Advocacy experience is a great things to have for a variety of reasons. One of which is that it makes a great addition to your resume! But how do you include it? I’ve included my advocacy on a variety of a few versions of my resume, so I definitely know how to do it. In this post, I’m going to share my resume tips for when you want to clearly include advocacy as well as when you want sneakily include it. Let’s do this!
Resume Tips: Clearly Including Advocacy
I’m going to start with why you might want to clearly include advocacy.
One possible situation is that you haven’t worked for a while and you want to make sure that you don’t have a gap on your resume for whatever reason.
Another situation is if your skills for advocacy are super applicable to your career or the job that you’re applying for.
Another reason is if you’re super proud of your advocacy work! (I know that I’m proud of mine.)
Finally, another possible reason is if you know it’s going to show up if your potential employer Googles you and you want to get ahead of it.
Now that we’ve covered four possible reasons why you might want to clearly include your advocacy in resume, let’s get into how to do it.
Professional Experience Section
Your blog – You bet that this blog goes on my resume! As a blogger, you have so many skills. I list that I’m the owner as my position, and include the timeline from when I started this blog to today. (If I ever stopped blogging for whatever reason, I would include that year in the timeline as well.) In bullet points, I include how many posts I write per month; a rough estimate of how many sponsored posts I write per year, as that counts as copywriting; how many social media networks I run for the blog; how many networks I write sponsored content for, as that also counts as creating copy, both written and visual; the fact that I email my mailing list subscribers at least twice a month; that I have a lot of experiences analyzing Google Analytics data; and that I edit images for this blog using Photoshop.
As you can see, I personally do a lot for this blog. Additionally, if I had a long-term VA (virtual assistant), that could count as having experience managing someone, although you would want to specify what that looks like for you and what tasks your VA does.
If this all seems overwhelming, I suggest writing down just quick notes (off of your resume but in preparation for updating it) everything you do for your blog. Run down a list of what you do to pull together a single blog post, and then write a list of everything else that you do for your blog weekly. I bet you’ll find some awesome skills that could apply to the job or career that you’re looking for!
Contract work – In April, May, and June of 2020, I worked as a platform moderator for WEGO Health’s patient platform. I got paid, so you know that goes on my resume and my LinkedIn! If you do or have done something similar that is contract work for a short period of time, definitely include it. I suggest doing a similar process as I mention for bloggers above in order to come up with the list of tasks you do for that contract work that will go on your resume.Tips for including your advocacy in your resume Click To Tweet
Working with an organization (ie Arthritis Foundation) – If you have a gap on your resume or you’re a high school or college student looking for resume tips, it might be a good idea to include any volunteer experience you have. This shows that you’re doing things and are passionate about causes. I’m including volunteer experience in the half of the post about clearly including advocacy because a potential employer might ask why you chose that organization or why you advocate for that organization.
Anyway. How to include volunteer experience in your resume.
When I include volunteer experience on my resume, I make “Volunteer Experience” a heading like “Professional Experience” and “Education.” Then I list where I’ve volunteered, such as a school where I tutored or an organization where I volunteered, and if I have the space, I also include the location such as the town and the time when I volunteered. I include the title (ie Grammar Tutor) and a quick bullet point or two describing what I did in that position.
Raising money for an organization – I would consider this separate from the previous note when it’s for an individual event. For example, I would put raising money for the Walk to Cure Arthritis separate from being an Arthritis Foundation Ambassador. If I were to volunteer at the Walk, I might combine the two, or I might combine them to save space. But there’s a lot to be done when you raise money for an organization! Some things you might include are: directly emailing or messaging people asking them to donate; writing and scheduling social media posts specifically for the event or cause; or other creative ways that you reached your goal.
For example, if you make and sell t-shirts or another product to raise money for this organization, that is an example of creative thinking. And if you became familiar with or mastered the program or site where you made the products, then your proficiency or expertise could be listed under the skills list of your resume.
Resume Skills List
The resume skills section is often a list or short description of different, well, skill you have. These items on this list are probably applicable to the position you’re looking at, and if you have a long list that makes your resume too long, you should choose which skills are the best for the position. Here are some things you might include in your list.
Search engine optimization – If you run a blog and you utilize SEO for it, you absolutely should include it in your resume. It can be a hard task to grasp, so definitely share that!
Managing social media in general – If you’re looking at a position that might find social media helpful but not one that is based in social media, then it would be great to put it here. Advocacy involves a lot of social media use – more than the average person uses – so it’s very helpful to include it in this list. If you are looking at a position based in social media, you’ll want to be a lot more specific than “managing social media.” That’s for my next point.
