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Old 14-10-2015, 12:00   #1
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Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

I'm applying for a federal job after a year of cruising, 6 months on our boat in Mexico and 6 months cruising an RV in America during hurricane season. Here's what I have:

After leaving active duty my family traveled cross country to my home of record in Seven Valleys, PA. We sailed our sailboat over 2,000 nautical miles visiting 9 major ports in Pacific Mexico in six months. Then our travels continued over 10,000 miles cross country in a recreational vehicle. In October 2015 we returned to our boat in Mexico to continue traveling while seeking employment. My intention is to return to San Diego after gaining employment.
Maintenance Man: Responsible for the preventative and corrective maintenance of a 41 foot sailboat and 21 foot recreational vehicle including electrical, electronic and mechanical systems.
Planner: Developed and followed a family budget in 2011 to enable our travel goals.
Communicator: Improved foreign language skills interacting with local people and foreign government officials.

Any thoughts on what else would be good to include?
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Old 14-10-2015, 12:14   #2
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

You don't need to say much more. Keep it short and sweet... it also lets them lead into questions which will be your best interaction. That said... under planner: I would add scheduling or navigation to it.
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Old 14-10-2015, 12:19   #3
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

One question: do these skills directly relate to the job you are applying for? If not, consider wring out a paragraph that emphasizes the successful outcome of you adventure. Certainly emphasize any skill learned white cruising that directly applies to the job you seek.

In other words - if you are applying to be spy, no one cares that you can rebuild a marine head.
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Old 14-10-2015, 12:29   #4
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

I would simply say that after active duty I took a year off to get reacquainted with my family. If they ask what you did, answer honestly. But I'm not sure I would try to claim transferable job skills from cruising.
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Old 14-10-2015, 12:33   #5
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

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Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
I would simply say that after active duty I took a year off to get reacquainted with my family. If they ask what you did, answer honestly. But I'm not sure I would try to claim transferable job skills from cruising.
That is about what I was thinking too, and what were your active duty skills?
How long were you in? I'd assume leadership skills pretty much no matter what, also I think the VA has Resume writing assistance, but I'm not sure.
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Old 14-10-2015, 12:34   #6
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

I would play it up to a reasonable level. If nothing else it makes your resume stand out. The hiring manager may just bring you for the interview out of curiosity; once in front of the manager you can shine on personality instead of paper.


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Old 14-10-2015, 15:28   #7
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

The job I'm applying for is what I did while on active duty, just now as a civilian. It's fixing electronic weapon systems. So some cruising stuff like maintenance planning and corrective maintenance applies directly. Thanks for the input everyone.
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Old 14-10-2015, 15:47   #8
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

Hmm, it sounds like a pretty professional type of job. I see no harm in including cruising in the resume as a great conversation starter, but do you think they might be more interested in your more technical skills?

I'm a former CG sailor turned suit fed, admittedly in a different country, but I suspect there are some similarities. If so then HR will likely be heavily involved in the hiring process. It might be very much like a checklist of skills you have. Either you have enough points for an interview or you don't.

I guess the plus is, if you are missing specific technical skills, maybe you could use your cruising skills to fill in some gaps

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Old 15-10-2015, 06:55   #9
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

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Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
I would simply say that after active duty I took a year off to get reacquainted with my family.
This.

Especially in today's economic climate, companies all understand that sometimes people have gaps in their employment. Don't try to white-wash it. They will see through that and wonder why you are trying to imply that you weren't unemployed during that period. Just be honest. Leave the gap in your resume.

Be honest, but have a plausible explanation ready, in case questions come up. Stressed out by active duty (everyone understands that). Needed to reacquaint myself with my family (everyone wishes they had the courage to take time to do that). Needed time to assess my priorities and decide where I wanted to go with my life, and now I see this opportunity with your company as an exciting chance to make a meaningful contribution to an organization that can make full use of my abilities and experiences (just the sort of enthusiasm that every recruiter wants to hear).

