How Your Personal Life Can Boost Your Professional Résumé

When you’re putting together your résumé or applying for a job with a daunting list of requirements, it’s often easy to undersell yourself.

Perhaps you’re fresh out of college and you haven’t had a full-time job before, or you’ve been a stay-at-home parent for a few years and you feel like you’ve fallen behind in the marketplace. Alternatively, you might have plenty of experience – just not in the career that you’re trying to transition to.

When you’re working on your résumé, don’t just think of your professional qualifications and roles – think about your personal life as well.

Volunteer Roles Count Too

If you have a volunteer role, put that on your résumé (or your “hire me” page on your website). Your role might be:

  • With a community organization
  • In your place of worship
  • Focused on an online community

Think about the skills you’ve developed: perhaps communication skills in dealing with lots of different people, presentation skills, administrative skills … all of these will be valued by employers and clients.

Groups and Organizations Show Your Teamwork

Many employers will want evidence that you’re a good team player. If you belong to any sort of group or club, you’ve probably developed teamwork skills:

  • As a member of an evening class
  • On a sports team
  • In a music group or band

Don’t dismiss these as being unimportant. You’ve probably developed your ability to negotiate, to lead and train others, and to follow instructions.

Even Home Life Develops New Skills

Perhaps you’ve got a number of responsibilities at home, leaving you with little time to volunteer or join groups. Your home life is valuable too. For instance, you might have learnt to:

  • Follow recipes carefully and meticulously
  • Create and stick to a budget
  • Clean / cook / drive / garden …

Depending on your career, you might be able to use some of these skills directly: if you’re a writer, for instance, you could specialize in writing about homemaking. In other roles, these skills can still come into play: if you can follow a new recipe without getting fazed, you might be great at picking up new systems and techniques at work.

What have you done in your personal life that could give your résumé a boost, or lead you into a new area of work? Give it some thought today.

Post image by Flickr user CharlotWest

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