Hi everyone. Apologies for the new throwaway account, but it's just for privacy reasons. I hope you can still help me with my resume.
Excuse the length of this post, but here's some background information about me and my resume, which at the moment is actually a UK-style CV. I've lived in the United States since 2015 but I'm from the UK. That's after my family were in New Zealand from 2009-2015, where I've held dual nationality since my teens, and where my wife and I were self-employed.
I last used my CV in 2007, and hadn't updated it in any way until just a few days ago. It's fair to say it's a bit of a mess. In 2007 when I was in my late 20s, it was 3 pages of 8pt text – a wall of job positions and responsibilities. After adding my history of the last 10 years, it's now 5 pages long. I didn't even touch the "Key Skills" or "Personal Profile" sections that again, were last updated in 2007; at the moment I don't know if I need them or not. What I do know is that a 5-page resume is too big, even for someone approaching 40 with an extensive employment history.
My wife and our children are US citizens. In 2013 my wife's dad was diagnosed with cancer. After a long wait of the USCIS processing my immigration application, we moved to the US (Los Angeles area) in 2015. My wife became our family's primary breadwinner, and I became a stay-at-home dad/homemaker and the primary carer for my father-in-law, making sure he got all his meds, got to his appointments, kept up with his hygiene, eating, exercise, etc etc. He died in 2017 but not a month later my mother-in-law was diagnosed with the same cancer. I then became her carer until she died early this year. Our oldest son is now at the age where he can look after our youngest for a couple of hours after school so now is the time for me to find a job, which I hope to do by the end of 2018.
One of my concerns with my resume apart from the length is what to do about these last three years of unemployment. Do I include it on the resume, or address it in cover letters, or not mention it at all until any interviews? Theoretically I can make it look like there isn't a gap, because since 2014 I've been an unpaid volunteer administrator at one torrent site and a moderator at another. I've added this to my resume already, but removed any indication they are torrent sites, obviously (it isn't even clear after visiting the urls that they are torrent sites; they are innocuous looking homepages with just a login screen). EDIT: I've also been doing Uber and Lyft for a couple of years but haven't put that on my resume.
My employment history is mostly as a chef in fine-dining restaurants and 4-star hotels in the UK, except for when my dad opened a pub and my brother and I co-managed it for several years, and in New Zealand when my wife and I ran a B&B out of our house and a small hostel for backpackers in a converted on-site barn. This brings me to another concern for my resume – it appears from casual job searches and other things I've seen online, that in the US the term "chef" is reserved only for the head chef or exec chef of a kitchen, and everyone else is a "line cook" or "prep cook". I'm not used to those terms although I understand their meanings. In the UK we use the French/Escoffier brigade with Commis Chefs, Chefs de Partie, etc.. Do I need to use the Americanized terms in my resume (which IMO plays down the roles I had)?
If it helps to shape my resume, I'd like to apply for management/junior management positions, preferably in hotels, but it doesn't really have to be in the hospitality industry at all – and hope my experience outweighs any requirements for a degree. Although I was a skilled chef and spent many years cooking professionally, after so long away from a kitchen I'm concerned that I will be rusty and too slow to keep up with the guys 15 years younger than me, not to mention food trends have changed a lot in 10 years and I haven't kept up with them.
My worst fear is being an entry-level employee in a retail environment, and this could be a real possibility – my wife is an assistant store manager at a Home Depot, and is able get me in on the floor at any other HD store within the sales district, something she's intimated I could do until I find something more "me".
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