Job seekers often worry that they are including information on their resume that is not worth mentioning. For example:
- Everyone in Beth’s retail store gets to be “Employee of the Month” at some point—should she mention that honor on her resume?
- Ralph is fluent in French but has never used that skill on the job—should he mention it on his resume?
- Frank took time off to help a very ill sibling but volunteered at a local community center during that time. Should he mention his volunteer work?
- After Margaret was laid off from her last job, she took a position outside her field and now wants to return to it—should she mention that outlier position?
In every case, the answer is yes, although with qualifications.
Rewards and other acknowledgments by your company help you stand out from the crowd. Recruiters like to know that you were appreciated at a previous job. However, make sure you do not inflate “Employee of the Month” into “subject matter expert.”
Experience in foreign languages and foreign travel are important in this age of global commerce. You can mention your skill in the summary at the top of the resume or keep it to the end. Even “conversational” skill is valued so do not underestimate yourself.
If you contributed your time or expertise as a volunteer, mention your service. Many companies want employees who are ready to give back to the community. They will also be happy to see that you kept your skills sharp. However, do not paper over a gap in employment or try to claim you were an employee instead; be upfront about the gap and the reasons for it.
Returning to a previous field can be difficult, but these days most employers recognize that career paths are not straightforward. In fact, they may appreciate the perspective you gained from work in another field. It may make sense to mention old positions briefly under a final “previous employment” heading.
At Robin’s Resumes®, we help you understand the value of your honors, skills, volunteer work, and previous jobs. Your resume should communicate that value to potential employers. Contact us today.