September 15th, 2016

4 Ways to Pad Your Resume While Maintaining Your Integrity

In light of recent events, where people, coaches, and politicians have been caught stretching the truth regarding past work experience, it’s important to remember that lying on your resume is a huge no-no.

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We live in the Age of Information, where a quick Google search and phone call can confirm or disprove anything you put on your resume. That being said, presenting yourself with your best foot forward is essential. So how do you do that if you don’t feel like your resume is robust enough?

  1. Don’t neglect volunteer experience

Almost everyone has volunteered at some time, so remember to include those experiences on your resume. Make a list of things you have done, even if they were one-offs. Starting a GoFundMe for a friend in need doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it illustrates your leadership ability and organizational skills along with how responsible you are.

Include ongoing volunteer engagements in the same manner as you would a job. If you have had several of these, think about making this a dedicated section in your resume. Make sure you list your accomplishments and responsibilities just as you would with any other job roll.

If you don’t have a lot of employment experience, start volunteering now. Volunteering is the best way to gain respectable experience and be able to flex your leadership style. Wherever you live, there are organizations that need your help. There are also appropriate online volunteering experiences as well that can help prep you for future employment.

  1. Focus on all elements of past positions

When listing out previous positions, focus on quality over quantity. Instead of a laundry list of every job you’ve ever had, focus on the few that reflect skillsets that could help at the job you’re applying for and then fully divulge your experience at that position. If you learned something, gained a skill, or were involved in any project – include it! The clearer a picture you paint, the more likely you are to showcase your talents.

  1. Advanced learning opportunities and relevant skills

If you feel your job experience is lacking, a good way to fill the gap would be to earn advanced learning certifications and take classes that make you a more appealing job candidate. For example, if a hiring manager has the choice between identical candidates, and one is proficient at Excel and one isn’t – the choice pretty much makes itself. A more learned employee is usually a more valuable employee.

  1. Showcase your professional character

Think about your career as a portrait of who you are professionally, and not just as a list of jobs. When you make that mental shift, it’s easier to put your valuable qualities on paper. Lying isn’t necessary or acceptable. And no job is worth compromising your integrity. The trick to obtaining the position you desire is making the most of what you have to offer. What are your competitive strengths? How were your last employers better off with you on their team? What skills do you possess? Are you coachable? Are you willing to learn new skills?

For more career tips, visit ajilon.com.

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