How to Bulk Out a Short Resume
Most careers experts recommend putting together a resume that is around one page in length, but what should you do if your experience is too limited for this? Here are some tips for fleshing out a resume that looks a bit thin on the ground.
Tip #1 - Emphasise your work experience
Many people shy away from detailing work experience that does not seem relevant to the job that they are applying for, but chances are that you still demonstrated transferable job skills such as strong teamwork or good customer service that would be useful to most employers. If you didn't get an opportunity to showcase transferable job skills in a particular job position, you're better to leave it out as employers can easily see when you're including information just for the sake of it.
Tip #2 - Get more experience
If time is on your side before the interviews start, take the opportunity to get some additional experience to add to your resume. This doesn't necessarily need to be work-related as volunteer work can look just as impressive. If you're adamant that you want to gain some extra work appearance but don't have enough time to arrange an internship, you could go down the "shadowing" route for a day or two with an employer based in your local area.
Learning a new skill is another option. You might not have enough time to complete evening classes to gain a new qualification, but you could sign up for a more intensive short course that allows you to gain a new skill in a matter of days.
Tip #3 - Detail your education history
If you've already had several jobs, the usual advice is to restrict this section of your resume to the most recent qualification that you've gained so that you can concentrate on showcasing your work experience instead. For those who have recently graduated though, it's common to list your academic achievements in reverse order (starting with your degree). As well as grades, you can also focus on relevant extra-curricular activities - especially those that demonstrated transferable skills such as leadership, communication and presentation.
Tip #4 - Use the interests and activities section
The personal interests and activities section of a resume is often given minimum attention in comparison to those that precede it but it can be another opportunity to draw attention to qualities that don't fit elsewhere. For example, perhaps you've won awards or were a prominent member of a sports team? These kind of examples can be a good chance to demonstrate that you are a high achiever or a strong team player.
As tempting as it may be, try not to include details that aren't strictly relevant. Drawing attention to transferable job skills is fine if you don't have experience that directly relates to the job that you're applying for, but it's not advisable to include experience just to fill space. It's easier to bulk out a resume if you're a recent graduate as you can be more detailed with your education history but there are still options available for anyone wanting to enhance a sparse resume.
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