Monday, December 9, 2019

Reasons to Put Your Books on Your Resume

A post by Mary Fan

Published authors with day jobs – do you put your books on your professional resume? I do. It goes in that little miscellaneous section at the very end – the usually reserved for volunteer work and community activities (I call that section “volunteer/independent work” and for a spell would put my freelancing gigs on there). So far, it’s worked to my advantage when it comes to interviews. Of course, there are certainly reasons to leave the books off – for instance, if you write in a genre some employers would frown upon under a pen name. But those circumstances aside, here’s why you should include your masterpieces on your resume.

It showcases a lot of useful skills
If you’ve managed to not only write a whole book, but also survive the hellish obstacle course that is the publishing process, you’ve probably gained a lot of buzzword-y skills along the way. Writing and communication, sure, but also time management, project management, and… well, people management. Not to mention the stuff you have to do to market the damn thing – you’ve probably picked up some public speaking skills while participating in book talks, some event marketing skills from attending conferences/conventions, etc. Oh, and then there’s all the accounting and logistics. It’s been written on this blog before that being an author is like being a small business. And running a small business involves a lot of skills that workplaces find valuable. Adding your books to your resume gives you an excuse to talk about them.

It makes you more interesting than cookie-cutter candidates
I’ve recently wound up on the other side of the hiring process, and let me tell you, it can be exhausting scanning dozens of identical-seeming resumes that all have the same basic educational backgrounds and experiences. Anything different and interesting is a plus.

They’re going to find out anyway
Your interviewers are going to look you up online. Unless you write under a pen name, your books are going to come up, and they’ll probably be curious. You might as well get in front of it.

What do you think? Do you put your books on your resume?

1 comment:

Karissa Laurel said...

At work the other day, a caller asked if I was a "fiction writer". He had googled me before calling to ask a work-related question. It was weird. Normally I keep this part of my life separate from the day job. But now that I'm editing more, I do think I should put that on my resume.

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