There are many things that an employee looks for in a resume. You can find worthwhile guides to help you achieve this through our site, and they should help you through every stage of the process. However, there could also be another, hidden attitude to take towards your CV which could benefit you immensely. We’ll call this the ‘life resume.’ This is a document which, in effect, improves the person you are thus how you come across.
Let’s say there’s a high-level position you are interested in competing for. There are many skilled applicants applying, some that seem even more put together than you in the interview waiting room. This can be worrying. It’s always possible that someone with more experience in the job role, or a more proven track record can kick you to the curb. This might not be something that you are at fault for. After all, if we’re loyal to a company and work for them, we might be missing out on lucrative clients another firm gets. The free market is competitive and unequal through and through, which is why resumes are often unbalanced from person to person.
For that reason, applying even more levels of competence outside of your job role will always see you through, and will contribute to a ‘life resume.’ Defined further, a life resume is something that can travel from job role to job role. Let’s say you’ve always worked in accounting, but now you desire to apply for a role in procurement. Similar fields in a way, but not exactly a match. Does that mean your skills can’t translate over? Not at all! However, it will certainly be backed up with the surrounding skills that orbit your declared experience.
It’s best that you take this advice sooner rather than later. After all, the more time you have to work towards this, the more a seemingly unapproachable job role opens its doors to you. Despite not having the perfect and most competent skills, you will have the willingness and confidence to sincerely place yourself in that interview and potentially come out the victor.
Most of these come from your personal life, but they can also come from your current job role in question. Here’s how that looks:
Your role in helping in something not to be understated. This might not be in the idea of simply helping your colleagues or boss achieve a promising sales report, but that can be beneficial too. What we mean here is the help you do for your own personal contribution to the world. It might be how you organize clothes drives to raise money for the homeless twice a month. It could be your desire to volunteer at a hospital, reading to terminal children. These goals are rather noble, so you needn’t feel terrible if you do not conduct them. Just look for alternate means to fulfil this. It could be something very simple that you’re missing. Do you make a side income minding children at the weekend? Did you go the extra mile in your last job to resolve an issue for a charity that was struggling? Did you potentially save someone in your office through your CPR and First Aid training at cprheartcenter.com?
There are many ways to impress your boss by explaining exactly how you have made a difference. It can seem like a ‘humblebrag’ to do so, but when you have made a real contribution towards something you are proud of, why omit it? You deserve recognition, because that is the type of person you are. People want to be around those who get things done at no benefit to themselves. It shows that you may be willing to work overtime in a tricky business period. It shows initiative in the presence of vulnerability, which might allow you to articulate a brilliant new idea in the boardroom.
So, consider what you’ve helped with, and look for the most promising examples. The interviewer will not be interested in hearing you help your grandmother with her groceries. But they might be interested that you utilize your competence in matters outside your job role to make the world a better place.
Employers want to see that you’re an active person. Never list that you ‘love movies and video games’ or ‘i’m really into music.’ They do not care about this. If your employer has read the entire CV, which is statistically unlikely, they are so far impressed. Laying these boring and universal interests at the bottom of a resume just shows you are another one in the crowd, and unaware of what interests the employer really desires.
An employer wants to know you are full of life, and more importantly – disciplined. They want to know you’re not going to watch Netflix until 3am and crawl into work in the morning with dark circles under your eyes. They would ideally like you to be healthy. You can list universal hobbies, but some are more impressive than others. For example, saying that you’re a foodie is one thing. But saying that you’re a self-taught cook in love with food? That shows initiative and the willingness to try. The two things describe almost the exact same pursuit, but in a way that reflects on you more kindly.
To elaborate on this further, let’s say you enjoy hiking. You could say ‘I love hiking.’ Or, you could say ‘An avid hiker, with two red danger trails under my belt and much more on the way!’ Be specific about what you have achieved through your hobbies. This works with almost everything. To use the example of being a film buff from before, instead, you might say ‘I have worked as a runner on a number of small productions.’ Of course, only say this if it’s true, but something that is more proscriptive rather than descriptive offers all the difference in an employer’s mind.
Now, an employee will usually not care about what social connections you keep. Saying ‘I have ten friends’ might impress a grade schooler, but not someone in the act of running a business. Unless they’re looking for a comedian, that is. However, pursuing hobbies that afford you genuine social time that challenges you can show you care about pursuing your social skills.
After all, employers hire on personality. They want you to get along with their current team seamlessly, and for you to be pleasant to work with. Part of this will come across in the language you use in your resume, and the majority of it will come from how you conduct yourself in the interview.
That’s not all, however. There is more to this. Employers read your ‘hobbies’ section more diligently after being impressed with your experience and even attendance, in order to ascertain red flags, or any reason why they shouldn’t hire you. No social hobbies is something that might be cause for concern.
This is why playing team sports is so advantageous, because it can show you’re willing to commit to the life of a group effort under pressure. What could be more parallel to the underpinnings of a successful company? However, not all people are interested in team sports, so it can be worthwhile to find your niche. It might mean attending toastmasters and learning how to speak publicly. It might be organizing the charity rowing event in your small town. It might be running a successful YouTube channel. Social competence can come from a range of difference sources and hobbies, and some of them are truly worth mentioning. Usually, if a goal must be achieved, it’s monetized or you have to manage people (such as volunteering to help your child’s soccer team,) then you should absolutely list that. If you play video games with your friends on a Saturday night, no matter how strategic the game is, it’s best to omit that.
Being active and having an interest in the world at large aren’t always connected. You can run everyday and still spend most of your time inside playing video games, after all. To be interested in the world is to engage in it. You might be interested in following sporting events around the world in person. It might be that you are a self-taught bilingual. It could even be that you’ve spent some time abroad and have worked in a relatively decent position. Your interest in the world will arguably be one of the strongest matters on this list, particularly if you’ve managed to achieve something on foreign shores.
This shows that you are willing to enter the unknown, to establish yourself in an environment you do not feel one hundred percent comfortable in, at least initially. This shows you are likely to care about performing challenges right, and that you’ll adapt to life in your new company with a relative sense of ease.
All of this advice is not targeting to a select job, but it can benefit your application no matter where you choose to utilise it. You never know, it might even supplant the guy with more technical experience than you, as life experience is often superior to the trainable minutiae of a specific job role.