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
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
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
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
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.