May. 27th, 2017

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So I've recently obtained paid employment as an editor.  A uni lecturer friend of mine asked if she could hire me as her research assistant to basically write up her papers for her for like half to one day per week, and I said... you know, I can probably fit that into my schedule.  And then she hasn't been able to find the time to write up the research proposal to submit to the higher ups so she can hire me yet.  (Try typing that phrase without misspelling something the first time.)  But a colleague of hers got into a jam with a paper that needed proofing fast and she said, well, I might know someone... and I've ended up working for a complete stranger, funded out of an entirely different grant.  Which is actual levels of terrifying, but okay, apparently she liked my work, and she definitely liked my turnaround time.  *blows smoke from fingers to the sound of warbling harmonica*  Fastest editor in the west! 

Anyway, we put cart before horse and I did the work first and now I'm going through all the stuff that they need to actually hire and pay me, and apparently I need to submit a resume for their HR department to verify my level of qualifications and thus what level I should get paid at on their standard scale.

And I'm like... okay?  I'll see if I can blow the dust off it...

So I found my most recent resume and the date on it was 2003, which isn't too bad, only a couple of years old.


Hang on.

What's the date again?

Oh.  So, only fourteen years old.

Fourteen years ago, I hadn't finished my uni qualifications, I hadn't worked for ten years as a programmer, I hadn't spent nearly seven years entirely out of the workforce raising young children.  I had a different address.  I even had a different name.

Anyway, that stuff's easy fixed, so I brought it all up to date, and then I was faced with a conundrum.

Because this is a writing job, and my experience writing and editing is actually extremely relevant.  That's the entire reason my friend thought of me for this job, because I have zilch in the way of formal English qualifications.  But all my experience is in....  You know.  Fanfiction.  And--I don't know if any of you are brave enough to put writing fanfiction on your resume when it's going out to actual real world people, but... well, it still feels to me like the kind of word that's immediately followed by the deafening sound of crickets.

But thinking about it, if I was going for a sewing job, I'd mention that I'd sewed my own wedding dress, that I sewed bridesmaid dresses for three separate friends' weddings, and I would also--if that was the sort of fannish work that took my fancy--mention that I'd made this or that cosplay costume for various fannish events.  That would be relevant.  And so is this.  But how to word it?

I eventually settled on putting in a "relevant experience" section below work history, and putting in the following:
I spend most of my leisure time writing for online communities across multiple genres, including fiction, poetry, articles, and blog posts.  Since I began writing seriously, I have posted over 380,000 words of fiction, completed National Novel Writing Month twice, won multiple community awards, edited and provided feedback on numerous creative works, and mentored a number of young writers.

All true, and none of it mentions the dreaded "f" word.  Close one.  And of course I've already got the job, and the actually important thing to the HR department of a university will be that I have an honours degree and ten years industry experience, so it doesn't matter at all.  Still.  I'm glad I managed to actually put it in there in a way that I could feel comfortable with.


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The White Lily

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