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Old 11-11-2010, 04:58 PM
 
318 posts, read 434,756 times
Reputation: 200
Question How would you write about political campaign experience on your resume for a non-political job?

I've been worried about this for years. From when I was 15-17, I volunteered 40 hours/week for a political campaign (I'm 19 now; I was home schooled when I worked) and, not to boast, did a pretty good job. I made 8k phone calls, raised over $15k in direct campaign donations, started an organization that raised over $20k in in-kind donations, was featured on CNN, ABC, and several newspapers, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

That said, that's the most substantive work experience I've had to date. I was a website manager, website designer, I worked phones, I fund-raised, and I worked on web assistance. After getting out of college in May '12, I hope to work as an entry-level or lower-mid-level admin. assistant and work my way up to secretary (basically the same thing, just better pay) and possibly exec. assistant someday. I'm working as an administrative assistant now, 25 hours a week, as well as being a campus photographer, news release writer, and web content manager.

So when I'm applying for non-political jobs, how should I write about my political experience? I mean, for one thing, the organization that I founded has a clearly partisan title, and so I have to somehow avoid even writing the title (that, or I could gamble and hope my interviewer and boss liked my candidate) on my resume.

Suggestions?
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:33 AM
 
3,889 posts, read 2,174,583 times
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I, too, spent a lot of time doing volunteer work in our May primaries, for our Republican candidate. I just lumped it under the "volunteer" section of my resume - I didn't name the specific party, and nobody really asked. I had other organizations, too, that I helped with projects - like the local Historical Society, Christian Coalition, etc., that I DID list, and it looked very good. The Christian Coalition led to involvement in our local Tea Party Express organization, too (I've been on TV and had my picture in the paper), but I didn't list that. It would have helped me in some interviews, hurt me on others. It did give me a lot of networking opportunities with some of the local conservative businessmen, though, and thanks to that, I've just gotten a nice part time office job, three afternoons a week, to supplement another part time job I start in December. Anyway, just list it, but no parties or names. Who knows? It could end up being a big plus. I have a cousin who campaigned for Nixon in 1968, when she lived in Washington, D.C., and it helped her get a nice job in government - she ended up working in the White House. Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,608 posts, read 4,960,555 times
Reputation: 3558
Quote:
Originally Posted by alamosakid View Post
I've been worried about this for years. From when I was 15-17, I volunteered 40 hours/week for a political campaign (I'm 19 now; I was home schooled when I worked) and, not to boast, did a pretty good job. I made 8k phone calls, raised over $15k in direct campaign donations, started an organization that raised over $20k in in-kind donations, was featured on CNN, ABC, and several newspapers, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

That said, that's the most substantive work experience I've had to date. I was a website manager, website designer, I worked phones, I fund-raised, and I worked on web assistance. After getting out of college in May '12, I hope to work as an entry-level or lower-mid-level admin. assistant and work my way up to secretary (basically the same thing, just better pay) and possibly exec. assistant someday. I'm working as an administrative assistant now, 25 hours a week, as well as being a campus photographer, news release writer, and web content manager.

So when I'm applying for non-political jobs, how should I write about my political experience? I mean, for one thing, the organization that I founded has a clearly partisan title, and so I have to somehow avoid even writing the title (that, or I could gamble and hope my interviewer and boss liked my candidate) on my resume.

Suggestions?
I don't see it as too much of a concern. If I were reviewing a resume from someone at your level (young, just out of college) I think I'd be pretty impressed by the amount of work you did between the ages of 15-17.

The most important thing would be to translate the skills from that position to the job you are applying for.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:07 AM
 
41 posts, read 71,124 times
Reputation: 57
I'd list all the experience and skills you gained, but nothing that would let the employer guess your party affiliation or preference. An irrational hiring manager might use it against you.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:52 AM
 
1,512 posts, read 845,413 times
Reputation: 557
Quote:
Originally Posted by alamosakid View Post
So when I'm applying for non-political jobs, how should I write about my political experience? I mean, for one thing, the organization that I founded has a clearly partisan title, and so I have to somehow avoid even writing the title (that, or I could gamble and hope my interviewer and boss liked my candidate) on my resume.

Suggestions?
Politically radioactive before your first adult job? That is skillz. LOL.

Your politics say something about you. Whether that's good or bad, depends on the reader. That said, before I answer, what is your party affiliation?

LOL. Just kidding. As you know, your resume isn't a generic brochure that you send out to everyone and anyone who might have a job opening. Any given resume is one of several stock resumes that you have on your hard drive and printed on high quality paper. The stock resumes are a few of several other resumes that have been further customized for unique opportunities.

If I were you, I would make a resume that boldly states your political experience. Instead of tailoring the resume to a desired position, make it the same as most people do: a laundry list of experiences and skills.

Stop (STOP!) talking about how wonderful you are. You say,"I've been on TV because I'm so wonderful." The manager hears,"I'm better than you because you haven't been on TV. You're not wonderful like me." It sucks but only your mother wants you to be wonderful. Everyone else wants you to be less wonderful than them.

Now that you have a resume boldy communicating your political experience, start calling contacts you've been making through the organization and ask everyone you talk to if they can set aside fifteen minutes for you. Get into their office, do a little small talk and then tell them you're looking for a J.O.B. and say if you know anyone that might be interested, you're available. At the end of that sentence, don't become uncomfortably silent and stare at them in anticipation. They're going to say "Of course, yadda, yadda." You say thank you very much and get out.

If you do not land a job this way, you will know that your time working for that group was an absolute waste of time unless you're going into politics. (You have a good start, by the way, and your city probably has volunteer positions, too. In a few years, you can run for council.) However, I think you're going to find that an amazing number of doors are going to open for you.

Last thing, as you're laying the pavement for this road, you may consider establishing a mentorship with someone important and successful in the organization. He'll give you the sort of advice that you found here. Perhaps, one of your city councilman are also involved with this organization.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:30 PM
 
318 posts, read 434,756 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Homogenizer View Post
Politically radioactive before your first adult job? That is skillz. LOL.

Your politics say something about you. Whether that's good or bad, depends on the reader. That said, before I answer, what is your party affiliation?

LOL. Just kidding.
That's another thing, I've switched parties since then lol. I'm still friends with everyone I worked with, however; I made some of the best friends (and connections) I ever have, actually. I'm young. I'm open-minded. I don't deny it. But trying to explain that to my employer OR having them assume I'm still affiliated with the party that I was? No thanks.
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