There it is… that discouraging empty space that screams “lack-of-experience” on your professional resume. Everyone’s been there; looking for a job to gain professional capability, but not having quite enough experience to get your foot in the door. Many jobs require experience, but most likely, a college student or recent graduate doesn’t have enough past skills.
Don’t become discouraged! There are plenty of ways to showcase your great qualities without evident career experiences. Consider all of your interests and activities; add them to your resume. Volunteer work, specialized hobbies, and non-professional experiences can be included on your resume. Include skills, accomplishments, and leadership.
There are a handful of ways to add experience to your resume before you secure a job. Here are three of our best tips:
Volunteer work always looks (and feels) good. Nonprofit work shows commitment and is a great way to gain community involvement and develop your abilities. Volunteering shows a hiring manager that you are well-rounded and community-oriented. Volunteering reflects positively on who you are as a person and your work ethic.
Hobbies like blogging, art, and photography are career-relevant hobbies that show off your creativity and resourcefulness. Turn these hobbies into professional accomplishments by creating a portfolio and submitting your work to contests and conferences. Pursuing interests that will enhance your profession says that you’re motivated and inspired.
Part-time jobs, traveling and pro-bono work are a great way to build meaningful professional experiences on your resume. Activities you are part of the outside of work can be directly correlated with your future career. During a part-time job, you might have picked up time management skills. When you traveled for a school trip, you might have learned a new language. After a new local business opened, you offered to help them build a marketing plan. All of these experiences show that you are smart and hands-on.
After college, take advantage of the opportunities to keep learning. Utilize blogs, conferences, and webinars to be up-to-date on all the latest trends in your specific industry. Learn as many skills that you can, wherever you can. Buy books written by thought leaders and join classes on e-learning institutions to improve your marketability.
How were you able to add experience to your resume? Share with us!