Good luck.
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Old 15-10-2015, 07:49   #10
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

If you were applying to my company and I was the guy in charge of finding the right employee:

If I saw what you wrote on your thread starter written on your resume, I probably wouldn't interview you; it sounds a bit too boastful, and it sounds like you are trying to hard to make your traveling something more that what is was. In other words, it comes off as you are a person who offers a lot of bullshot.

On the other hand, an employment gap would not deter me from interviewing you, and I might bring it up in conversation in order to understand what kind of person you are. If you simply told me that you sailed with your family for six months in Mexico and RV'd for six months in the USA, you would have a major advantage over candidates of equal qualifications, even if they have one more year of professional experience than you do. However, if you started fluffing me with how sailing and RVing skills transfer to a job, or if you justified your sabbatical with any other reason than "I wanted to," I would think you are a bullshot type of guy or somehow too needy to be a good employee.

However, I'm not that guy. But I am the guy with plenty of employment gaps on my resume. In fact I don't even list my employers; I list a select few skills that I am very, very good at. It has worked for me; I've had pretty good jobs whenever I wanted one.
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:08   #11
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

I tend to agree with jwing.

Simply state that you took time off to travel with family....and leave it at that.

HR people need to reduce applicants down to measurable traits and brevity/efficiency of communication is a key one for them.

Leave the details of your sabbatical for the face to face interview and focus on what skill sets you can offer.

Good Luck!
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:47   #12
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

As a current civilian / former military who at one time was looking for a job based on Military experience, I'd say play up the Military experience, maybe even use old OER's or NCOER's, military schooling etc.

If they are hiring someone to fix Patriot Missile system RADAR's, then I have to assume prior experience with Patriot Missile system RADAR's is key?
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:28   #13
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

The first time we went cruising we (wife and self) simply wrote in the dates and stated 'One year sabbatical spent sailing'. That is all we said and when we attended interviews subsequently we were both asked a couple of questions which were more out of curiosity .... it never created any issues. However, I guess if we did it now it might raise an eyebrow or two after more than 20 years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by n8kraft View Post
I'm applying for a federal job after a year of cruising, 6 months on our boat in Mexico and 6 months cruising an RV in America during hurricane season. Here's what I have:

After leaving active duty my family traveled cross country to my home of record in Seven Valleys, PA. We sailed our sailboat over 2,000 nautical miles visiting 9 major ports in Pacific Mexico in six months. Then our travels continued over 10,000 miles cross country in a recreational vehicle. In October 2015 we returned to our boat in Mexico to continue traveling while seeking employment. My intention is to return to San Diego after gaining employment.
Maintenance Man: Responsible for the preventative and corrective maintenance of a 41 foot sailboat and 21 foot recreational vehicle including electrical, electronic and mechanical systems.
Planner: Developed and followed a family budget in 2011 to enable our travel goals.
Communicator: Improved foreign language skills interacting with local people and foreign government officials.

Any thoughts on what else would be good to include?
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:47   #14
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

Speaking from experience, having read many thousands of resumes over my career, I would leave it in but without the reference to related job skills. The first part tweaked my interest, the second part tended to turn me off. First, it added way too much volume with minimal new info. Second, it just came across as a bit, maybe needy is the term, or, as others have put, it looks like you are trying to justify it.

Having said all that, I am now retired and I cannot speak to how the new "Monster.com" method of hiring would handle the inclusion or exclusion of the pertinent info. I actually read every resume we received for the available openings. I preferred one or possibly two page summaries. The successful candidates were often those with just a little something to keep the person in my mind when it came time to select a few for interviews.
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Old 15-10-2015, 09:55   #15
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Re: Next Job Resume: How do I best document my year cruising to a future employer?

I'm sure you have much more in the resume. I think you did a good job maybe downplay the experience gained since your service experience is probably more prevalent and easily verifiable. At least you aren't doing the cardinal sin of leaving an unexplained gap in employment history.
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