Resumes and Synopsis . . . So Much Alike!

I will have to say I haven’t had time to get on-line as much as I would like to lately.  Recent situations in my ‘real’ life have interrupted much of my normal routine.  Having had a rough 2010 with my hubby laid-off (he has a solid job again and I thank God every day) and the economy the way it is, we’ve had to accept the fact I can no longer be a stay at home Mom in which we’d both agreed to eighteen years ago when my oldest was an infant.  When my second daughter came along 3 years and eight days after the first, it didn’t make sense to work just to pay for daycare.

Now that the oldest is in college and the youngest is two years away from high school graduation, it’s time for me to beat the streets of the job market.  Years of volunteering and various jobs from home (everything from in home party sales to helping my father-in-law with his insurance company) I’m now trying to figure out where I fit in, while waiting for my books to hit the market someday.  The employment agency is a fount of information for anyone out there but it’s a zoo right now as others have had to re-evaluate the job market from lay-offs, downsizing, etc.

I sat in orientation the other day and listened to one of the career counselors talk about putting together a resume in todays employment arena. Employers on average in the last year or two have hundreds of potential resumes/applications to choose from–they can be choosey.  Listen to some very interesting points:

  • Employers don’t have time to weed through hundreds of resumes a day. (Agents/Editors?)
  • A cover letter explaining who you are and what you have to offer is the first step. (Why gee–that sounds like a Query to me!)
  • In your resume an employer wants you to summarize your skills–designed for the particular job you are applying for–in the first paragraph of your resume. Employers only have time to glance over the first paragraph or two.  If it doesn’t ‘hook’ them right then–they toss it. (Agents/Editors with our Synopsis?)
  • Sell yourself and your skills–don’t go for generic (vanilla) formating.  Wow! your potential employer.
  • Be an extrovert–have business cards made up so you can network and talk about your abilities.  (Hey–isn’t that what we did at retreat and of course Nationals coming up?)
  • When you finally go for the interview–have a pitch ready and ask questions. (Agent/Editor interviews?)
  • Don’t expect to hear back from your employer interview for a few weeks (okay–perhaps months in the writing industry but you get the idea).
  • Keep sending out resumes until you hear something. (Keep sending out Queries/Synposis until you hear something.)

Okay, I guess my point is our writing is a career.  Many of us are PRO members already and we’ve either taken those steps and have the ‘job’ or are still working on those steps and are waiting for an employer/editor to pick us up as the perfect match for their business.  We may start out on the ground floor in an entry level position but as we learn the art of our career we will advance.

The parallels are uncanny. But if we associate one with the other we can get a better understanding of our goals as a writer and how it is a career choice for many of us–even if we have to work at it along with another part-time/full-time job until we can stand on our own financially.

What are your comments?  I would love to hear from you all.

9 thoughts on “Resumes and Synopsis . . . So Much Alike!

  1. Loni, I’m sorry to hear that 2010 was a difficult year for your family. You are right, there are a lot of parallels between submitting resumes and submitting to an editor. Thank you for this insightful post. 🙂

  2. Striking parallels, Loni! Really gets me thinking. Best of luck with your job search.

  3. @Dana–thanks for stopping by. After listening to the lecture I knew I had to write about the similarities.

    @P.H–thank you for the well-wishes and checking out the blog.


  4. Wow, Loni, I am so sending this to hubby — after 15 months without a job, he finally did find one. He’ll be so happy to know that his resume is also a book, and vice versa! Reading this yesterday made me feel so much better, too, about sitting through yet another workshop on writing a good synopsis. It’s not just a synopsis, it’s a resume for your book!

  5. Loni – First, good luck on the job search!

    And, I never realized what strong parallels there were between our query process and the resume process – so, you already have the skills just for a different audience!

  6. Very nice parallels that most of us never even thought about. And may the rest of this year be wonderful for you and family!

  7. What a seriously good point…it never occurred to me! And, of course, so true, and for the same reasons! I’ll go so far as to add using “power words” to both resumes and synopses. Corporations like to know you are goal-oriented and motivated…publishers want to assure themselves that you know something about the industry and marketing…in addition to being able to sit your butt in the chair and produce when necessary.

    Well done!

  8. Thanks to everyone for responding. Sorry my response skills are dwindling the past few days. Ihad a non-computer day yesterday :(((

    @ Susan–give hubby a big hug from me. It’s not an easy thing for them to go through. Tell him congratulations and yes–it is about a book. A resume is a small bio of “you” at your best.

    @ Robin–thanks for the wishes! I hope the audience I’m trying to reach is accepting. As a domestic goddess–I’m one heck of a multi-tasker! Does that count? LOL
    @ Carlene–Thank you! I hope this year does pick up. Things are starting to turn around but it takes a while. Hugs!

    @Alethea–I know, I never seriously considered how they parellel each other! But it’s all about business (writing is business) so I guess it makes sense.

    Thank you all again for the kind words, stopping in and sharing your thoughts and all the well wishes! Best to you all!

  9. So happy to hear that your hubby has a new job! Fantastic news.

    This is a great post. I hadn’t really thought of it that way. Hmmm, maybe thinking of a synopsis as a resume will help me push through when writing mine. As we all know, I detest the freaking synopsis! 😉

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