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3 unexpected items you can add to your resume

When it comes to writing an effective resume, it’s all about highlighting your skills to show your value as a candidate.

While most people know what traditional information to include on a resume, (job history, education, skills, etc.) there are some unexpected items you can add to add value to your document. Here are three unexpected items you can add to your resume:

ADVOCACY/SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK

Advocacy is one of the most beneficial and underutilized pieces of content to include on a resume. Have you advocated for a family member or an underrepresented group? (i.e. have you advocated with someone who has specific medical needs, learning disabilities, or participated in social justice movements?)

This is something that you should absolutely include on your resume! If you’re versed in communicating with medical professionals, education administration, executives, with local community members, etc., this is a highly covetable skill.

Not sure how to word it on your resume? Put “Freelance” in the space where you would write the company name, and use a title along the lines of “Medical Advocate,” “Mental Health Advocate,” or “Student Advocate” where you would write the job title.

For an example of what to put in the job description, try writing something like this:

“Advocate for students to ensure that each obtains the education techniques they need to learn and thrive in a school setting.”

In the current racially charged climate, any work that you’ve done to advocate for underrepresented groups can be used on your resume as well. To do this, you could use a similar tactic. Put “Freelance” in the space where you would write the company name, and then put “Social Justice Advocate” in the job title.

For an example of what to put in the job description, consider writing something like this:

“Rallied social justice advocates, clarified messaging, and participated in a peaceful protest to support [scope of protest].”

PERSONAL PROJECTS (I.E. HOME RENOVATION)

I’m always surprised by the number of projects people conduct in their free time but fail to put on their resumes. This information is not always necessary to include, however, you absolutely can include this information if you need to fill in blank spaces or camouflage an employment gap.

A home renovation is a great way to highlight skills such as design, project management, communication, multitasking, and organization. This information can be particularly useful if you’re trying to transition into more of a creative field, or if you’re trying to transition from a creative role into more of an administrative or project management-focused role.

When you’re including this information on your resume, be sure to include specific metrics and achievements when possible, and be sure to include the results of the project! Put “Freelance” in the space where you would write the company name, and use a title along the lines of “Design Project Manager” or “Project Manager.”

Here is an example of how you might include a home renovation on your resume:

“Spearheaded the complete remodel and upgrade of a 2,500 square foot home including the overhaul and expansion of the kitchen, master closet, home office, and backyard with pool. Liaised with contractors, vendors, and city agencies to obtain required permits and licenses.”

TRAVEL

While we aren’t travelling right now due to COVID, travel is a great way to highlight adaptability, time management, international relations, and communication on your resume. If you’ve travelled in the past or taken a gap year to explore the world, you can add this information to your resume.

To add this to your resume put “Freelance” in the space where you would write the company name, and use a title along the lines of “World Traveler” or “Freelance Travel Coordinator” in the job title slot. Examples of information you can include in the job description are:

“Navigated international travel regulations on a solo trip, and explored various regions by foot and public transportation.”

“Cultivated relationships with local citizens to gain a better understanding of local culture and customs.”

“Researched and manoeuvred local currencies, exchange rates, and economic requirements.”

_____

When writing a resume, there is a lot of non-traditional information that is very beneficial to include.

These three unexpected items you can add to your resume will help highlight both hard and soft skills that articulate your value to a potential employer and paint a well-rounded picture of you as a candidate.

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