Turn Nothing into Something on your Resume

I am often told by people that they have nothing to actually include on their resume – but I am here to say that everybody has something valuable to include on their resume. Whether you are a first time job seeker fresh out of high school, a stay-at-home parent looking to re-enter the workforce, or simply feel that your experience doesn’t warrant mention, you all have something important to include on your resume. The trick is figuring out what skills, what experiences, and what value you have to offer!

A good resume does not necessarily have to include paid-work experience, but it does have to show what you have accomplished and what skills you possess that will transfer well into the role you are interested in.  As a job-seeker you need to determine what an employer would value as important in their industry and creatively showcase how you have the ability to bring this value to them.

When you are in this situation and you feel like you have nothing to offer an employer, I suggest you take some time to do some self-assessment and research.

List the three top fields you think you would like to enter and then research each field to determine what skills are most important to them. Look at things like problem-solving abilities, communication skills, teamwork, etc…

Now, think about what you have done that you are proud of. Think about everything you have done in your life (whether it was paid, volunteer, or at home) that most highlights the skills valued in those three industries. Examine the personality traits that you have that will separate you from the competition.  Maybe you love to sew in your spare time and are detail-oriented, or you schedule all the Birthday events in your family?  These all demonstrate your abilities.  The key here is to look at your life experiences objectively.  Think outside of the box to create a resume that highlights all of your value.

I was once inspired by my friend and colleague Maureen McCann at ProMotion Career Solutions (www.mypromotion.ca) to create a resume for my daughters first birthday.  The image attached depicts an idea of what was created. Now, at the time, my daughter was only a year old and clearly had no work experience – but she did have one year of life experience that I was able to utilize in creating her resume!  Thanks to the inspiration and the sample resume Maureen McCann published in Best Canadian Resumes, third edition by Sharon Graham, I was able to articulate my daughter’s milestones into value added accomplishment statements that led to a one page resume showcasing her first year in this world.

By thinking outside of the box we were able to include a profile summary, accomplishment section, experience section and education section that strategically answers the most frequently asked questions during the first year of a baby’s life, such as: when the first tooth came, how old they were when they started to crawl, were they walking, etc…

The point with this resume is to show (albeit in a somewhat humorous way) how anyone, no matter how old or in-experienced, has value to add to their resume. By thinking strategically, creatively and objectively about life experiences everyone can turn nothing into something!  And if you are struggling to do this, then don’t be ashamed to talk to a career coach or certified resume writer who is trained to help you leverage these skills into a resume document that truly reflects who you are and what you have to offer.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you have any questions or comments about this post, please contact me at skye@skyeisthelimit.ca. Have a great day!