We live in an age of instantaneous information. A quick Google search or phone
call can confirm or disprove anything you put on your resume. That
being said, you also don’t want to sell yourself or your achievements
short. So how do you confidently
tout your qualifications without misrepresenting the facts? How do you
effectively sell yourself without selling your soul in the process? We have
four ways to enhance your resume that won’t compromising your conscience.
1. Don’t Neglect Volunteer Experience
Almost everyone has volunteered at some point, so remember to include these
often-overlooked experiences on your resume. Make a list of things you have
done, even if they were one-offs. Start a GoFundMe
for a friend in need or coordinate a donation drive for a cause about which you
feel strongly. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it illustrates your
proactive nature, leadership ability and organizational skills. It also
demonstrates a healthy concern for your community and those in need.
Include ongoing volunteer engagements in the same manner as you would a job. If
you have several of these, think about dedicating a unique section in your
resume to your volunteering experience. Make sure you list your accomplishments
and responsibilities just as you would with any other job roll. If you had
supervisor in any of these roles, request to use them as a reference or even ask
them to compose a recommendation letter on your behalf.
If you don’t have a lot of employment experience at the moment, start
volunteering now. Volunteering is the best and most immediate way to gain
respectable experience while flexing your leadership ability. Seek out a local
school, charity, hospital or other nonprofit of note, and give of your time and
talent to further their altruistic mission. Wherever you live, there are
organizations that need your help. There are also appropriate online
volunteering experiences that can help prep you for future employment.
Volunteering can even be a powerful networking opportunity.
2. Focus On All Elements Of Past Positions
When enumerating your previous positions, focus on quality over quantity. Don’t
merely present a rote laundry list of every job you’ve ever had. Rather, focus
on the positions that demonstrate the skill sets you need to emphasize for the
job to which you’re currently applying. Go into detail about your experience and
achievements at these past positions. If you learned something new, picked up a
skill or were involved in any project – include it! The clearer a picture you
paint, the more likely you are to showcase your talents and hold the attention
of potential employers.
3. Advanced Learning Opportunities And Relevant Skills
If you feel your job experience is lacking, a positive way to fill the gap would
be earning advanced learning certifications. Take classes that make you a more
appealing job candidate. For example, if a hiring manager has the choice between
two otherwise identically qualified candidates, and one is proficient or
certified in Microsoft Office and the other isn’t – the choice pretty much makes
itself. A more learned employee with a more robust collection of certifications
and professional skills is usually a more valuable employee in the eyes of
companies looking to hire.
4. Showcase Your Professional Character
Think about your career as a professional portrait rather than just as a simple
list of past jobs. When you make that mental shift, it’s easier to put your
valuable qualities on paper. Lying isn’t necessary or acceptable, and no
immediate job opportunity is worth compromising your integrity that, once
compromised, is nearly impossible to salvage. The key to obtaining the position
you desire is making the most of what you have to offer. Leverage all your
relevant strengths, professional accomplishments and winsome personality traits
to set yourself apart in a genuine and powerful way. What are your competitive
strengths? Be honest and candid about your weaknesses, and outline proactive
steps you are taking to cope or even overcome those weaknesses. What mistakes
have you made, and what lessons did past failures teach you? How were your
previous employers better off with you on their team? What skills do you
possess? Are you coachable, and are you willing to learn new skills?
For more career tips from application to hire to promotion, visit ajilon.com.