I was talking to a woman recently who had left the workforce to look after her children. Then her husband was fired from his job and she had to find a job herself. She obsessed over how she would bridge that employment gap in her resume. But during her time off she had worked on nonprofit boards and suggested improvements at one nonprofit that saved thousands of dollars in overhead. Most companies value nonprofit successes as highly as for-profit and are overjoyed to find applicants who made a strong contribution as a volunteer.
Another client dismissed his participation in company committees because he never served in a leadership position. “I was just one of the troops,” he said. But he was also one of the few people selected to serve on those committees—in itself a measure of his value to the company—and his participation confirmed his ability to work in a team and across departments. That is another valuable skill.
A third client kept a department running while her boss had health issues and ultimately resigned. She guided the department through a period of chaos and kept it on track. But without the title, she thought, her efforts meant nothing. Companies look at accomplishments more strongly than titles. Titles vary from company to company and industry to industry; accomplishments are what sell one job applicant over another.
If you have teamwork, volunteer and leadership accomplishments, make sure to mention them in your resume. They may seem minor to you, but they make you stand out. I constantly search for skills, accomplishments, or educational experiences that will differentiate my clients from the thousands of others looking for the same sort of job. Let me help you, too.