This is going to be a bit of a rehash from a couple of earlier posts I've done, but since those are buried so far in the archives I wanted to highlight them again, along with the dustbiter's recent post about how the "career changer" mindset had been helping her prepare for the process of making the break from academia and starting a new career. It's a great post altogether, but in particular I'd like to highlight the fact that she's put together a "master resume" to help with her job search; something she learned from Julie at Escape the Ivory Tower, and something that I've also found immensely helpful (probably based on advice I got from Escape the Ivory Tower or someplace similar).
I really believe this is a critical step for any postacademic or even potential postacademic to take. It's important for you to understand not just what you've done in the academic world, but what skills those things have given you. You have skills, buried under the jargony lines of your CV, I promise.
When you're getting ready to write a resume, you may look at your CV and see the two lines representing two conference presentations that you've given at two academic conferences. For an academic CV, that's it - two lines. Boom. And clearly, those two lines aren't going to get you an academic job. (Hiring manager: "What the heck does a presentation about basketweaving have to do with an entry-level job in marketing??")
This is where a master resume can help you break down your academic achievements into a set of skills. Your potential nonacademic employers probably don't care about the titles of your presentations or what conferences you were at or what cities they were located in. What they will care about, though, is that by having completed conference presentations you have demonstrated that you can:
-complete a complex research project (or interpret the complex findings others have come up with)
-narrow down long, complex papers and highlight the key points to be included in a presentation
-write creative and interesting presentations*
-utilize presentation software and hardware
-speak comfortably and confidently in front of a variety of audiences
-answer questions on the fly and to respond to criticism
-meet deadlines and conform to time constraints
Similarly, teaching positions demonstrate that you have a range of organizational skills, public speaking skills, "people skills," and experience writing evaluation tools and overseeing and reviewing the work of others. These are important skills that would be valued in a lot of jobs ... and they get completely lost if your resume just lists "Instructor - Basketweaving 101" on it.
So, do this. Sooner rather than later. Make a master resume. It'll help you get out of the mindset of thinking of your career as a checklist of academic tasks ... and will help you see the long list of actual, concrete job skills you've obtained.
(*keep in mind, you don't actually have to be the world's best public speaker to make these claims. You're selling yourself. No one reading your resume was at the Basketweaving Conference of 2010 and saw you bomb. You're a public speaker. Sell yourself as one.)