Job Search and Queries

I spent the last two days working on two versions of my résumé: techie me and teacher me. I feel "incomplete" when I read one or the other, as if I'm not being honest about who I am.

The technology résumé is modeled on samples I found online at two executive job sites. It does look nice and I am working on the wording. The special education résumé is going to take a bit more time to refine. Generally, a long curriculum vitae is the standard in higher education; trimming content to two pages was a challenge.

As I edited these new career documents, I found minor errors in my full CV, errors that also existed in my online CV. It is frustrating, since my CV has been maintained since the mid 1990s. You would think a document that is updated every year wouldn't have any errors. Somehow, careless mistakes do slip past my eyes. The worst error was a misspelling of "university." The automatic spellcheck in Word should have caught that one.

The two résumés are meant for both job hunting, in the traditional sense, and to accompany query letters to publishers.

I always wonder if listing my speaking invitations will scare employers. Including presentation titles like "Life with Autism" and "Autistic Me: A Teacher's Journey" seems like a warning to employers. One more reason to market myself as uniquely qualified on matters of autism, I suppose. I decided to omit my speaking history from the technology résumé.

In so many ways, looking for a "normal job" after the academic job hunt is tough. I really wanted one of teaching posts for which I interviewed. Now, I'm trying to remind myself to be confident and keep on task. My job for now is finding job or selling one of my manuscripts. Either or both would be good.

Emotionally, I feel lousy about relying on my wife to support us. I completed the doctorate so I wouldn't be a drag on the household. I owe her so much for supporting my dreams, even if the dreams didn't quite work out as planned. She's my motivation to get the résumés right and to keep sending out queries.

Never give up. Never surrender.


  1. Probably maintain the resumes more frequently? (every quarter [3 months] and every month).

    Best wishes with refining both and getting a job.

    (When a resume is two pages, people might look at just one).

  2. I think you should consider including the speaking engagements on your techie resume too. (Maybe submit it for some jobs and see how it goes?) Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I was an HR manager for a large engineering firm. I would have been impressed with seeing that on a resume, and it definitely would make it stand out. The fact that you are able to make public appearances makes you an attractive potential employee -- many of our engineers had a hard time with things like presentations. Also, many of our top-notch engineers were pretty spectrum-y.

    There's a lot of Asperger's attributes that are really helpful in tech fields. (My blog post today is my Top Ten advantages & disadvantages of Asperger's!)

    Happy Autistic Pride Day.

  3. I update both the complete CV and the online CV with every publication or speaking appearance. Those are kept current within 48 hours -- something I've done since high school.

    The irony is that I've taught professional writing for most of the last four years and my portfolios were "polished" but tailored to higher education. The return to industry is not a choice, but a fact of the economy.

    The two-page résumés are replacing a nine-page CV. In academia it is common to list a lot of things no one in business needs to know or is likely to care to know.

    I might squeeze in a short mention of national and regional conferences on education and literacy. Leave it vague, but accurate.

    My wife is an engineer and technical writer. We both tend to be extremely organized in our own ways. We both keep our job histories current almost compulsively. She's always getting new training, which is a nice benefit.

  4. Have you ever heard of Stephanie Allen Crist, the author of "Embracing Chaos"? She's started a new business, which includes writing resumes for people. She's one of us. See:


  5. Do mention one or two of the education/literacy things on the technology CV, as it sounds like what you're already doing.

    Keeping the resume/CV current since high school is a good practice.

    If it's vague then there's the choice to tell or not tell, depending on if/when the person asks.

    And Clay, good suggestion about Crist of Embracing Chaos/Purple Pen.

  6. Indeed it is, don't you know it is, to me right faloori laddy well indeed it is (Traditional u.d.)

    You see I am well doomed, anyone wants to google my name and they will see that l'autisme, c'est moi.

    Of course if they do take time over my website they will see that I transcend any category they could put me in.

    Trouble is it doesn't work like that, the application form has it's own critical paths wherein the virtual pin stabbed on the list will eliminate, doesn't even have to be autism, there is a long long list of undesirable traits whereby one is well and truly f****d

  7. I make a habit of checking search engines to see what appears. Some instances are pleasant surprises (bibliography of a book on newspapers), while most are genuinely dull.

    Over the last six years or so, when I've taught the "career documents" section of college writing courses it has always included a lecture on how employers use the Internet. Students are getting good at watching their privacy thanks to a fear of parents finding something.

    Different aspect:

    I think a great many people with excellent qualifications are exhausted in this job market. Too many teachers I know are now out of work. I don't want this to sound horrible, but there is a sense that after going into debt and working hard to pay for a $40K to $100K education that not finding a job is a personal failure. Many educators and researchers will find other work, thankfully, but it is giving up a "calling" for many in education.


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