10 Resume-Boosting Actions You Can Take Today
Being unemployed is frustrating. (Don’t believe that for some reason? Check out the dozens of comments posted from frustrated jobseekers on my two-year-old article about things to do if you can’t find a job!) Jobseekers often feel like they are doing everything that they can to put themselves out there and they still aren’t getting work. That may be true but the only thing that you can do is to keep at it. Giving up isn’t an option for most people. So how do you keep yourself busy during the many months it can take to find a job?
The following ten activities are things that you can do during unemployment to keep yourself busy. Doing them will have the following benefits:
· Being busy keeps you from thinking too much about the stresses of finding a job. Of course, you still need to be looking for one but having something else to do that’s productive is important in the meantime.
· These activities boost your self esteem. They help you achieve new things and celebrate your accomplishments. It is hard to hang on to positive feelings of self-worth when you’re being rejected by employer after employer. It’s important that you do so, though, because confident people are the ones that get the jobs.
· They look good on a resume. All of these actions will improve the way that your resume looks to employers, making it more likely that you’ll be able to get a job.
Sounds good, right? So what are these magic things that you can do to improve your resume? Take a look:
1. Learn a foreign language. You can do this by getting books and audio books from the library, checking out foreign language teaching sites online or exchanging language lessons with someone who speaks a foreign language. In order words, it doesn’t have to cost anything but your time. As you begin to learn a new language, you’ll experience pride about accomplishing something new. And if you master the language then you can add it to your resume and attract more employers.
2. Learn everything there is to know about new technology. Nearly every job that you could be applying for in the world today utilizes some type of technology even if it’s just a computer hooked up to the Internet. The more that you know about the cutting edge technology that is being used today, the more you’ll be able to offer an employer. If you can take a free or cheap class in this area then you can add it to your resume.
3. Get a certificate. Attend a class, workshop or event in your field. Ask the person teaching the class to provide you with a certificate of completion proving your attendance. List this class on your resume under “additional skills” or “education” or even “awards” if it doesn’t fit anywhere else. Also note that attending classes relevant to your industry is a great opportunity for networking!
4. Ask to be interviewed as an expert in your field. There are numerous different sources that interview people about their careers. Look for blogs, magazines, local newspapers and industry journals just to get started. Contact people who have done interviews for those sources before. Let them know what experience you have in your field and that you are happy to be interviewed about your work. Once you’ve scored an interview, add it as an “accomplishment” on your resume. This greatly enhances your credibility in your field and looks great on paper. Plus talking with others about your work will give you a self-esteem boost that you may be seriously in need of as someone who is unemployed.
5. Put together a series of Hubs on your industry. This is another way to enhance your credibility in your field. Write a series of highly polished and informative hubs that are specific to the industry that you’re seeking a job in. You can share a link to this set of articles on your resume or in your cover letter. A potential boss who sees that you really know your stuff will be impressed. And you might earn some passive income from those Hubs too!
6. Interview people in your industry. You can combine points four and five here with a twist for another resume booster. Find people who are working as leaders or managers of positions that you yourself would like to get into. Ask them if you can interview them for your HubPages series on the industry. The result is another credibility-boosting income-earning Hub. It also lets people with hiring power get to know you, which can definitely help you get a foot in the door with employment.
7. Volunteer in a related position. A friend of mine was having a tough time getting work as a paralegal when she first moved to San Francisco, which is not surprising since this area has a lot of competition in the legal field. To keep herself busy and make contacts in the area, she started doing volunteer work with a legal firm that helps incarcerated people through the appeals process. This added local legal experience to her resume and also provided a great opportunity for networking in the field.
8. Ask someone in the field to mentor you. This is a twist on points six and seven. You get to meet people in the field for some great networking opportunities. You get to see what it’s like to do their job. And you can add that experience to your resume along with a new reference if the mentor is impressed with you!
9. Start your own business. It should be a small, affordable business with achievable goals. If you’re lucky, you won’t need to keep looking for a job at all because it will be successful. More likely, though, it will only be moderately successful but it will look really good on your resume. It looks a lot better for your current employment status to be as an entrepreneur than to be unemployed! Try to create a business relevant to your field; consulting or creating an app for your industry, for example.
10. Update your resume. If you’ve done all of these things and you still have some time on your hands then use that time to update your resume. One great way to update a resume is to get your resume online. (Edudemic tells you how.) Another is to go through all of your past achievements and awards to see if there’s anything you’ve forgotten to add to your resume in the past. Still another is read the most current articles about resumes to make sure yours lines up. (For example one current tip is to make sure you have white space on your resume.) Don’t underestimate the value of taking these small actions to improve your resume.