Your resume is often the first glimpse that a prospective employer will have of you. It reaches the boss' desk long before you get the chance to make a personal impression, so you must be sure that it shows you in a positive light.
Even if you have a limited amount of work experience, you need to have a thorough, well written resume to open doors. Here are a few tips to help you to beef up your resume:
- Volunteer -- in your chosen field, if possible. Volunteer experience within your profession would definitely add weight to your resume, but other volunteering experience may be valuable as well. Although you don't collect pay, volunteering allows you to gain time management as well as other skills.
- Take jobs in your desired profession when you are starting out, even if the pay is less than you could get working elsewhere. Exposure to the business will help to build your resume and be good for your career advancement. Additionally, you will put yourself in a position to work directly with the people who will someday have an available position of merit. You will have invested the time and effort to put yourself ahead of your peer group.
- Actively seek internships during college. Not only will you gain on the job experience, but again you will be building a network of future job contacts.
- Enroll in classes and attend seminars that relate to your chosen field. Candidates who aggressively seek to improve their skills will shine to a potential employer.
- Life experience counts, too. Organizing fundraisers, assisting with political campaigns and running a household all provide experiences and skills that can transfer into the workplace. Be sure to expound on why you have included these items, and be specific. You may write something like, "During my children's growing years, I organized and oversaw a number of fundraisers each year. Participating in these events helped me to hone my organizational as well as my salesmanship skills."
- Expand your descriptions. Don't just list your job title and dates of employment. Make the effort to explain your responsibilities at each position and any promotions that you earned.
- Be sure to include a segment explaining both your short and long term professional goals, but tailor them to match what is achievable at the company to which you are applying. Employers want to see that that you have an idea of what your future holds.
- Don't forget the cover letter. A well written cover letter allows you the opportunity to make the prospective employer want to meet you. Use a professional but friendly tone, and quickly highlight your most valuable assets.