The experience section of a resume is typically the main attraction in a resume due to the experiences and skill sets that it showcases for an individual. Too many times do I see students fall prey to the belief that the “experience” section only involves work related positions or experiences and employment history. Well, I am here today to tell you that YOU CAN include non-work related experiences in your experience section. There are numerous possibilities to this, but I will only highlight a few today.
The first example of non-work related experience would be unpaid positions. This might sound a bit obvious as unpaid positions usually extend to unpaid internships. Internships can occur with many opportunistic companies, non-profit organizations, and governmental branches. Despite the position, the unpaid internship instills a sense of real work experience and gives the intern a chance to modify and polish skills that are necessary in the workforce for the future. Besides internships, there are not many unpaid positions out there available for students, but this brings up the flipside of the coin which will be covered in the next section.
Aside from unpaid internships, there are various opportunities for other positions where students can volunteer. Depending on the field one may choose to enter, volunteering experiences that can be enlisted as EXPERIENCE can range from a lab assistant, classroom aide or teacher’s assistant, or even graphic designer for a startup company. The point is, there are no strict rules indicating that the experience portion of the resume should only consist of paid work history. Depending on the field you are choosing to enter, these volunteering positions may bolster your resume as it showcases that you have dipped your feet into the water and have some experience in the intended career field. But in some instances, some students (like myself) may not have a clear idea of what career fields to choose yet and would not want to waste their time jumping from position to position. In the next section, I’ll cover one essential experience that would look fabulous on any type of resume.
Last but not least, leadership experience is one great concept to include under the “Experience” portion as it demonstrates various skills and qualities. From organization to teamwork or even just basic leadership, by showcasing the skill of leadership is very strong overall. For many students, leadership opportunities are typically unpaid positions for a club or student organization. By getting involved on campus and seizing these experiences, it can definitely bolster one’s resume and character. On a side note from all this, leadership experience in general is very effective and useful. Many times in interviews, employers will ask you a question pertaining to a specific scenario and how you dealt with it. A lot of these scenarios generally can come from experiences in leadership positions.
To finalize this post, I would like to leave off by saying that your experiences from anywhere and anytime all matter despite it actually being employment or not. Whether it be a summer internship, an ongoing volunteering position, or dedicated leadership position, it can all be applied and expressed within the resume. To fully showcase your set of skills and qualities is important in resumes and depending on how you sell yourself with your experiences you will be sure to land a job. As you begin to craft or polish your resume, don’t forget to include all the experiences throughout your life that helped propel you to where you are now.
Of Possible Interest:
- Building Your Resume (all our blog posts on this topic)
- Resume & Cover Letters (all our blog posts on this topic)
- Boost Your Career in College (our Pinterest board)