Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5 Ways to Add Value to Your Resume

I spent this winter in a haze of dissatisfaction and depression. I found myself employed in yet another dead end position. Instead of developing a new business, creating art, or travelling the world as I always planned to--I sat in a cubicle staring at spreadsheets all day. I commuted from home to work, and then back home. I did not pass GO. I did not collect $200.

Okay, I did--but barely.

My career path so far boasts a string of jobs of the low paying, soul sucking variety. I hate saying that. It makes me seem so entitled, especially in an era of far-reaching unemployment. However I studied hard in undergrad and thought that my education would translate into interesting work and financial freedom.
The reality of the current job market let me down. While I felt my academic credentials would carry me employers all seemed to be looking added value. While I had good grades, I didn't have a lot of other experience to round out my resume.

In other words, I look dull on paper. In order to give my resume a boost I began to research ways to add value to my work history. There are many opportunities available to seek additional learning, experience, and exposure.

Here are couple quick ways to perk up your credentials and your resume:

Organizations like the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Hibaitat for Humanity always need volunteers.  Opportunities exist in the field as well as in administrative roles. These positions might not generate a paycheck, but you are able to list the experience on your resume.
As an additional bonus these volunteer opportunities allow you to gain experience doing tasks you wouldn't have access to under normal circumstances. The all hands on deck mentality of non-profits opens multiple doors to meet a wide variety of people, learn new skills, and demonstrate competence. It is easy to quickly rise into leadership roles and no applicable skill goes underutilized.

Get Educated
Bachelor's Degrees hold a lot of value to employers. However, a large portion of the adult population matriculates. To boost your academic credentials and set yourself apart from the pack consider pursuing certificates that allow you to demonstrate a specialization. Certificates in project management, writing, real estate and others all can steer your career in the direction you wish by providing tangible evidence of talent and education.
Better yet seek post-graduate work. For instance, the Cardinal Stritch University MBA Program in Milwaukee is affordable and accessible. The program teaches students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their industries - which will definitely be a notch on your resume.

Long the mantra of tenure seeking professor, publishing articles need not be limited to academics. Industry publications, blogs, and magazines offer ample opportunities to  publish relevant, topical content. Publication allows you to demonstrate writing skills as well as analytical skills to potential employers. Adding a few publications to your resume creates the portrait of an engaged individual. The kind of individual businesses want to hire.
I am still in the process of adding value to my own resume. I continue to seek opportunities outside of my cubicle to develop an on paper portrait of myself that helps employers and human resource departments see that I am an engaged, intellectual, and productive person.

In the process of adding value to my paper resume, I find that I am also networking, discovering new passions, and best of all breaking out of my funk. I call that added value to my life!

Guest post by A.G.


  1. So this is a guest post by AG. May I know who AG is?

  2. AG is one of my friends.. Amanda is her name... :)

  3. Glad I'm out of the corporate world. But fortunate for me, I've been enjoying rather decent high-salaried jobs, at least enough for me to pamper myself. Lol! Nice tips, dear!


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