How to Highlight Your Non-Professional Work Experience

Everybody starts somewhere, right? Maybe you’ve just graduated from college, and you’re looking for your first job. Perhaps you have extensive professional experience in an industry that no longer interests you. Or maybe—like many job seekers these days—you have a long employment gap and need to show you’ve been doing something productive with your time.Whether starting with a blank slate or looking to make a drastic career change, you still need to show potential employers you’re the right person for the job. Consider these 5 tips for highlighting seemingly irrelevant work experience on your resume:

  • Look for Keywords. Examine the job description and pull out the most important works related to the position. Do you possess the core skills required to carry out the job? If so, use the keywords to customize your resume and cast your abilities in a favorable light. Those keywords will likely be used to screen candidates for the position.
  • Examine Your Skills and Experience. Give yourself permission to think outside the box. Forget about job titles and focus on the skills you’ve learned and the results you achieved on the job. You may have gained experience in areas outside your primary duties that will look favorable on your resume.
  • Highlight Soft Skills. Once you’ve identified skills and abilities that apply to the job you desire, consider creating a “qualifications” section at the top of your resume. Make it easy for a potential employer to understand how your skills would benefit the company. Your experience may not be a perfect fit, but showing that you’ve thought about how your abilities will bring value to the company can go a long way.
  • Include Recognitions. Do you have impressive or interesting accomplishments outside of your work interests? Consider listing them at the bottom of your resume, even if they aren’t relevant to your desired position. Impressive accomplishments can help you be memorable and show you are a well-rounded candidate.

Wondering how to highlight your skills and abilities to employers? Premier Talent partners can help! Our recruiters will sit down with you to discuss your skills, experience, interests—and what makes a job meaningful. We know who's hiring and what they love to see in candidates, and we can help you find jobs you’ll love. Ready to get to work? Let’s talk today!

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