Resume tips: you're not unemployed, you're unwaged

For years, I didn't have a resume. I figured I didn't need one. I work for myself, out of my home, writing mostly magazine articles. Every so often, however, I've lived vicariously through one of my best friends, who moves to a new job every three or four years on average. He would spend hours, studying every word, and trying to make his resume look just right, perfecting the size and type of his font, making sure the spacing was perfect. I really thought he was worrying a little too much. I still do.

But then a couple years ago, I updated my own resume. I had started writing for the occasional company or corporation, and somebody would ask for it. It just seemed like a good idea, and suddenly, I started to see my friend's point of view and remembered why I had stopped updating my own.

It's hard. What do you say on your resume? You don't want to be too modest and minimize your accomplishments, but you probably don't want to go overboard either. In my early 20s, when my resume was thin, I had "transportation food engineer" as one of my occupations, hoping that I wouldn't have to explain that I actually meant "waiter."