Every company is looking for talented, hardworking employees. But they also want these employees to be interesting, well-rounded people. Besides your previous work experience and education, there are many other areas that can be used to set yourself apart. This article will teach you how to leverage your personal traits and unique characteristics to put extra value into your CV.
Certifications or Training Programs
Any online courses or MOOCs you’ve completed or are currently studying can add great value to your CV. Courses like these are usually done outside of your main work or studies, signaling that you’re studying during your free time, for your own personal interest. If you’ve completed relevant on-the-job training in the past, this can be useful too.
Use certifications and training programs to gain relevant skills, get a specific certification, or simply learn something new and interesting. Show employers how you go beyond the scope of your job/industry, and that you’re willing and able to learn new things.
Although having specific skills can be very important for a job, employers want to make sure that you’ll be able to take on any other responsibilities they throw at you. Having an affinity for learning means you’ll have an open mind for trying and accepting new things during your career.
Do you have a language certification? Are you bilingual, or even trilingual? If you can read, write, or speak a language in a professional, fluid capacity, this could give a big boost to your resume (especially in industries like tourism, hospitality, government, law, etc).
Some jobs may require that you take a proficiency test or have some sort of language certificate to prove your skill level. Others will simply conduct part of the interview in that language (so don’t lie about your level!) If you’re currently taking a language program or have taken one in the past, including it on your CV may open some career opportunities for you.
Travel or Study Abroad
If you had a life-changing trip or study abroad experience, it’s not a bad idea to include it on your CV. Studying in a foreign country for several months can communicate that you are courageous, adaptable, and have a sense of adventure. By explaining a life-changing trip and why it meant so much to you, you’ll connect with the employer on a deeper level. If you lived and worked abroad for an extended period of time, this can add value by showing that you’re adaptable to any work environment.
Clubs or Extracurricular Activities
Are you the leader of a martial arts club? Do you attend a weekly book club or organize hiking tours for nature enthusiasts? Some of the things you do outside your work life can help create a better picture of you in an employer’s mind.
If you’re part of a sports team or group of some kind, this can show that you get along easily with others and that you’re a good teammate. If you organize events yourself, this shows how you’re outgoing and proactive. Make sure the activities you list on your CV display some relevant skill set that your employer is looking for.
However, refrain from sharing things that are too personal or inappropriate.
Don’t be shy about sharing an awards, prizes, or recognition you’ve received. If you competed in a coding competition and came in second place, write about this experience. If you received recognition at your previous workplace for being “Employee of the Month”, list this and explain why it was awarded to you. Anything that can prove your real skills and mindset is an asset on your resume. Everybody says on their CV they have amazing skills and experience – proof of this is another story altogether!
No matter if you give out food at the homeless shelter or devote time reading to children at your local library, highlight the causes you support. Volunteer work is usually done out of the goodness of your heart, and can show that you have empathy, patience, compassion, and understanding. If volunteering is part of a company’s corporate social responsibility framework, your values will align with theirs and they’ll view you as an asset.
The 6 areas listed above are a few surefire ways to improve your CV for your next job application. Above all, you want to make sure that your CV is honest and concise, with correct spelling and grammar. To add the most value possible, list only things that are relevant to the job you’re applying for or that use a similar skill set. Try to fit everything on 1 page and never have a resume that is more than 2 pages. If you have a lot of experience and skills to write about, including a cover letter is a nice way to explain everything in full detail.
Remember, companies are looking for talented workers. But they also trying to find a well-rounded, interesting person to become part of their team. Your CV is the first step in convincing them that you’re all of these things!
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