In the world of job hunting, your first line of defense is your cover letter and resume. If you want to be competitive, you must have the most comprehensive resume to get the competitive edge. But how can you do it if you don’t have enough professional experience? The solution is to include your volunteer work in your resume and cover letter.
o Work Experience – Use Volunteer Work
1. Choose a Simple, Professional Resume Format
If you haven’t prepared one yet, you can research online and visit websites that offer free resume templates. Don’t copy the content, but try to come up with a unique way of presenting yourself in a favorable light even if you don’t have an abundance of experience in the field.
2. Current Contact Information
Remember to include your contact number at home, a mobile number, and your email address. It would be more practical to use a professional account solely dedicated to your job hunting to avoid using a not-so-formal address like email@example.com.
3. Resume Profile or Summary of Qualifications Section
Highlight skills and core competencies in the professional summary or summary of qualification section. Ensure the areas of expertise you use are appropriate and relevant for the job you wish to secure.
4. If you have no work experience in your field, telling half-truths on your resume would be a big a mistake.
To make up for your lack of professional experience, including a list of your volunteer work and community activities, regardless of whether it’s related to your career or not will help.
Volunteer work shows your work ethic and commitment to your community. It communicates experience with teamwork, organizing events, and leadership, which can come in handy in a professional position.
It’s even better if you have volunteer work that’s related to the industry you are pursuing, like Engineers or Doctors Without Borders, or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity if you’re looking for a position in contracting or construction. Be extremely careful if you are including political or religious activities in your resume and cover letter.
5. List Coursework Relevant to the Position
Mention your significant academic achievements on your resume. High academic achievements including awards, massive projects, campus involvement will help mask your lack of experience and direct focus on your skills and other qualifications. This can also be your opportunity to explain how your excellent past performance will be an asset to your employer, and how it can help improve your practical skills should they decide to hire you.
Use the tips outlined above if you need to compensate for minimal work experience with volunteer involvement. Avoid the impulse to lie or embellish, it will get you nowhere in your job search and can ruin your chance of getting an interview.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!
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