When it comes to resumes, many hiring managers have seen it all, from multiple marathon winners to moonlighting opera singers. It can be difficult to know what skills and experiences you should and shouldn't include on your resume. Here are a few surprising things that can give your resume a creative boost.
If you have a personal blog you regularly update, it might help spruce up your resume. Blogs help illustrate "the entrepreneurial background, the ability to write, and the constancy required to initiate something on the web," says Sophie Miles, CEO and co-founder of elMejorTrato.com. As long as the content is neutral, adding your blog experience to your resume is a great way to show hiring managers you are insightful, tech-savvy and consistent.
Your volunteer experience can be a great addition to your resume, as it shows recruiters that you care about your community and use your free time to give back. It can be doubly impressive to potential employers with a strong community service mission. "Many companies have formal Community Service Days/Programs and they like to see prospective candidates who support their mission to give back," says Kelly Finn, Principal at WymanWinter.
Team sports aren't just for jocks. Participating in sports requires communication, collaboration and sportsmanship — all desirable qualities in an employee. Highlighting your years of athletic experience can help demonstrate your discipline, persistence and competitive spirit, especially if you earned medals or had a high ranking as a team or individual player.
If you're more established within your industry, you may have had opportunities to mentor and nurture a newer colleague or student. This type of experience is an excellent resume builder, because it demonstrates that you're committed to your career and willing to give back to others who need guidance. Mentoring is a great way to demonstrate leadership, compassion and interpersonal skills, instead of just listing these skills on your resume.
Any project you completed as a favor to a friend, family member or colleague still counts as legitimate experience. Your accomplishments don't necessarily have to occur within the confines of a typical workday. If you completed a task that is relevant to your industry or position, include it on your resume. Ask the person you assisted to provide a positive reference or testimonial in exchange for your good deed.
If your resume is lacking years of work experience, don't be afraid to include any freelance work you may have performed between jobs. Freelancing while unemployed looks a lot better than a huge gap between jobs. "It's far better to show you were at least working on something as opposed to nothing at all," advises Jennifer Roquemore, co-founder of Resume Writing Services.
Don't try too hard to make your resume fit in with everyone else's. Your resume reflects you as a whole person, and thus should be as well-rounded as you are. Relevant experiences and skills matter, even if you obtained them through unconventional methods.
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