artsy resume

resume finished close up

So, those of you who know me probably know I’m trying to land one of the hardest jobs to get; a federal librarian position. Why have I set my sights so high? There are selfish reasons; I love to travel and it is an expectation in the federal system, I want to build my career with one employer. There are also altruistic reasons; I respect the work of the men and women in the Armed Forces, I want to help American’s overseas stay connected to their families back home as well as make optimum use of their time in some beautiful foreign countries–this can be accomplished through good reference service and hosting fun activities at the base library.

In order to apply for a federal job, one submits a resume online. There are several places to apply, one is through, the others are specific to each branch of service. While I appreciate the convenience of applying online I couldn’t help but notice that it left very little room for personality. I was ecstatic when I got my first interview, which I’m quite sure was due to the nudge of a certain ESU grad (thanks Michelle!!). I didn’t get the Heidelberg job, but I did think I could have presented something tangible, not just an online resume, something that showed where I’m from and what I enjoy creating, voila! the artsy resume.

I started by considering what is generally included in a resume; basic facts about me, my work history, my educational history, my objective, my references. I decided the resume needed six sections. I am a “collector” (aka pack rat) of paper and maps; I love paper with texture and maps, well…that just makes one dream of travel. Here’s some lovely paper I used:

resume strip of paper

Once I settled on the design and size I decided I would work production-like and make a dozen. I come from a printing background, if you’re getting out the tools to make one you may as well make 12. I recently started collecting die cutting machines and dies, one of which cuts paper (even old Oregon maps) into sweet, sweet library book pockets and cards:

Resume die

resume layout

This kind of papercrafting is loads of fun. I even bought my 8 year-old a die cutter so she could join me. These things cut as well as emboss–which I’ve tried unsuccessfully to do by hand. It amazes me how well and how easily they work. As you can see from this photo I hadn’t thought to use a map just yet. This is thick, beautifully textured scrapbook paper. I like it but it didn’t fit in with my “where I’m from” theme.

Resume second cut

Have I mentioned how much I love my tools? I freakin’ love this corner rounder, it’s print-shop quality and kicks some serious booty:

corner rounder

Here’s the bad boy in action:

resume corner rounder

resume corner rounder[1]

I turned the corners of about half of the accordian folded resumes. I think a rounded corner makes for a lovely ‘finished’ look. Once I decided to use an Oregon map, I lined the die up with the area I wanted to highlight with the book pocket. The die is a set, it also cuts book cards, which I cut out of 4 x 6″ index cards; they have similar lines to a book card and they fit nicely-although snugly-in the book pocket.

Here’s the finished artsy resume:

resume finished

I made a whole mess of these and then starting scripting what they’d say–and trying to imagine how they would be received. My goal in creating these is to do what I cannot accomplish with an online resume; to showcase my paper art crafting skills and my personality. To date I have sent one out–I applied online for a job in Germany and quickly put the completed artsy resume in the mail the very next day. I don’t know if you have experience mailing to an American base but the address is strange. I sent it to the attention of the supervisory librarian at the base library. I also included some of my gift tags to show I’m not afraid to destroy discarded books 🙂

I have the impression that the military is very serious, very stoic. Part of this comes from having a great aunt who was in the Army Nurse Corp and retired as Lieutenant Colonel. She never married, served at Iwo Jima and Korea, and was scary. She was serious, curt, tactless, and not warm…at all. But her tales of travel always fascinated me–because she didn’t just travel for work, she made a point of traveling all over the world with her free time. Just about any place I could think of or had read about she had visited.

My opposing viewpoint is the Land Clan. They are silly, generous, and good-natured. I hadn’t looked at the military as a potential employer until late in my graduate program. I was talking with a substitute teacher who mentioned she had lived in Iceland (!) and Japan (!) and I was all over that. “How?!!”  She worked for the Department of Defense Schools–if a country overseas has a base, there’s likely a DODS school for the families of service-members. I could hardly believe such a great opportunity existed and immediately called Jodi Land, practically screaming in her ear. OMG!!! Jodi has been so supportive in helping me understand today’s Army, which has given me deeper respect for her and her husband, as well as scary old Aunt Ada. As we spoke about the challenges of parenting while your partner is living in a war zone I decided these were the people I wanted to work with, who I wanted to serve.

I did have the opportunity to say all of this to the supervisory librarian who recevied my artsy resume. I haven’t heard my status but I know that my effort had a positive effect. Art instruction has been an invaluable gift to me over the years and I feel fortunate to have access to such great materials as well as share my experience. Thank you for reading my blog.

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I never knew there were all these cool tools for papercraft! And I love, love, love the idea of an artsy resume! You are so creative and talented!

    • Thank you, Ms. Monique!! I think the tools are part of the reason scrapbooking is such a lucrative business. These tools are fun to use, the paper is beautiful to look at, the texture is gorgeous, and the results are really fast. Thank you for your compliments, I heartily endorse art instruction and hope to one day (soon!!) share my skills and my tools at a library far, far away.

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