Job Journey – Making your Resume Stand Out

Now that your resume has the basic elements (background, education and experience), you can have some freedom to decide what else you want to include.

Hobbies

If you participate in a sport or extracurricular activity, you can definitely include it on the second or final page of your resume.  These help to demonstrate the type of person you are and the things you care about.  For example, you might finished marathons or triathlons or coached a little league baseball team.  Each of them illustrates your character and your ability to set aside time to invest in these pursuits.

I wanted to include French cooking and ironing but, just because I spend time doing the task does not warrant valuable space on my resume.

Community and Volunteering

These activities are also good demonstrations of your values – especially if they happen to align with a hiring manager.  The only caveat is to make sure that the information is real, recent and referable.

Running the stairs of the CN Tower is one thing. Helping to organize your company team to sign up, train, raise money and then participate, that’s the real value.  That’s what will get recognized.

The experience should be recent.  If you sat on the PTA when your child was in elementary school and that same child just graduated with a PhD , that does not count.  If you don’t have something recent, leave it out.

You will be hard pressed to use a volunteer colleague as a reference but you never know who they know. It’s a small world.  If you are going to put a role, paid or otherwise, on your resume, you better be prepared for someone to ask direct questions about it.

That covers most of the content. Next week, we will look at fonts, formats and graphics.

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