Writing up a resume with a history of disability is a tough one. I’ve literally been working months on rewriting and developing my resume and learning to deal with online platforms like Linkedin and Indeed, both of which have automated arranger’s that do not work for me. I am getting there. I feel I am two thirds of the way there. My wording needs to be more verb than noun, right now its more noun than verb. I’ve sought the help of friends over career centers for critique of my resume reincarnations. I went the career center route first and was pulled in twenty directions without assistance on my resume. Which, was what I most needed help with, given the challenges I have to present myself in a way on paper that will get me an interview, that is where I need help. Once in the interview, I’m not worried, presenting and selling are what I am best at.
To make it more difficult is the fact that I have a lot of experience and many skills that have been honed over the years of my life, but many not in the usual sense. I have many blank spots in my work history, not just the last disabled reasons. Starting with seven years as a feature dancer in an industry that one can’t mention on a resume or in an interview. I’m saying it here, stupidly probably, because I’m sick of constant omission. I had worked my way up to the top of that line, it was a better deal then. Kicked out of school in the 7th grade, I got my GED at the age of 33 in 1996 with a 6th grade education and didn’t need to study for it, I took it and passed. I worked as a Mental Health Technician on a locked crisis psych unit at a community hospital for seven years. In a time when you didn’t need a degree, it was heavy duty on the job training. It was a college education in and of itself, but I have no paper that says I can do the job.
I stayed home to raise my son in 1994 moving to Quebec in 1998. Aside from little part time jobs, I have no paid work history here till 2001. But, during this time, I founded and incorporated a 501c3 non profit, multifaceted, four-day festival that in its third year attracted 4,000 campers and attendees and became solvent. I created a successful seminar that involved two languages, two countries and speakers from New York, Quebec, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and New Brunswick, in the middle of no where Fort Kent, ME and revived a three day Convention. All events were successes, all events asked me to stay on or recreate them. The festival, started in 1995, is still running today. The other events were one time events. I have orchestrated many fundraisers, concerts, and dinners. But, all of them were unpaid, non profit events to support and promote a sober way of life. “Sober way of life” events vs “Drunk way of life” events, which one do you think I could easily put on my resume.
In 2001 I went to work at MBNA America, which has since closed its doors in the US and sold out to Bank of America. When I worked for them, they were the third largest credit card issuer in the world. They sold credit cards for over 300 businesses, institutions, banks, clubs, stores, etc. They were the first bank to do so. I worked as a telemarketer for them, three years. I was a sales coach and was frequently listened to by others struggling to sell certain cards or at all, to learn from my approach. My strongest cards were the cards for lawyers and the high end Quantum Card for the elite. I never once missed my commission. Then, I got sick in 2004.
On temporary disability, after having an operation and hoping the two lesions I had in the brain were because of a compression on the neck that had been fixed, I set to work going to school to give my self more options for work. At this time I was a single mother of two ages five and fourteen. The plan was to go for a Bachelors in Business Sciences with a minor in writing to back up my organizing events experience and become a professional for profit event organizer. I made it half way, with a 3.76 GPA, of which all of my business and writing classes were 4.0. I loved every minute of it, starting out the way I have in life, it was a dream come true, I loved school, always have. I had a bad MS attack cognitively and that knocked me out. But, I did successfully complete 64 credits, but I can’t get my transcripts. I was forced to file a bankruptcy on the government loans. I recently learned that one small one was over looked and nine years later has tripled. Till that’s paid off, I can’t get the transcripts, which would be nice to have, because they show my marks. Suffice it to say, I can’t pay that off till I have a job. That was 2009.
Several years to recuperate and then an attempt to build up my 26-year skill in jewelry making into a business. I opened an Etsy shop, organized and built up enough product for shows and entered the Fire Mountain Gems international contest against some of the best beaders in the world and won Gold. I was building and doing very well, but was progressively getting worse from MS and couldn’t keep it up. I took down the Etsy shop, I declined invitations to enter other contests and stopped the shows.
I worked for Suzie Q’s Beads, Buttons and Bijoux for 2 years, 2013 to 2015. I did well at her store. Here I sold high end costume jewelry, jewelry making supplies and taught patrons basic jewelry technique. I worked 11 to 15 hours per week. Suzie downsized and then closed her shop and I was let go. That one hurt, I very much loved working there and worked with a great team of people. Suzie told me that I was the best sales person she’d ever hired or known.
I have presented successfully in one form or another for non profit causes, my own art work, credit cards and services and a sober way of life for decades. I am a starter upper, I have vision for business and I am tenacious. I have overcome and healed a broken childhood, an alcohol problem (26 years sober), quit smoking, and most recently, put MS into remission and am reversing damage via the Wahls Protocol, which really does work. I am thoroughly trained in crisis intervention including giving Mental Health Status Exams, Intake, admissions, and suicide watches. I am proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point, Desk Top Publishing, and am becoming proficient in Excel. I am well versed in online platforms such as Word Press, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. I am a research hound, strong writer, and I can type 60 words a minute. I am 55 with a disease that most know as “unrecoverable” and complicating matters further I have mostly my word on my skills having no degrees and no certificates to prove it.
I do have many professional friends who will give me references. My aerobics and gym Instructors, who watched first hand my transformation right before their eyes, will also give me references. One suggested I get certified and coach others, but after looking into it, its $1,200.00. Again, need a job to get a job.
Anyway, who wants to hire me?!
Line on up, I’m dying to hear from you…..have I got a deal for you!
Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-and-woman-handshake-567633/