Submitted by EffectiveTechie on
I am looking for some input on my CMD entry for my year trip around the world last year. Keep in mind this is for the CMD portion, not necessarily going to go on the resume in total, depending on the job applying for.
One comment I received while undertaking my job search was "why is he trying to make it sound like it was a job". This was via my friend who is trying to get me an interview at a company I am interested in and asked a manager what they thought of the resume.
This is first in line on my resume (its reverse chronological of course) as it was the last big thing I did and explains a huge gap in my resume as well as the reasons I did it and some things I can apply to the workforce because of it.
For context, I am 30 and have been in the workforce for about 5 years before taking the trip, holding a successful sales job at a large manufacturing company.
I am happy to give more info, but wanted to keep it brief at the beginning. Looking forward to hearing some feedback on how you would recommend I improve this.
Mar 2015 – Jan 2016: Long Term Travel – Traveled with my wife to Europe, Asia, and South America for 11 months on a budget of $45K. Important to us because we had not traveled much previously and we wanted to explore some of the world before starting a family. Determined worldwide travel and the experiences it would bring would enrich our lives and that there would never be a better time.
Reached our budgeting goals prior to trip, allowing us to leave our jobs without stress over our finances.
Stayed within our $45K budget through effective planning, well designed systems, and route optimization.
Captured and processed over 75,000 photos for documentation of our trip on our blog, www.everydayanewadventure.com.
Enhanced communication skills through speaking with strangers daily, often requiring use of another language.
Challenged the status quo by taking a bold, yet calculated risk.
Thank you for your time and consideration!
I would recommend not putting that on your resume, but addressing it in your cover letter. That way they can understand that this was a planned unemployement gap, and you can avoid the comments about making it sound like a job.
As far as how to address it in your CMD, I think you've done pretty good pointing out the skills and experiences that could be helpful in a professional setting. These may be useful as you interview - but again, I would recommend not putting them in your resume directly.
Good luck in the search! I hope it goes well for you.
Thank you for your response!
Thank you for your response! That is a great point, especially for this particular employer.
Do I understand correctly that you recommend leaving it off my resume in any form for all applications? I prefer to not have a year+ gap on my resume, and hope the employer will look at my cover letter. I also don't have a lot of relavent things to add to my resume that are very significant to make up for the space. I could increase font size slightly and play with margins, but that is a secondary concern.
Would there be a better way to present this information on the resume so they understand where the gap came from?
Some of my questions are coming from additional comments my contact at this employer made, such as "I should have a summary on top", "Your cover letter would likely not be read", and "Put interests at the bottom to give it some personality" - these came from the manager she asked for his opinions... and you can imagine how I feel about this feedback since I am a big believer in the MT interviewing casts mentality...
Comments from Manager?
You're very welcome! I'm glad I can help. You're correct. I think that the best thing to do would be to leave it off completely - but I won't fall on my sword for that. If you feel like you absolutely need it on your resume, I would just have the dates of your trip, and note that it was travel. I wouldn't list anything in the responsibilities or accomplishments section.
Now, regarding the comments your contact gave you, are they your contacts comments? Or are they the hiring manager's comments? I ask because I just cringe at the idea of putting interests at the bottom of your resume. I've never known a hiring manager to use a candidate's interests as a factor for hiring. If you have available space on your resume fill it with more accomplishments that relate to this new position. That is how you effectively show that you are qualified for this position. Putting interests would make me think that it was there to only be filler.
Regarding the cover letter not being read, there's a solution to that. Note in the last paragraph of your cover letter that you will follow up (by phone if possible) on a specific date. Then when you call to follow-up, say something along the lines of, "As I mentioned in my cover letter, I want to follow up on position X. I would love to meet with you in person to discuss the position. You can reach me at XXX-XXX-XXXX." That way they want to go back and read your cover letter if they haven't already.
If you haven't already purchased the Interview Series, you ought to. It's incredible. I purchased it and was able to get multiple offers within 8 weeks or so.
Thank you again!
They are comments from a manager (who presumably does hiring, but not for this position). My friend is also wearing a hat of a recruiter along her normal consulting duties (but again, not for this position) so she speaks with some inside baseball knowledge of how the company looks at resumes etc.
I do have the interviewing series and it is great! I chose to follow some of the feedback she gave me, but not all, as I still want her to give me a hearty recommendation (she is more a friend of a friend, we don't go back very far). Also, the point of a resume is to get an interview, so even if I do not agree with it all, but it works, then, I guess I won't complain! We will see!
I did NOT put interests at the bottom, I imagine the trip is plenty of fodder for interesting things to talk about if they were needed, and certainly a thing to remember me by. I did shorten my section on the trip and reluctantly added a short "summary" style blurb which i treated like a heavily truncated cover letter.
The idea on the cover letter is GOLD, I will have to remember this in the future!
It's all an adventure so we will see how this goes! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such detail!
Give it less space...
Any space you devote to the trip around the world in the resume is less space for accomplishments in other roles. If you opt to include the experience then shorten the narrative and eliminate the bullets. Right now, my inclination would be to not include it on the resume.
Don't put it on your resume,
Don't put it on your resume, you can explain this at the time of interview. If you'll mention this on your resume you might not even get achance to explain yourself.