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I have over 10 years experience as an educator and trainer working with adolescents and adults in the corporate environment and in the academic community.  I am looking for a career change. I no longer wish to grade papers, yet I want to remain where I am instrumental in youth/adult development (academically or career wise) or community development (working with schools or organizations for the betterment of youth or adults).  I find that I am most instrumental in playing the role of the motivator and source of inspiration for my students. How can I create the right resume title?  As I research various career websites, many companies use different job titles for positions that may sound relatively the same. How do I create one that contains what is essential?

Answer
Hi Nicole,

My first reaction to your question is that you may be looking at this from the wrong angle.  When you talk about a "resume title" I am making the assumption that you are using (or have used in the past) a lead category in your resume that is something like "Objective" or "Summary" and so you are looking to describe the position that you want.  If my assumption is incorrect, please let me know.

If my assumption is accurate, my first piece of advice to you is you shouldn't use an Objective or Summary at all no matter what position you are seeking.  These categories were the rage twenty years ago, but today employers tell me that they rarely, if ever, look at them.  They tend to be non-starters as things to describe your skills or qualifications.  That is a whole other category of Q & A, but if you would like more specific information about what I am describing in this regard, please let me know.  You can either write me a follow-up or write me at the email address below where I have a lot more in-depth interaction with people I meet on this site.  

What I think you need to do - based on what you have told me you are wanting - is to find positions that are educational in nature but have fewer of the classroom tasks.  One such category would be either a non-profit or for-profit coalition/company/organization that helps students in an outside-the-school capacity.  As a former educator, I work for one such non-profit where I live.  What we do is work with students, teachers, parents, local businesses/corporations and others who are trying to increase the educational experience for students.  My job, as one example, is to go into schools and work with the administrators and teachers of a school to find out what kinds of things would help them do their job. I also have the opportunity to work with students at the middle- and high-school levels in ways that allow them input to the educational process.  I then follow-up with all the stakeholder groups to help design lesson plans, activities, and goals as well as seek alternative funding sources.  I don't know this for a fact, but I would imagine most states have such organizations that look for former educators to increase the depth and richness of the educational experience for students.

I think what you need to do is begin looking for those kind of opportunities in your area and notice what things are open to you.  You're right that career websites use different job titles for this sort of work.  That's because this represents new kinds of thinking for nearly all communities where money is tight but student needs continue to grow.  As a result, there is no standard title for this kind of job.  In writing your resume, you need to focus on both your experience - the things you are best at - as well as mention the kinds of activities you have been involved in that mesh with any given job announcement.  In other words, you need to write your resume the same way you should have been writing it all along - with a focus on what the employer is looking for.  In this case, go looking for the kinds of jobs you want (no matter what title is given to them), study closely what the job entails, and then construct your resume accordingly.

My company, RCI International, does this sort of thing for clients all over the world dozens of times a day, every day.  If you would like me to take a look at your resume (once you find an appropriate job), I would be happy to give you a free analysis of your document(s) including a cover letter if you choose and assess how well I think you are matching your documents to the job that is advertised.  You can attach them to an email if you like and send it to me at the address below.  

I hope this helps; best wishes to you!  

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.

Expertise

I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.

Experience

I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Publications
Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

Education/Credentials
B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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Thousands of individuals

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