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Keeping Women Confident in a Declining Economy

by Molly Cheatum (a DC EcoWomen member)

The resume workshop last week was my second DC EcoWomen event. My first was to hear Dr. Jennifer Sass speak at EcoHour about her story as a career-driven woman in a mostly male environment. Good stuff. I wish I had more EcoWomen experience to draw from, especially after this past week’s resume workshop. Jessica Lubetsky led the workshop, and she did not disappoint. I am continually amazed at how many smart, capable, and genuinely interesting women live and work in this city. Jessica, along with the other 20+ women who attended the workshop, are either already in the environmental field or looking for work in this field, and all had varied experiences, including engineering, water, and policy.

I am no different, just recently laid off from a job in conservation economics and looking for similar work. This resume workshop gave me the much-needed motivation to get my resume in tip top shape. Covering the basics, Jessica laid out the framework of a good resume, flipping between her own resume as an example and pointing out what she looks for in others’ resumes. As the workshop rolled along, there were a couple of tidbits that stood out for me:

  1. Add a splash of color. Not too much, but a little, might make your resume stand out a bit more than the bland black and white, Times New Roman resume we all, or most, started out wit

  2. If I’m not getting paid then it doesn’t countnot true. Including volunteer or extracurricular work in experience, especially if you were managing a database, project, or team shows you aren’t a couch potato. (Though watching episodes of Law & Order, or BSG are exceptions.)

  3. Don’t stress if you’re unemployed. Take time to visit museums, coffee shops, and go out with your friends. Your status will change. Taking the time to appreciate and enjoy the affordable, free entertainment that exists in a city like Washington, DC will leave you with little regrets.

There were other helpful tidbits, like including “keywords,” changing up your resume to reflect each job posting, and including languages and computer skills. Maybe the number one thing Jessica mentioned is to remember that what encompasses a good resume is slightly different from person to person, so make it your own. All in all, this was a very helpful workshop and an evening well spent.



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