Your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer. With the rise of social media and the decline of attention spans, infographic resumes are becoming more and more popular. They are attention-grabbing and will be sure to make you stand out. But, will bright colors and flow-chart shapes make you stand out for the wrong reasons? Are traditional resumes boring?
Over the past few months, I have been working at a public relations recruiting firm. One part of the job is reviewing hundreds of resumes. So far, have a pretty good idea of what employers look for in a resume when choosing prospective candidates. From my experience over the last few months, volunteering can add value to your resume and possibly boost your career and/or salary. Sometimes, job seekers apply for positions based on their previous work experience, but do not take the time to think about their social and/or volunteer activity that can lead to a new, exciting, and rewarding career path.
For example, I cold-called a person who worked as a *Business Manager about a communications job at a cancer research organization. Obviously, this person did not have the “formal” work experience as a communicator for a medical/cancer organization, but I found the candidates volunteer activity relevant to the job. The prospective candidate started their own cancer nonprofit organization and served as a communications volunteer for several cancer research organizations (i.e. Susan G. Komen for the Cure). Because of the knowledge the candidate had about cancer research, communications, and fundraising, they became a front runner for the position.
For those who are starting to look for employment and have minimal work experience, I would advise you to list your duties at internships, as well as any leadership positions you held within your sorority/fraternity, social club, or church group. By showing that you are involved in various activities, employers will see the type of leadership skills you possess and how you can fit into their organization.
If you have any questions about your resume, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a question on Twitter @ShariaC.
*Job title changed to protect confidentiality.
This is a snapshot taken of my profile on LinkedIn. I added specific responsibilities for each of my internships throughout college.