But I Climbed Annapurna!

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Life experiences say something about character. Incorporating them on your resume can be done, and they can be listed under a generic phrase like “additional experience includes.” They tell something about you that no one would know, unless you tell them. In this ongoing competitive job marketplace, your life experiences might also help you stand out. There are a few categories in which you can put your life experiences, like professionally relevant hobbies, or nonprofessional experiences.

What Matters

If you are looking for a job in graphic design, perhaps the fact that you play softball will not help, but if you are applying for the local police department, the fact that you body-build would be worth mentioning. Volunteering should definitely be mentioned, as most companies are looking for someone who fits well within the organizational culture, and not someone who is just looking to collect a paycheck. For this reason, they need to find out who you are in your entirety, getting a composite vision of you as opposed to just your work history. For all of these reasons, life experiences should be listed on your resume.

interests

Categories

Everyone should have an “interests” category on their resume. This is where you can place experience that does not connect directly with your professional life, but that might serve you professionally nonetheless. If you are an actor in local productions on the weekends, this shows courage and creativity, and if you are looking for a job where those skills are valued, you might be surprised what gets the attention of human resource professionals.

Additional experience is another category you can have on your resume which will basically become a place you can list most anything you have done that is of interest. If you do the Susan G. Komen run, or your Spanish skills are really great since that summer you spent in Mexico, these things can have a direct impact on you getting noticed, and subsequently hired. If you are proud of it, you may want to consider using it.

advice

Advice

An executive recruiter in Toronto once said that listing just work experience on a resume is like telling a blind date only your eye and hair color before you meet; it might be descriptive, but it says almost nothing about who you really are.

Recruiters will also tell you to research the company culture. Check social media and see what the company is involved with, and what charities they support. You would be surprised how some little activity or organization you are involved with could increase your chance of getting a position at a company you want to work for. The bottom line is if you found it interesting, it is quite likely someone else might as well!

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