A resume is a resume is a resume, right? Well…not exactly. For optimal performance resumes are custom-tailored to the position being sought. Say, for example, you are looking for a job as a high school English teacher. You wouldn’t want to use your resume tailored for a position as a delivery driver or sales manager in place of your virtual assistant resume when applying for a job online, would you? Well, you could, but it most likely would not deliver the desired results. Even as a freelancer I have a couple of different resumes. Yes, specific experiences and education may be the same, but the credentials, skills and references would vary.
In my last post we discussed getting your business ducks in a row as you set up shop but definitely before you put out the ‘open for business’ shop sign. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to take care of business. Let’s continue building on the foundation set. It’s time to talk about your resume and portfolio; both are very important and if handled properly could save you hours down the line. As a virtual assistant I have found that the two most important items on your resume are your skills, and a list of programs with which you are familiar.
Skills: Your skills, they all count! You don’t have to add the details of HOW you developed those skills, whether as a mom or administrative assistant. List your skills relevant to being a virtual [administrative or personal] assistant. A client will be looking for skills pertinent to their needs.
- Did you work in an office handling the schedule for a busy entrepreneur or plan and schedule your next family outing, complete with ordering or reserving things online? That counts as travel arrangements.
- Document formatting? Did you format Joey’s report for him…yep, that counts, too.
- As a mom you have to keep things organized. Whether totes, Ziploc bags or filing cabinets, you have organized. Many clients are overwhelmed with their information and it takes someone like a virtual assistant to help them organize their ideas, data and plans.
I’m not positive that making PB&Jelly sandwiches actually count as a skill, no matter how many you’ve made over the years, unless you are looking for a job in the kitchen!
Programs: You are probably wondering what you could possibly list here besides Gmail and the Sesame Street game your children play on the family computer.
- How often have you ‘googled’ something you were not quite sure about, so you figured you had better look it up?
- I mentioned in the skills section about making travel plans for your family. You probably used a service such as Hotwire, Expedia or Priceline. Those count as programs you are familiar with, too.
- What about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter? Believe it or not there are clients who will have you manage their professional accounts? I personally manage several accounts for my clients.
So, what skills do you now see that you can add to your [virtual assistant] resume?