-a-job-youre-not-qualified-for/

    Penelope

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