School Does Not Care What You Did Last Summer

Focus On Jobs

Keep your resume focused

We have been talking about what to put into the “work history” section, or “relevant experience” part of the resume located just under the “summary”.

When I was seeking work as a teacher, a teacher substitute or an instructional aide, I made sure all my teaching experience and education was in the “related experience” section of my resume.

I can say with confidence that since a teaching contract is seasonal, many teachers  supplement their incomes when school is out of session. Some teachers do summer camp counseling or teach summer school. I built a “shadow career” in retailing to fill the economic void in my household budget created by unpaid winter break, spring break, summer break and between-contracts.

Seasonal sales associate jobs lasted 30-90 days and ran in same years as teaching appointments.  I handled that on my resume by putting them in a separate section titled, “other experience” located below my teaching experience. I never mentioned it in the main body of work experience because quite frankly, m’dear, school systems did not give a fig about what I did last summer–except if it had a direct relationship to teaching.

Guess what? Likewise, retail stores could give a broken crayon about what I did in the classroom. Whenever I applied for retail positions, I put my teaching experience in the “other experience” section. That neat little corner of my resume served to help the potential employer fill in the holes in my Swiss cheese resume.

Ursula incants a spell

Poof! You have a new career!

According to the current trends, a good resume is on average two pages long. It should be  so solidly packed with directly relevant experience that there is no room for anything else. I am now career shape-shifting back into my authentic form–a writer. When applying for writer/editor positions these days, like magic both teaching and retail sales appear only on job applications where appropriate and not on my resume or my Linked In profile at all.

Why? Because a resume, once again, is a marketing piece, not St. Patrick’s Confession.   Everything must support the brand image.