The job market is so competitive, if you’re looking for a new position you have to bring your A-game 100% of the time. As it turns out, 51% of employees are considering a new position. For most organizations, it takes about 52 days to fill a position, and that can be costing them up to $4,000 to do so, so you can bet they’re only taking the time to interview the very best candidates. Recruiters are looking for people who stand out with unique experiences and added value to each position they’ve been in. Bragging to your friends about your accolades may be inappropriate but the job hunt is certainly no time to be modest about your accomplishments. The average online job posting attracts hundreds of resumes within the first 24 hours, so standing out from the crowd is your best chance at getting an interview.
Your resume should include things that recruiters won’t be expecting but still supports who you are as a professional. Here are 8 things you must add the next time you are updating your resume:
Foreign Language. Speaking a foreign language always looks good when you apply for anything, not just jobs. This may seems like an obvious thing to add but there are a lot of people who only consider this if they speak one of the major languages of the world, Spanish, Mandarin, French, etc. Even if your language isn’t widely spoken where you live, put it on your resume – you never know if the HR rep speaks the same language, which can be a great thing to connect over.
Studied abroad. Knowing how to adapt in another culture over a period of time shows that you are flexible and can perform outside of your comfort zone. Traveling to a new country can be quite the culture shock, so the fact that you were able to continue your studies in another part of the world is impressive. Also, if you happen to complete an internship while abroad looks even better. You’re showing recruiters that you can adjust in new work environments, which may make you a fit for their company.
College courses. If you completed a four year degree, this might not be as impressive as someone who didn’t. How? If you’ve only graduated high school but still qualified for the position you’re applying for, any college courses you’ve taken shows you were serious about your education. Things don’t always work out the way we plan, so an incomplete education is something that can be explained in an interview or cover letter. But don’t count yourself out because you didn’t walk across the stage, give yourself some credit.
Shadowed successful industry person. It could have been a contest you won or a program through your college or job, but getting the opportunity to shadow someone who’s successful in your field is a great resume booster. These aren’t just means for those participating to see firsthand how things are done, but for them to network and meet new people. A recruiter may really be interested in hearing about this experience and how you took advantage of it, but you have to put it on your resume first.
Speaking engagement. Whether you got paid for it or not, someone invited you to speak at their event or conference and that’s a pretty big deal. "If you are asked to speak at a conference or special event, you’ve been requested to do so because you have something to offer that is of value to the audience," says Dawn Rasmussen. Certified resume writer. And that's the part you want to play up. "Employers like to hear about these things when they are considering candidates," she says.
Being featured in media. This is another big one that just adds to your credibility as an expert in your field. Don’t make them Google you to find out how valuable you are, show them by adding the link to your feature on your resume. If people are seeking you out for interviews and features, you must really know your stuff and have some influence in the industry. It also makes you more marketable since any company interested in hiring you, has to think that there are others interested in you too.
You’ve made presentations. College presentations count, as well as any volunteer or extracurricular presentations you’ve had to make to reach a goal. Organizations want employees who understand that business is about pitching, convincing and converting. If you can illustrate that you are a good communicator and can deliver a well-researched presentation to a group, they understand that you are capable of communicating effectively to different levels of the business.
You sold something. The position you’re applying for doesn’t necessarily have to be sales for this to look good on your resume. Salesmanship is great way to measure how someone communicates and works with people. If you sold chocolate for a school trip or actually had a job in sales, think about how many of “x” you sold and how much money your sales contributed to overall revenues – it gives hiring managers a chance to understand how much you could possibly help them.
Although these skills are nice to add to your resume, keep in mind that they should only support your other accomplishments and work experiences.
"We need to highlight our valuable skills others may not necessarily have, or know how to market," says Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster and former recruiter. "We need to distinguish ourselves from the candidate pool—and by highlighting specific skill sets, we’re accomplishing just that."
Do you have anything from this list on your resume? How has it helped you land interviews?