Specifying the social media schedulers you’re using – If you’re looking at a position that is based in social media, it’s super important to include the scheduling sites that you know and use in this list. For example, it isn’t really helpful to put “Instagram” on this list as this is 2020 and a lot of people know how to use Instagram, but it definitely is to put “Growing social media accounts” if you’ve really grown yours. On my resume I list experience with or expertise in Hootsuite, Buffer, Tailwind, MailChimp, MailerLite, Canva, etc.
Familiarity with professional email marketing – I send so many emails to my government officials for advocacy purposes, in addition to my email marketing for my blog in general. I am very familiar with communicating with representatives and senators on state and federal levels, especially with continued communication with their offices. If you’re familiar with this, too, I would find what wording works best for you and your understanding of email marketing; this definitely isn’t the best wording.
Resume Tips: Sneakily Including Advocacy
There are a lot of reasons why you might want to include advocacy in a sneaky way on your resume!
Maybe you advocate for people with a condition you have and you want to keep your health to yourself, either for your privacy or because businesses aren’t known to be actively accepting of people with not-perfect health.
Maybe you advocate for survivors of something you’ve experienced, and you super don’t want to talk about it with someone who is interviewing you for a job.
Maybe you just want to keep it separate from your career!
Like I said, there are a lot of possible scenarios when you might not want to be blatant about your advocacy work. But you’ve still got some great skills from it! Let’s talk about ways that you can include them.
You may or may not write a resume objective, but if you do, you should know some ways to include your advocacy skills in it! The job website Glassdoor says that resume objectives are short summaries of your career and career goals. More specifically, “A resume objective is a statement of your professional goals as they relate to the job you are applying for, and it is usually listed at the top of your resume. A resume objective is typically one or two sentences long, and can be tricky to write given the space limitations” (x).
When I was looking for a job after graduating with my MA, one of the jobs I was looking at was social media manager. Part of my resume objective said, “Blogger with over two years of experience performing administrative tasks. Has an MA in English, expertise in Microsoft Office, and proficiency in Photoshop Elements.” Even though I mention my blog, I don’t mention the advocacy work I do primarily through the blog, and I move directly into the skills that I have because of my blog. (Note: the administrative tasks mentioned here do not refer to my blog, but if you do a lot of admin work, feel free to include it!)
If you don’t want to even mention the specific site or type of site that you do your advocacy work through because that can open up questions (a certain blog, a social media account, etc.), you can include the skills and proficiencies you’ve gained through your advocacy work.
For example, this is part of the objective statement for a resume is slightly different: “Recent MA graduate with five years of experience writing blog posts and website copy, over two years of experience performing administrative tasks,” and then I mention the same skills in that previous resume. This objective focuses more on my experiences with a slightly different tilt. The reason why I phrased it this way was in case whoever was reading my resume wasn’t familiar with all that goes into running a blog. But it also works if you want to showcase the skills you have from advocacy without blatantly sharing how you have those skills.Different ways to include advocacy on your resume Click To Tweet
Resume Skills List
Sending professional emails – Depending on where you are in your career, this might be a given. But if you email politicians regularly about the thing you advocate for, then you’ve probably mastered writing and sending professional emails. Put that on your resume!
Meeting with politicians or other high-ranking people – You should definitely reword this concept as it best fits your experience and the career that you’re in or looking for, but if you have experience talking directly with powerful people like politicians or CEOs, that is definitely an asset. Some action verbs or phrases to use are articulating, expressing, enunciating, or eloquently sharing ideas.
Persuasive writing – Have you sent emails to convince a company or legislative member to do something? That would count as persuasive writing! And have they then done it or been influenced by you? That could then be successful persuasive writing! It’s a great skill, and it’s not one that everyone can do, so definitely brag about that.5 areas of your resume where you could include advocacy Click To Tweet
So, to recap, here are ways you can include advocacy in your resume:
- Describe your blog or social media in your professional experience if you want to clearly include advocacy
- Mention any volunteer experience you have, which can open you up for discussion if you advocate for something related to you or your experience, but could also be brushed off or phrased in such a way that it’s unclear if you are advocating on behalf of yourself or someone else
- Explicitly list the skills you have as a result of advocacy, which can be clearly described if you want to connect it to your advocacy
- Sneakily list the skills you have from advocacy in a way that doesn’t raise the idea that you advocate for something you or a loved one has experienced
- Include skills you’ve acquired through advocacy in your resume objective in a way that shows you have that skills and experience without introducing the idea that you advocate for something you or a loved one has experienced.
What are your tips for including advocacy on your resume?
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