When You Don’t Have Enough to Put on Your Resume

not enough

Adding a video resume to your collection of application materials obviously gives you a huge boost over job candidates that only apply for positions using a text resume. But what more can you do if your resume is looking a little sparse and needs some more content? How can you show an employer that you have impressive professional qualities without going to great lengths such as going back to school for another degree or taking on a part-time job that you just don’t have time for? Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do that will give your resume the edge you’re looking for. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  1. Get involved in your industry. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and flaunt your leadership and/or self-starter qualities. Consider a college student pursuing a teaching license. Volunteering as an assistant to a lower school teacher, as a Sunday school teacher, or even as a daycare helper are all good ways to show employers that you are great at interacting with kids and helping them learn. Even if you volunteered in a school’s administrative office, you’re still showing employers that you’re passionate about the education system—enough so to volunteer your limited time.
  2. Get certified. When I first heard this advice, I was stuck wondering what in the world I would be able to get a certification in. But much to my surprise, the Internet has several certifications you can pursue online for almost every industry. If you’re a graphic designer, for example, Adobe offers certifications for its design software that you can pursue right from your computer. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor offers a website where you can search for available certifications in your industry. These certifications offer a convenient (and impressive!) way to solidify your skills and “prove” to an employer that you are capable of performing.
  3. Take advantage of free online classes. Although you cannot, to my knowledge, get an actual degree without forking over some dough, there are certainly several sources online that offer free classes and/or lectures. Coursera, for example, hosts free classes from top schools and organizations, including University of Minnesota, Princeton University, and Stanford University. If you’re applying for jobs in an industry outside of your major, this will be an especially useful tool for you. Consider adding a “Relevant Courses” section to your resume to highlight your enhanced education.

According to the stats, only two in every 100 resumes sent to an employer is viewed. That leaves quite a bit of room for an unsuccessful application. So follow these tips to make sure that your resume is one of those two. Additionally, compliment your new-and-improved text resume with a video resume to catch the eyes of your potential new employers.

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