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Ask A Recruiter: How Do I Get Back into Creative?

How do you get started after time off?

This month our Recruiter talks starting out with your resume.

Danica H. of College of DuPage Press asks:

Q: I'm a college grad in History who wants to start out at Artisan Talent as a Proofreader/Editor. However, I haven’t worked in the creative industry for two years. What can I list on my resume as relevant experience?

A: Lauren says...

Hi Danica!

Thanks for reaching out! I’ve been in your position before, and it can be daunting to try to break back in to a competitive industry where staying up to date is essential for survival.

The first thing you should do is to make sure you are current on any changes in style manuals or editing formats that may have changed in the last couple years.

Other things to do:

  • Dust off any relevant certifications that you have, and make sure they are up to date as well. Two years isn’t an eternity, but you do need to explain what you were doing.

  • Make sure to add any contract work or temp positions that may be relevant to writing or editing – just because it wasn’t a full-time job doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count! Make sure they were real projects – it can be tempting to add “fluff” but Recruiters and Hiring Managers can sniff filler content from a mile away.

  • Be sure to list any volunteering or writing projects you may have worked on during this time too. You want to show that you were actively working towards your goals, not sitting on your couch eating flamin’ hot Cheetos (do that after you get your new job!)

  • It’s also a great idea to list any professional development courses you have taken to fill out bare spots in your resume as well. Even if the work wasn’t in the creative industry, you should still list any projects that you wrote, edited, or proofed.

  • This is a good time to employ a recruiting or staffing agency too – a good Recruiter can look at your resume and help you get it back in shape, and give you advice on how to showcase your best work, as well as suggesting some networking and creative development courses that might benefit you.

Remember, the name of the game is to explain why you had a two-year lapse, and how it contributed to your current goals. This is a great time to take on small editing projects to build your resume back up.

Basically, keep it simple and concise. You’re not the first person to have a resume gap, and you won’t be the last, so with a little creative thinking and a dash of drive, you’ll be back in the creative game in no time at all!

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