When many people approach writing their resume, they’re focused on the jobs they have held, and this makes sense. After all, it is the work that employers have paid you to do. However, it is not the only work that may hold value on your resume. Individuals just starting their careers may not have much – if any – paid work to refer to. But that doesn’t mean they have nothing to highlight on their resumes. Even experienced professionals may have other aspects of their work that they can incorporate to effectively demonstrate their skills.
Here are a few jobs that are often unpaid but can still add value to your resume:
Internships: Many internships are unpaid, but they provide participants with a wealth of knowledge, hands-on experience, and skills. If you’ve recently completed an internship, be sure it is included on your resume. You may not have been paid, but you were still making beneficial contributions to the company and putting what you have learned to use. Highlight your accomplishments and skills used or gained.
Volunteer work: Do you organize fundraisers for cancer research? Serve meals at a soup kitchen? Help with the newsletter for your child’s school? Let employers know. Not only does it show that you are involved in the community, it demonstrates how you can use your skills in a different way. Plus, it allows you to work with diverse people and build transferable skills.
Professional organizations: Do you sit on the board of an association or serve as vice president of an organization? These can be great unpaid experiences to highlight as well. It showcases leadership, time management, problem solving, and more. If it is an organization related to your industry, even better – this shows that you’re involved and up-to-date on the latest happenings in the field.
Coaching: There is a lot of work that goes into planning practices, organizing games, and teaching children (or even adults) how to play a sport. Coaches juggle a lot of responsibilities and must be able to quickly adapt to changing situations. They also must be strong leaders and team players.
Consider all of the work that you put into the different unpaid opportunities you have had, and the results that you achieved. You are sure to find some information worth including on your resume and that employers would find valuable. This can be a great way to fill in gaps in employment or supplement paid experiences.
The team at Grammar Chic can help you to present these experiences in a positive light on your resume and emphasize the value they bring. For help with your resume or cover letter, contact us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.