How to Create a Resume for Crafters
Resume Writing for Crafters.
At one time, I had opportunity to evaluate and interview potential candidates for a position at a company I worked for.
The company would put an advertisement in the paper asking for resumes of interested parties to apply for a specific job. It amazed me how many people applied for the job that didn't have the essential experience or education to work in the field. I also noticed how sloppy some of the resumes were that would arrive in plain envelopes, handwritten, without any form.
Today, applying for a job is even more intense. However, many people don't realize that talents and skills can be highlighted on a resume for maximizing employment potential.
Everything we do can benefit us when looking for a job. Our background speaks to who we are and our accomplishments.
It's important to magnify our abilities when applying for a job.
In this article we are going to explore creative ways to embellish a resume for someone who has been out of work and supplementing their income with craft sales.
1. How many years have you been a crafter?
The first ingredient before starting a resume is to determine how many years you have been crafting.
Think back to the first paper snowflake or paper plate art you prepared in school. You were a crafter long before you started earning money with your talents.
What do you do now? Do you knit, crochet, rubber stamp, scrapbook, make greeting cards, sew, create quilts? How is your craft defined? Are you a crafter-of-all-trades? Or, do you specialize in one craft?
Think back to when you started your specialty. If you do not have a specialty, think back to when you put crafting ahead of any other hobby.
For example, I have been a crafter as far back as I can remember. As a young girl, I would cut up the Sunday newspaper advertisements from the local grocery stores and create grocery store backdrops for Barbie dolls out of the food ads. But my specialty came years later. After taking one class on rubber stamping, I started making and selling greeting cards on the side for fun. In my case, rubber stamping is probably my specialty.
What's yours? Think back to the time you started. What age were you? Do you recall anything specific about the event? Did you take a class or study a tutorial online?
This will give you a good indication of how many years you have been a crafter!
Apply that to your resume. Here are some samples:
- 15 years of professional knitting experience
- Over 10 years of knitting and selling baby blankets
- 20 years of crafting for local charities and selling handmade work at private auctions
- Over 5 years of making blankets for children in the cancer ward at the hospital
The examples above demonstrate even if you never sold your work or made a profit from it, you can use your experience on a resume.
2. What have you created?
Start a list of all of the items you have created over the years.
Do you knit? What do you knit? Sweaters, scarves, blankets, specializing in adult or children, etc.
Do you sew? What do you sew? Clothing, dresses, unique handbags, specializing in children, etc.
Do you create your own designs and produce them? Have you designed clothing or greeting cards and created them to sell? Have you sold you work?
These are all important questions to ask yourself. It all builds up your resume and your confidence as well.
For example, my grandmother was a homemaker. But year after year, she designed and created many unique and original goodies to be sold at annual craft fairs. One year she designed Cabbage Patch doll clothes. She even found a vendor who specialized in plastic covers for doll clothes. She ordered those and hung the doll clothes around a craft tent. She made a lot of money at that one craft fair. She used her imagination, skill, and expertise to create something that stood out from the rest of the crowd. Another year she made wooden plaques with animal designs and took them to sell at a country fair.
Ask yourself, what have you created over the years in your craft? Even if you didn't sell anything, but gave it all away, you still created something unique.
Has your work been published in magazines?
This is a great reference point for experience on your resume. Not only did you achieve publication of your design, but it stands to show your excellent reputation in crafting.
3. Who or what have you designed for?
Think back to everything you've created over the years.
Why did you create those particular items? Is it a hobby for you? Did you have someone in mind to create them for? Were you asked to create them?
For example, one time I created a gift bag trimmed in fur, rubber stamped with red dresses. It was quite pretty. Just to see if there was any interest, I put it up for sale online. Within days, I was contacted by a fashion designer in New York. They loved it. In fact, they wanted 500 of them for a fashion show. They were going to use them as parting gifts for all of the guests. I couldn't make that many because I had small children at the time. That would have been an awesome experience had I been able to accommodate that request. Nevertheless, I have created invitations on a massive scale for parties as well as thank you notes for weddings. In addition, I designed bulletin boards for a local school and a nursing home.
The examples above demonstrate people and places I have designed things for. Have you ever been invited to make your craft on a large scale? Even if you weren't able to do it, it's important in building up your portfolio.
Consider custom work.
What work have you done by request?
Consider listing these as professional clients.
Did you ever enter your crafts in a county fair and win a ribbon?
This too can be listed under accomplishments.
4. What is your experience?
This is important because if you have made a career out of crafting, this will highlight many areas of your expertise including marketing yourself and managing your work load.
For example, there are many people who sell their handmade items online. ETSY, eBay, Artfire, and Ruby Lane all have many talented artists and crafters selling their creations daily.
- Have you sold online?
- Do you have an online store front?
- Do you have help with your handmade crafts?
- Do you ship your items to customers?
- Do you have help packing and shipping the items?
- Do you keep track of your sales?
- Do you buy your supplies from vendors?
All of these answers lead to experience you can list on your resume.
Selling online means you have experience in marketing, sales, customer service, etc.
Having a store front means you have a business. If you have help, you have employees.
If you ship your items, you have experience in shipping and receiving.
If you keep track of your own sales, you have experience in bookkeeping.
If you buy supplies from vendors, it means you have purchasing experience and established relationships with other vendors.
All of this information is key to promoting yourself on a resume.
Believe me, when I was reviewing resumes at my corporate job, many people didn't have half of this experience which was required for the job they were applying for.
Experience as a Crafter
Packing and Shipping
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Managing a business
Keep track of your selling efforts.
If you have accounts online, such as ETSY or eBay, print out a copy of your storefront.
Start a portfolio of your work.
I keep a three-ring binder with sheet protectors in it. Every time I make a greeting card, I keep a copy in my binder. If I make a scrapbook page, I photograph it and print the photograph for my binder.
All of this information adds up to show off your talents and skills!
Keep good records. Keep a ledger of all of the craft fairs you attend. Marking down the date, items, and how much sold. Same thing for online stores. This will show how successful you were with your crafts. It proves diligence and commitment which employers seek in hiring the right candidate.
Also, make a list of any references that will be willing to vouch for you if necessary. Such as someone who you created designs for online. Did you have repeat customers that just love your work and speak highly of you? Do you have customers who have ordered your crafts that could write a professional letter of reference?
All of this information together with the skills you demonstrate will add a lot of potential to your resume.
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