Help Your Resume Stand Out By Including These Things Most People Don't

Help Your Resume Stand Out By Including These Things Most People Don't

At first, you might not think that there's much you can do to make your resume stand out. If you get too creative, the document won't be professional. You need to stick with the same basic format, include certain information, and keep the document relevant. So how can you make your resume unique? Fortunately, there are a few simple ways in which you can make your resume stand out among the rest. Including these items can be just what you need to get called in for an interview.

Volunteer Work

Throughout the whole hiring process, your volunteering could be what sets you apart from everyone else. When you first send in your resume, your volunteer work can help you in several ways. It shows that you're passionate and caring. If you have any gaps in employment, your volunteer experience is an excellent bridge for the time you spent unemployed.

Typically, volunteer opportunities are seen as a display of leadership skills and project management. Long-term volunteering is a huge asset and is a valid substitute for work experience. Depending on where you volunteer, the organization might award you with a title or formal credential.

When you use volunteer experience on your resume, use the credentials as the title of the position. Then, format the heading just as you would your career experience. Use bullet points that show your duties, accomplishments, and other details. If you used a specific technology or acquired a hard skill, mention it under the bullet points. Keep the details as relevant as possible, or a hiring manager might stop reading and move onto another resume.


If you have any hobbies that are somewhat relevant to the job listing, include them in your resume. Your hobbies can show creativity and initiative. Furthermore, they could highlight a skill that your employment history doesn't showcase.

Keep in mind that your hobbies should add value to your resume. For example, bowling isn't a hobby you want to include under your experience. There aren't many job listings that require skills you can acquire while bowling.

If you do photography or videography, the skills could be more useful. In the marketing or sales world, being able to take pictures or create videos could be an asset. Likewise, managing a stock portfolio as a hobby translates to an essential skill in the finance industry.

Some of your hobby-acquired skills might be less obvious. For instance, you may have been in a play in college. Your public performance skills could help you in sales or giving presentations.

How to List Hobbies

You could place your hobbies under the "Skills" section of your resume. For more abstract hobbies, include them under "Interests." Be sure to explain more about the skills you attained, or the hiring manager won't realize how the hobby is relevant.

Whatever you do, avoid passing off a hobby as a paid position. Lying on your resume often ends badly.

Non-Professional Experience

What exactly is a non-professional experience? In this case, the term refers to side jobs, study abroad opportunities, and maintaining a blog site. While you may not be able to list any of the experienced as careers, you can still include them on your resume. Babysitting, mowing lawns, and data entry all qualify under this category.

When you include these non-professional experiences, you show that you have initiative. It also shows that you make good use of your free time. If the opportunity helped you develop technical or other skills, the experience would add to your value as an employee.

After you sit down to work on your resume, take time to think about what experiences you can include. Did you spend a summer in Guatemala? If so, that experience developed your Spanish-speaking skills. It would be useful to add the experience under the skills section of your resume.

Notable Achievements

While you're applying for jobs, don't undersell yourself. One common mistake made by job applicants is to leave out their accomplishments. Because they don't want to seem arrogant, they neglect to mention some of the great things they have done over the course of their career.

If you can't immediately think of accomplishments, sit down and brainstorm. Go back to your days in college, your volunteer experiences, and your early career. What did you do that you are proud of? Did you receive recognition for anything?

An accomplishment doesn't need to be something as significant as a major award. In fact, it could mean surpassing a goal or spearheading a project. You can be creative and pull from your hobbies or activities.

When you list your accomplishments, describe how it relates to the workplace. Consider this example. You lead a team to victory in a workplace fitness challenge. In your victory, you showed leadership skills. Additionally, you demonstrated motivational skills and teamwork. Although your achievement might not seem like much, it speaks highly of your skills.

In some cases, you may want to mention an achievement in the summary section of your resume. Doing so grabs the attention of the hiring manager, which means they're more likely to continue reading your resume.

Find the Right Balance

As you try to make your resume stand out, try to find the right balance. Yes, it's helpful to include hobbies and non-professional experiences on your resume. But that doesn't mean you should have a ten page resume that includes every hobby you've had since the age of ten.

When you craft your resume, focus on keeping it balanced. Showcase your skills and qualifications, but make sure everything you mention is relevant to the position. Graphic skills won't be an asset for a call center position. If you include a detail that has no relevance to the specific job listing, it won't help you get hired.

You need to let your resume speak for itself. If you're able to stand out as an applicant, you'll have an opportunity to shine in an interview.

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