Resume roadblock? Interview impasse? A simple three-step approach to build your confidence and hone in on—and highlight—your unpaid (and paid) accomplishments.
You are a stand out … are you a big picture innovator? How about a dependable team player? What makes you stand out from the crowd? How did you come up with a way to do things better, more efficiently, or for less cost? This is what will grab attention when you talk to people about work prospects and put your resume at the top of the list.
Create a section on your resume that demonstrates your ability to contribute to an organization. Whether your accomplishment was paid or unpaid matters not—the organization was better for having you there. If you have significant volunteer accomplishments, highlight this on your resume. For example, create a section title such as:
- Community service
- Pro-bono work
- Relevant experience (especially if this is in your field of expertise such as a lawyer doing pro-bono legal work or a graphic designer creating the cover of a brochure for a charity event)
- Volunteer experience
- Volunteer accomplishments
C-A-R: Here’s a simple approach to think, talk, and write about an accomplishment.
Reflect on the circumstances that surrounded the accomplishment. What was the key challenge?
What action did you take? Which specific action demonstrates your noteworthy strength? How did you overcome the challenge? What steps did you take?
The actual impact of your action (again the action that reminds them of your key strength). The result needs to be as concrete as possible. If you have a data (%, $, #’s), use it! Provide evidence that something changed or improved because you were involved.
Use C-A-R as a dialogue guide when interviewing and networking. The “R” is the point that belongs on your resume.
By Sharon Deutsch, a Professional, Personal, and Leadership Coach