By Melissa Crossman
Your resume is often the only way you’ll have to get your foot in the door with prospective employers, but if you are lacking in experience, a resume with a lot of white space isn’t a great way to make a good impression. Since you obviously can’t go without a resume, you will have to take a look at your current set of skills, experience and education and find a better way to display them. Then, take a look at a few ways you can expand your experience while searching for employment.
Not all experience has to be in a paid position. Volunteer work is not only a great way to gain a little real-world experience, but it also looks great on a resume. Even if the work is only tangentially associated with your chosen field, simply showing that you have devoted a significant amount of your time to a worthy cause may be enough to separate you from other candidates. If you are currently unemployed, spending your time volunteering can be a great way to beef up your resume while you look for a job.
Education is an important aspect of your resume and one of the obvious places where you can beef up the resume when you don’t have enough work experience. Even if you have already completed your degree, spending time getting an advanced degree, like a masters degree, can make your resume shine. Employers know how much work goes into getting a masters degree, and will be more willing to overlook gaps in employment or a lack of real-world experience when a high-level of education is on your resume.
A little creativity can go a long way on a resume, and sometimes employers will gravitate toward a resume that doesn’t appear to be just another standard list of past experience and skills. Creating an infographic that supports your resume and highlights your skills will allow you to stand out from the pack and may go a long way in getting you a callback. The graphic will also take your limited experience and present it in a way that makes it look much more impressive than it is.
Think outside the box
There may be many things that you have to offer a company which simply won’t fit on a standard resume, but with a little creativity you can find a way to let employers know what you can do. For example, if you are trying to get a job in a public relations field, then describing your acumen for attracting Facebook or LinkedIn followers, with the numbers to back it up, can be a big turn-on for your prospective employer. Each position will be a little different, but it’s just this type of outside the box thinking that will help your resume stand out, even if there isn’t much else on it. At the end of the day, your resume can only list your actual experience, skills and education, but that doesn’t mean that you have to hand in an unimpressive list of words. By adding a few creative touches and thinking alternative life experiences, you can make your resume much more appealing and greatly increase your chances of landing the position.
Melissa Crossman is an avid reader and writer who loves dispensing practical advice, ranging from how to interact with others during a teleconference to dressing for your final interview. She wrote this on behalf of AIU.