3 things that will make your resume more effective

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Finding a job is hard, and applying for jobs can be super intimidating, so it’s important that you submit a resume that highlights your value and makes you feel confident. Metrics and achievements are always important to include, but today I wanted to talk about the things you might not have thought of. Many people end up leaving off valuable information because they simply don’t realize that it’s important. If you feel like your resume needs a little boost, fear not because I’m sharing three things to add to your resume to make it more effective. These three items that you can add to your resume might not be what you expected, but each thing highlights an important quality that potential employers are looking for.

Online courses and tutorials

Before you get stressed about paying for more classes, (we all know that college courses are EXPENSIVE!) take into account that there are a lot of educational resources that don’t cost an arm and a leg. When I talk about online courses, this doesn’t necessarily mean expensive college courses, but this could mean YouTube tutorials or budget-friendly platforms such as LinkedIn Learning or skillshare.

Additionally, there are a lot of free courses and certifications you can get online which immensely help build your resume. For example, you can take some online tutorials and training sessions on QuickBooks or Adobe Photoshop via YouTube and list that as specialized training. As long as the training gives you an advantage and further educates you on a subject, you can list it on your resume to make your resume more effective. Here are 10 free online certifications to help boost your resume!

Industry-specific certifications or specialized training

Including relevant certifications and specialized training can make a huge difference. Even if you don’t have specific certifications but you’ve had internal training, (i.e. courses you’ve taken at work, management training, HR training, etc.) include that in your resume. This will help an employer see how you align with the position you’re applying for.

When hiring managers are comparing candidates, sometimes small details such as certifications and/or specialized training can make all the difference. If you’ve taken the time to further educate yourself in your field, this shows motivation and ambition which are important traits to highlight on your resume.

Side projects and volunteer work

When you’re trying to make your resume more effective, including nontraditional work experiences such as volunteer work or side projects can give you a big advantage. Nontraditional work experience could be anything including volunteer work, side projects, classes/class projects, etc.

Most people seem to think that if you didn’t get paid for it, it doesn’t count as work experience, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! A government study found that volunteering is associated with 27% higher odds of employment. While you may not be working for profit, volunteer work can increase your community awareness, help you build meaningful relationships, and provide you with valuable experience. This experience may provide you with opportunities to increase your expertise in client-facing communication, multi-tasking, or just provide you with additional industry experience to add to your resume. Any way you look at it, volunteer work is an awesome thing to add to your resume.

Side projects are also extremely beneficial to include because they highlight related experience, motivation, and the ability to manage multiple projects concurrently. Highlighting these key factors could help you land your dream job! Highlighting any passion projects or causes that mean a lot to you personally can also humanize your resume and help the reader establish a stronger connection with you as a candidate which is always a bonus.

Each of these information categories highlights the different skills and qualities that will make your resume more effective. The goal of a resume is to articulate your value, so brainstorm all the different ways to show this on your resume!

Michele Lando is a certified professional resume writer, personal branding expert, and founder of Write Styles. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals’ application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles provides resources to enhance your resume, professional appearance, and boost your confidence. Michele strives to help others gain the confidence to put their best foot forward in a personal and professional light.

This article first appeared on Write Styles.