Are there any tips for writing the BCG resume?

Well, there are some!

First of all, the BCG list of requirements for the resume results in a resume like you have probably not written before.  I have worked all afternoon on mine and there may be some “lessons learned” for you.

  • The educational section (2-A) asks for your non-genealogical education.  Do not forget to include your awards etc. that you might have received in your line of work.  It does not have to be exhaustive but should show leadership, excellence in your field, etc.
  • Of course, your reasons for seeking certification (2-C) should not be frivolous.
  • The section to discuss your experience in genealogical research (2-D) seems to me to be misplaced and is better at the very beginning.  It forms a “Profile” of you.
  • I broke up Research Facilities (section 2-E) into sub categories based on the two sub-categories they listed (names of facilities and approaches you take to access materials outside your home).  I then broke the latter sub-group into the sub-sub-categories that they listed and addressed each one separately.
  • the List of articles etc. (2-F) took the longest for me.  I had to go through all the back issues of a newsletter that I write for and list all the articles.  I still do not think I caught them all but there are 15 or more on the list.  It was more than I thought there would be.  I broke this into two sub-categories called “articles” and “teaching” since I have done a lot of both.  I put them both under a common title of “publications”.  It seems to work.
  • I have held positions of responsibility with one of the organizations I belong to and so I included it in the section called “list genealogical….societies” (2-G).

I used my MAC’s standard template for a resume and modified the titles to be consistent with what they asked for.  I also kept things in the same order except for moving the Profile piece to the lead paragraph.

Hope they aren’t too persnickety about that!  Those of you who might have comments or thoughts to share, please do.  I might be totally off base with these!

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last post:  worked on the resume and finished up the Take Home Quiz!


So, what DID I do on my Thanksgiving vacation?

I hope that everyone’s Thanksgiving was a good one.  We spent ours with my husband’s brother’s family and our daughter flew in from Boston to be there as well.  The weather even cooperated!  While I was there I was able to work on a number of my assignments for my class.  I was going to work on the resume for the BCG certification but because they did not have iPages (the MAC equivalent of Word for Windows) I decided to wait until I got home.  The assignments are due 15 December.  I worked on the following in yellow:

  1. Pedigree chart and family group sheet, fully cited: already handed in
  2. Vital records:  I have realized that I do not know what this assignment even is!  Gotta work on this.
  3. Example of census document with citation:  did this one.  I consider it 100% ready to hand in
  4. Critique of two GENWeb sites: Have it drafted at 95%.  Need to final review and then I will be done
  5. Letter of inquiry: Picked a different one and got it’s letter off.  I consider this 100% complete.
  6. Identification of a US county history and cited: completed, not submitted
  7. Take home quiz: did this one to about 90% complete.
  8. Bibliography of a variety of sources (15+): re-reviewed this one and saw several things I could improve upon.  My next blog will be about the variety of sources that are out there to investigate and the improvements  I made..
  9. Newspaper research: newspaper on order through Inter-library Loan, not yet received; if it doesn’t get here right after Thanksgiving, I will have to identify another newspaper and write the (brief) report on it instead.
  10. Annotated chronology: started, not yet in final draft form.  Got this one further along.  This, for some reason, and maybe it’s my topic, seems harder to do.
  11. Oral history interview: assignment not yet given, not due until the start of 2nd quarter.

So I am in really good shape for the assignments and to get them turned in.  I did not work on my certification specifically.

Happy Hunting!


Things I worked on since the last posting:  I did some on-line looking at the Samford and the Boston University Genealogy courses.  I would really like to see their syllabi.  If anyone has it to share, I would love to see it.  I organized my assignments into a 3 ring notebook; although I won’t hand it in that way it made is simpler to know which documents I had and which ones I needed to work on.  I worked a lot on the Bibliography.  I wrote two articles for the OGSA newsletter (Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America) and I did the problem description of my distant relative so Helle can give it to her genealogy friend in Denmark and see if he can make any additional headway.

So what are the requirements for application?

There are seven components to the application:

  • Code of Ethics
  • Background resume
  • Document work on a BCG supplied document
  • Document work on a self supplied document
  • Research report for a Client
  • Case Study using Conflicting information
  • Kinship Determination report

For the next few blogs, I thought I would take each one in sequence.  It is very possible that I will do this periodically so you can see how I am doing.

The “easiest” one to do (“all” you have to do is sign your name) is the Code of Ethics; however, it is a life long commitment to acting responsibly to the people and the objects with which we work.  It points out our civic responsibility to the institutions that assist us in our discovery.  In these hard economic times and as library staff hours are reduced (Seattle library was closed last week for a “furlough”) our responsibility to be less “needy” increases.  We also must be more patient as we wait for assistance; or less demanding when a document is not delivered from the stacks quickly enough for us and not surprised if we find out a governmental office is closed when we wanted it (but didn’t check their schedule) to be open.  It is every day; forever.

Having a deep respect for libraries, the people who work there and the books and other media within them should be easy for genealogists, as we know how fragile these documents can be.  Do you know someone who rescued materials from the dump to put in a library or a heritage center that have helped a genealogist?  I do.

Frau Popkes rescued the records of the 19th century notary public, Thomas Cramer from Weener, Ostfriesland (Germany).  In those documents I found the land purchase document by my gggrandfather, Baje Loerts Wientjes.  These records are now stored in an archive in Weener for many to use.  One day I hope to go back and scour the records for others of my family.  Stories like this repeat themselves all over the world and point out the fragility of the records we have.  It is stories like these which make our obligation even greater to act responsibly in all matters relating to the the materials we use and the people who help us use them.


what I did today:  went to a 2 hour yoga class and then did very little on the lineage report.  I have a list of 8 children each with a birth and death date.  This makes for 16 citations just on a list of 8 names.  I did two citations this evening!